I've just returned from Amsterdam, and I have an interesting story to tell about how a disappointing cancellation of my birthday weekend at the IC Amstel turned into a wonderful experience thanks to the excellent staff at both the Crowne Plaza and IC. I made award reservations at the IC for the weekend nearly a year in advance for 40k points per night. I couldn't get an award night the first day of our stay in Amsterdam so we were spending one night at the Crowne Plaza by the Central Station. About an hour after checking into the Crowne Plaza (where I was upgraded to a wonderful king room, even on points), I received an e-mail from the IC Amstel stating that they had a large delegation and would need to move me to the Crowne Plaza. I was extremely disappointed, as I am a city planner and the IC Amstel was designed by a city planner (not common) so I was really excited to stay there an explore a different, quieter part of Amsterdam for the last three days of our trip. Although all I wanted to do was freak out and e-mail back, I decided to walk back to the CP and talk to the staff to see if they could advocate on my behalf. I showed the e-mail to the front desk clerk, who went back to the manager. The IC had not yet told CP of the change, so they were caught unaware but handled everything gracefully. After explaining the situation, I went up to my room and waited about 10 minutes to receive a call from IC's manager (Pip), who was very sorry for the cancellation. Realizing it was my birthday, he said the hotel would like to be our host for dinner at La Rive, their Michelin star restaurant. This was accompanied by a refund of 50k IHG points. I have never been to a Michelin star restaurant, so I saw this as a great opportunity to experience something new. Just a minute after the call ended, the manager at the Crowne Plaza (Gianpiero), called and said they would like to give me club lounge access for my stay (a nice gesture). The next morning I received a call from a new manager on duty (a woman whose name I can't remember), who said she had arranged a car for my trip to La Rive to be paid for by the hotel. She noted I sounded sick, as I had come down with a cold and asked if I needed anything. She was very sweet and I appreciated the offer of the car. As promised, we were whisked off to La Rive in our black Mercedes and dropped off at the front door of the Amstel. What a beautiful property, and I wish I had more time to explore it. The meal was amazing. I could probably write a whole trip report on the meal itself, but suffice to say it was truly spectacular. All in all, we had champagne, a six course tasting menu with wine pairing, several amuse bouches, and my husband enjoyed cognac at the end. Not entirely sure what 'be our guest' meant, we inquired at the end of the meal whether we owed anything. The answer was of course not, you are our guest and there is a car waiting whenever you wish to leave. Again, we were whisked back to the CP. I entered our room to find a pot of mint tea and a handwritten card from Gianpiero stating that he heard I had a cold and that he thought some mint tea would be a nice way to end the evening. He was by far the shining customer service star of our entire trip. While I am still a little disappointed that I did not get to stay at the IC Amstel, I could hands-down say that the La Rive experience and the excellent customer service at the Crowne Plaza made my birthday weekend an experience I'll never forget. Well done to all involved, and I can't wait to return to stay at the IC someday.