Amsterdam was a dream. It is a place I have always wanted to visit as my Oma and Opa were both born and raised in Holland (Rotterdam and Haarlem) and the city always looked like such rich, exciting and beautiful place. When Rituals reached out to me a few weeks ago about a last minute opportunity to attend a Slow Down session in Amsterdam I was shook! I immediately said yes (knowing Bobby would be all for it) and called my mom to see if she could come down to SD to help me with the kids for the five days I would be gone. It was a push for me to go and I am so glad I did. It was the perfect combination of doing something outside my comfort zone and also nurturing myself with a combination of yoga, meditation, alone time, sister time and quiet (I had begun to forget what quiet was!).
My first stop in Amsterdam was to the beautiful Hotel Jakarta where I met the wonderful Rituals team. The hotel had a very relaxed, lush vibe and was about a 20 minute car ride from Schipol airport. I loved staying at Hotel Jakarta but it is a bit removed from the heart of Amsterdam which could be a positive or negative depending on what you are looking for. I think it was a wonderful place to start the Slow Down sessions with Rituals. I was at the event with 40 other girls from all over the world and to kick things off we all hopped on a boat for a canal cruise and got to know each other (and enjoy some champs).
This was my first good look at Amsterdam and it was SO BEAUTIFUL! The sun was setting, we were boating through the canals and the girls I connected with her totally down to earth and fun. It was a really great moment- one of those ‘where I am right now’ (in the best way possible). That night we had a beautiful dinner, experienced some wonderful ceremonies (a tea ceremony, a wish ceremony with the Ritual of Yalda and a hand massage/washing ceremony to name a few) and got a sneak peak of the some of the products being released this winter. Every detail was considered and my connection and appreciation for Rituals as a company really deepened with each event they put on. It was a truly fantastic night.
The next morning I woke up nausea and jet lag free (praise) and started the day with yoga. A dream for me as yoga classes are few and far between these days. The day continued with 3 more sessions with the Rituals team. The first was on our Ayurvedic doshas, journaling and meditation. It was great to learn how different scents can compliment your dosha (I tested as a pita but I’m convinced I am a combo of all three).
The next session highlighted Rituals expansive (an natural, woot woot!) skin care line. We went through an hour long facial with Abigail James (she worked on Cher’s face last month so I was going to do just about whatever she said) and it was RIGHT UP MY ALLEY.
The last session was all about our hairsss and I was able to see the new line of shampoo and conditioner that has yet to be released. It is pretty innovative in that it is completely customizable down to individual hair color, hair needs and scent preference! I chose the Ritual of Dao for scent, blonde (obviously) and nourishment.
The last event of the day was a dinner cruise/pajama party. It was so much fun to see all the girls dressed up and Rituals spoiled us with delicious food, makeup, massages and skin consultations. Again, if someone could create an ideal night this would be it.
The next morning we ended our time with Rituals with an hour long meditation and then it was time to say goodbye. It was sad to say goodbye to my new friends but I was also looking forward to meeting up with my little sister who has been studying in Spain. I haven’t seen her in a month and I was excited to give her a squeeze. She met me at the hotel Jakarta and we ubered over to the Max Brown Hotel in museum square. It was SO cute and I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a central Amsterdam location walking distance to the museums and the nine streets.
After checking in we visited the Banksy exhibit at the MOCO museum which I would include in your list of places to visit in Amsterdam, it was great.
We had the best night running around Amsterdam! We visited the Jordan district and it was darling, ate all the cheese samples (and then another cheese board at dinner + wine, obvi), cruised around the nine streets, ate a freshly made waffle and finished the night with a brief walk down the Red Light District (v. interesting, probably don’t need to go back). It was the best night. I fell in love with Amsterdam.
On our last morning we visited the floating flower markets (cool, but I think next time I would skip it for a bike ride through Vondel Park) and grabbed cappuccinos (every coffee I had in Amsterdam was a 10/10) before I flew home. I am so grateful for my time in Amsterdam and will be returning again one day, hopefully with Bobby and the kids!