Filled with quirky corners and charming quarters, Amsterdam eschew purpose built hotels in favor for buildings with a past: old schools, former alehouses, and converted canalside mansions. Rooms as a result come in all shapes and sizes, with interiors ranging from hip to luxurious, with décor equally diverse, from antique-store clutter to the starkly minimalist. The restaurants in town are amongst the most adventurous, and the bars are at the forefront of the cocktail scene.
For the ideal & essential Amsterdam experience, stay in a hotel in the central the Canal District, museum-filled Zuid, happening De Pijp, or extremely charming Jordaan. Excellent places to stay can also be found across the water behind Amsterdam Central Station, as well as in the east and west quarters.
Stretching between two canals, these 25 houses exhibit a large range of room shapes and sizes. Designer Jacu Strauss excellently uses period features whilst providing a contemporary feel to the hotel. Cheekiness comes in the form of a Delft porcelain rooster, a wall of 17 brass trumpets (and one purple), and an archway of books topped with a bicycle. Assertive dishes, strong flavors & subtle twists can be found in the dishes served at restaurant Jansz.
The Hoxton Amsterdam
This cosy, stylish hotel is masked by its magisterial canalside façade. The lobby lounge bar is filled with scuffed leather armchairs, soft sofas, mounds of cushions, colorful rugs, and is always teeming with visitors & locals alike. Modern design & vintage furniture are a signature. Keep an eye out for old prints, unique bric-à-brac and decorative biscuit tins. Flavorful food – veal with polenta, juicy burgers – can be found at restaurant Lotti’s all day.
Soho House, Amsterdam
The canal-side Soho House is housed in the city centre’s Bungehuis building. Its remarkable rooftop pool affords stunning views overlooking the city. A Cowshed spa as well as a Cecconi’s are landing this September, in addition to a bicycle repair shop in the basement – a nod to the city’s cycling heart.
In the city’s chicest shopping street, and nestled between Amsterdam’s Big Three museums, this former music conservatory combines the splendor of original fin-de-siècle (brickwork & decorative tiles), witty references to its history (a violin chandelier) along with a clean contemporary design by Italian interior architect Piero Lissoni. With original high ceilings, many rooms are duplexes, minimally styled yet still colourful and warm. An excellent brasserie can be found in the bright atrium lounge, and superb Japanese-inspired cuisine can be found at restaurant Taiko. Soak the day away in the Akasha spa, ranked amongst the best in town.
Finding itself beside a park, this hotel was a former orphanage. The stylistic choice of white minimalism is punctuated throughout with unique retro pieces from the 60s, and original 19th-centruy period design. Most city sights are only 15 minutes away via tram. Some rooms are duplexes, and enjoy large windows & high ceilings. Styling continues the white idiom, often contrasted with jet-black bathrooms. Some rooms also afford views over the park, as do the café and restaurant, which lean luxuriously vegetarian.
Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
A close inspection will show that this elegant retreat is a combination of a 1930s former city hall, a historic canal house or two, and a 17th century Admiralty building. Done up in warm colors and comfy chairs, the lounge has the atmosphere of a domestic drawing-room. At Bridges restaurant you’ll find an inspired menu, curious combinations, and a fantastic courtyard garden. The quietly luxurious rooms are complemented by the spa & a decent sized swimming pool.