Hotel Review: Hilton Rotterdam
The world’s largest port and the second largest city in the Netherlands, Rotterdam has been through a lot throughout its over 700 years of history – culminating with almost a total destruction during the Second World War. But today it has fully recovered and right now it’s one of the most modern and impressive cities in the entire world, from both a historic and an architectural point of view.
Divided into two sides by the beautiful river Niewe Maas, the giant port of Rotterdam is a world-capital when it comes to architecture. From the famous Cube Houses to modern skyscrapers, eye catching commercial spaces and a few Medieval gems, this ever-expanding city is a real treat for your eyes.
But apart from those must-see tourist spots, Rotterdam has so many things to offer, for any type of visitor. Gorgeous museums, a vibrant night life, maritime entertainment options, diversity and a multi cultural environment are just a few of the things that make Rotterdam the coolest place in the Netherlands. The vibe and the energy of this city, plus its always changing skyline, make it a top tourist destination as well.
There’s no better location to discover everything Rotterdam has to offer than its vibrant city center, and luckily for us, Hilton Rotterdam was set right in the heart of all the action – that’s why we’ve decided to stay here. The hotel’s location is simply perfect – in the Cool District, right on Coolsingel – surrounded by cozy cafes, fine restaurants and all kinds of interesting buildings.
Rotterdam’s Central Station is within walking distance, and the most important areas of the city, the riverwalk, the Cube Houses, the incredible Erasmus bridge or the shopping, business and entertainment districts can be easily explored on foot, right from the hotel.
With an exterior that doesn’t draw too much attention and an elegant interior boasting modernity and a few classic touches, Hilton Rotterdam is definitely the perfect retreat in town. The hotel has a 70’s look outside that some may find a little bit unappealing, but once you step inside the lobby, all those first impressions go right out the window, because it simply looks gorgeous.
The hotel’s lobby is surprisingly vast and well decorated. Stylish and sophisticated, the lobby is a subtle remainder of the building’s past with a modern touch in every other detail. You’ll find a few coffee and tea lounges here, with chic furniture pieces, and the space is greatly enhanced by the feature fireplace and the soothing color tones and patterns around, matching perfectly the ones often found in the city.
There’s also an impressive sculptural staircase in the lobby, that was apparently recently updated, boasting a cool combination of bronze and timber right now. The staircase is painted in a fluorescent light which gives the entire space a dramatic and extravagant look. The check-in was fairly quick and we got assigned to a nice room on the upper floors of the hotel, with a magnificent view over the Coolsingel.
The room we got to stay in was actually a King Executive Suite, a super chic and very comfortable suite featuring a separate living area with a small office, an awesome bedroom and a lovely bathroom. It didn’t have that classic Hilton look and we totally liked that!
The elegance and attention to detail could be easily noticed in the high quality decor of the room and the amenities it offered were no less impressive: a 42-inch LCD TV with Bose sound dock, a Nespresso machine with a wide selection of coffees, and that scenic view.. it was simply perfect!
The bathroom is something to fall in love with. A monsoon rain shower and a separate bath, luxury toiletries, fluffy bathrobes and slippers should be more than enough for anyone’s relaxation. And speaking of relaxation, the king sized Hilton Serenity bed is simply amazing – all you need after a busy day in town.
The 70-square meter suite also comes with Executive benefits, allowing you to enjoy exclusive access to the hotel’s Executive Lounge, where you could have breakfast, or enjoy a few snacks and plenty of refreshments all day long.
Eating & Drinking
The best part of Hilton Rotterdam is that it’s home to no less than three intriguing restaurants: Roots, Joelia by Mario Ridder and, why not, we could also count the Executive Lounge here.
Roots is probably the most unique of all three, offering not only an amazing culinary experience but an ambiance to match it as well. Their dishes are cooked with fine ingredients from the Netherlands and take pride in the fact that almost all their products and ingredients are local and regional in origin. The menu and the overall atmosphere in this restaurant supposedly change every single season and guests are welcomed here all day long, for breakfast, lunch, high tea and dinner as well.
We’ve always started our day at Hilton Rotterdam with a healthy breakfast at Roots and we couldn’t have wished more. Their breakfast is simple, yet strikes the right balance between the choices and it’s all very good. The staff was always friendly, kindly offering refills of our beverages. Among the options there were different types of bread, eggs, sandwich spreads, baked potatoes and lots of fruit and vegetables. Plus the usual coffee, tea and orange juice.
Unfortunately we didn’t get to enjoy their second restaurant as well, Joelia by Mario Ridder, and I’m sure it might have been even better, since it’s been recently awarded one Michelin star. Joelia combines traditional French cuisine with a modern touch and you get to enjoy it all with a magical view of Rotterdam’s city center. It’s definitely on our list next time!
Located on the ground floor, the hotel’s Executive Lounge has a pretty nice design, with a small business corner, several flat screen TVs, books and even games for entertainment. The only downside, if you consider that as a downside, is that anybody from the outside can see everyone inside the lounge. Other than that, there’s a good enough buffet offering light snacks and drinks during the day, but nothing special in particular.
The whole place is a bit more appealing in the evening, when the buffet is revamped with a good selection of cheese, cold cuts and hot snacks. It’s the usual Hilton Executive Lounge experience and even though it’s not the best we’ve seen so far, it’s definitely worth getting a room with Executive benefits.
All in all, the overall experience at Hilton Rotterdam left us smiling at the end. Our suite was simply perfect, unlike any other Hilton suite we’ve seen so far, and that view of Rotterdam’s incredible skyline will be in our minds forever. Dining at Roots was also a real treat and the hotel’s staff made our stay here a pleasure. They were always smiling and cordial and professional in their roles and duties.
Hilton Rotterdam was easily one of the best hotels we’ve stayed at this year.
Where: Hilton Rotterdam
Weena 10, 3012 CM Rotterdam
Phone: +31 10 710 8000