Get gezellig (that’s Dutch for cosy) on a feel good weekend in Amsterdam – a much less eyebrow-raising prospect than it used to be. Dedicated avocado cafés and vegan bitterballen, anyone? This diverse, cycling-mad, open-minded city has wholeheartedly embraced wellness and set about soothing minds and bodies in its own distinctive way. A stroll through the Jordaan and Prinsengracht neighbourhoods reveals top-notch massages, flavour-packed vegan grub and a lingering sense of joy…
The Pulitzer is no stranger to the slow movement: to conceive this hotel’s quirky décor, its designer spent a night in all 225 rooms. Look out for the hotel’s mindfulness special, complete with private meditation sessions, in-room flowers and an adult colouring book. Staff will happily point you to the best holistic spots in town, or set aside a table in the secluded garden for a restorative lunch.
Cacao is chocolatier Hans Mekking’s medium. His natural treats range from bars in artful packaging to bonbons, macarons and pâtisserie. Products are ethically sourced, but sinfully good. The milk chocolate with sea salt and caramel is a favourite, but lavender and passionfruit enhance bars, too. Drop in for a caffeinated pick-me-up and fresh goodies from the in-store workshop.
SLA ticks off all the wellness buzzwords: detox juices, single-estate coffee, raw ingredients, tempeh… It’s earnest in its mission to make lunch organic, healthful and tasty, and its greenhouse-style space is a convivial spot. Bowls of quinoa burgers, truffled mushroom and egg, rainbow salads, hummuses and – we promise – light cheesecakes make a health kick irresistible.
Inspired by Japanese sentō bath houses, this Zen den is a restful space of wood and stone, with swing chairs to relax on. Work on mind and body here, thanks to a hi-tech gym, pool, yoga and meditation sessions, and resident physios. Need a real treat? Gifted spa therapists are on hand to accentuate Jacuzzi and sauna spells with massages, shiatsu and more.
A striking cinema light-box wall illuminates this ethical store’s bright wares: luxury care products for body and home. From lavender knitwear spritzes to nourishing hand cream, each is a sound purchase. Grab a bottle of their signature mineral water to go: virtuous right down to its recyclable packaging, each sale helps clean-drinking water projects worldwide.
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Image credits: © Pulitzer Amsterdam; © Urban Cacao; © Teska Overbeeke; © Sento Spa and Health Club; © Marie-Stella-Maris; © Teska Overbeeke; © Teska Overbeeke; © Shutterstock