Luxury Outlook 2023
An ambitious exploration into high-end residential markets across the globe.
To be in Amsterdam during the holidays is a special gift. It embodies the nostalgia of picture-perfect towns sculpted inside of a snow globe, with its gabled houses and cobbled roads, decorated lamp posts, romantic bridges, warmly-glowing windows and scents of fresh-baked goods floating on the air. From this stunning heritage home, built in 1930 and fully renovated in 2021, you can settle within the city’s holiday charm and strike out for an exciting day of exploration.
Morning in the primary suite is serene and radiant. The French doors serve as floor-to-ceiling windows opening onto the balcony, and the proximity of Beatrixpark creates the fantasy of living on the edge of the woods, even as the city’s conveniences lie at your doorstep. There are five other bedrooms, each with its own character, making this property ideal for hosting friends and family during the holidays. And at the top of the home, the furnished roof terrace provides a storybook panorama of picturesque architecture and treetops.
As you head to your magnificent ensuite, there’s no need for slippers—the in-floor heating keeps you comfortable—and you play some holiday tunes on the built-in sound system while preparing for the day. Once you’re washed and dressed, you head down to the marble foyer on the ground floor and exit onto Schubertstraat, one of the many charming streets named after acclaimed composers.
Cross the canal going east into colorful De Pijp, the ever-popular district lined with bars and cafés. Here you’ll find Albert Cuypmarkt, one of the city’s premier traditional street markets, where breakfast can be found in the form of tantalizing Dutch baking classics such as stroopwafels or poffertjes.
The Museumplein, a park that transforms into Amsterdam’s most iconic Christmas market, is just a few blocks away. The whole square is transformed into a rink surrounded by a winter wonderland-like village, with the majestic Rijksmuseum presiding as the backdrop. It’ll be a while before the afternoon and evening shoppers flock in, so you rent some skates and take a spin on the ice, browse the quaint merchant stalls, and buy some oliebollen from the seasonal food trucks.
Back home in your spacious kitchen, you’re once more jamming to the festive playlist—this time, on the main floor’s embedded sound system—while preparing tea and snacks with your luxury appliances. The tall French doors face west overlooking the garden, and afternoon sunlight beams iridescently through the glass. The wintery day looks crystal clear and cold, but you don’t feel the slightest chill—the heating system spans throughout your home’s double oak herringbone floors.
An afternoon stroll brings you through Vondelpark, a breathtaking urban forest bordered by ancient trees, icy streams, and lovely mansions. It’s always a marvel, but a dusting of snow makes it truly magical. On the other side of Vondelpark, you head up to De Hallen, an industrial tram depot-turned-artisan shopping destination. Its fabled Foodhallen is a pilgrimage for street-food connoisseurs.
Across four short bridges, you find De 9 Straatjesin, an area of the city so stunning, it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The boutiques are ideal for holiday shopping, but as the sun quickly descends and afternoon turns into an early evening, you’re content with admiring the sparkling outdoor decorations.
Meandering back towards your house, the Amsterdam Light Festival delights and dazzles you. More than 40 international artists have converged on the city to build innovative light installations over Amsterdam’s centermost canals. As you happen upon the unique sculptures, you click the icons on the festival’s digital map to unfurl written or spoken didactics that explain the concepts and craftsmanship behind these works of art.
Having returned home, you order dinner and dessert from the restaurants or patisseries in your area, then prepare a drink at your kitchen’s custom bar before heading to the living room, located off the main hall through dramatic double steel doors. You light a fire in your wood-burning fireplace and some candles on the marble mantle to set the tone as you curl up in the bay window to scroll through the photos you took, and record the day’s adventures in your journal.
What will you do tomorrow? The Light Festival will still be on for several weeks, and some of the displays are best seen by boat—perhaps you’ll charter a private canal cruise. For now, you allow scenes of the day to dance in your memory as you drift to sleep, anticipating vivid dreams that play upon the vibrant world you’re immersed in.