PRINT PREVIEW
send to printer

Concierge.com

Amsterdam Hotels

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Ambassade Hotel
341 Herengracht
Amsterdam
Netherlands 1016 AZ
Tel: 31 20 555 0222
info@ambassade-hotel.nl
www.ambassade-hotel.nl

The Ambassade isn't the most stylishly renovated of Amsterdam's Golden Age hotels, but the privately-owned landmark beats out the competition, with one of the longest stretches of ethereal canal-front views and the most authentically local arty vibe. The 59 guest rooms are typically Dutch (a.k.a. small) but hold an eclectic collection of Louis XV bureaus, armchairs, and desks, as well as modernist paintings by members of the Northern European Cobra school. Reserve one of the beamed third- or fourth-floor rooms facing the Herengracht canal to claim a quintessential Amsterdam view: Westerkerk's blue crown rising above the treetops to the north, exuberantly gabled houses built by the city's wealthiest burghers on the Golden Bend of the canal to the south. Authors on reading tours make the lobby resemble opening day of BookExpo (Salman Rushdie, among others, has been spotted here); the staff is one of the most cheerfully efficient in town, always at the ready to offer directions or make reservations; guests zoom back to the womb in an egg-shaped saltwater tank in the hotel's adjoining Koan Float and Massage Centre; and a filling (16 euro, about $22) breakfast buffet of pastries, Dutch cheeses, smoked meats, and fruit is served in a dining room with bay windows overlooking the Herengracht. The only real drawbacks are the Escher-like maze of staircases that connect the hotel's ten 17th- and 18th-century canal houses and rattling windows that can't cushion the street noise—although the clamor is mostly from the bumping of bikes on cobblestones, and anyway, that's all forgotten when the light of a Dutch dawn seeps through those tall windows.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Banks Mansion
519–525 Herengracht
Amsterdam
Netherlands 1017 BV
Tel: 31 20 420 0055
desk@banksmansion.nl
www.banksmansion.nl/banksMansion/default-en.html

The blah Canal Crowne Hotel was taken over by Carlton Hotel Collection, a Netherlands–UK boutique chain, and reopened in May 2004 as a far nicer prospect. Instead of relying on high design as so many other new places in the Dutch capital do, it's taking a shot at being the coziest, comfiest hotel in town. In fact, the design is fine too, taking its cue from the early-20th-century building itself—a former bank on the Vijzelstraat "Golden Bend" of the Herengracht Canal—and riffing on H.P. Berlage's Amsterdam School and Frank Lloyd Wright. It all ends up looking homey in a vaguely Art Deco way, especially in the lounge, called "The Living," with its leather chairs and brass lamps, and in "The Kitchen," with its checkerboard tiled floor, pine dresser, and giant old-fashioned range. Breakfast (included) is cooked to order in "The Kitchen," and guests are encouraged to hang out there and in "The Living," where all drinks and snacks are free. Contents of your minibar and unlimited Internet and movie channels are gratis as well. Right there, they're onto a good thing, and the website has incredibly low last-minute deals. Who needs a spa anyway?

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Cake Under My Pillow
66 Eerste Jacob van Campenstraat
Amsterdam
Netherlands 1072 BH
Tel: 31 20 751 0936
info@cakeundermypillow.nl
www.cakeundermypillow.nl

In the heart of the Pijp neighborhood, the cake shop De Taart van m'n Tante (My Auntie's Cake) is much loved for its style, its taste, and, let's be frank, its kitsch. The owners' B&B takes it to the next level—actually up two stories. The three rooms were stripped down to the floorboards and painted blue (as in Delft), green (dog motif), or orange (for the saffron hues of Asia). Rooms have orthopedic beds, wireless Internet access, and thick windows to keep out the noise of the busy neighborhood below. Guests get a voucher for coffee and cake downstairs (try the poppy seed cake or Dutch apple pie). And there's a common kitchen in case you want your breakfast at 6…p.m.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Canal House
148–152 Keizersgracht
Amsterdam
Netherlands 1015 CX
Tel: 31 20 622 5182
stay@canalhouse.nl
www.canalhouse.nl

This 23-room waterside hotel, opened in 2011, was renovated by Amsterdam-based Concrete architects, who seamlessly joined three handsome 17th-century canal houses. The interior public spaces pair Golden Age grandeur with some playful Dutch kitsch, including a hall lined with old farmhouse lanterns. The predominant note in the guest rooms is a sensual take on classic meets contemporary Dutch aesthetics, so even the smallest rooms are buoyed by the deep plum color of a purple tulip and all flaunt a layout that blends open-concept bathrooms, long work stations, velvet curtains, and smartly curated artwork, including Hendrik Kersten's Vermeer-like photographic portraits. While the airier front rooms offer views of a particularly ethereal stretch of the Keizersgracht canal, the back rooms face a garden, so you can bathe in your freestanding ceramic tub while gazing out on a garden folly. Even better, you can reserve the Garden House for private dinners, if you opt out of the hotel's lovely Great Room restaurant, which keeps things simple with an all-day brasserie menu. You can also bring the garden home with you: The hotel's bespoke Green & Spring toiletries are available for purchase.—Raphael Kadushin

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Citizen M Schiphol
Jan Plezierweg 2
Schiphol
Amsterdam
Netherlands 1118 BB
Tel: 31 20 8117 055
www.citizenmamsterdamairport.com

Riding the crest of the timely wave of high-end design hotels at low-end prices, the CitizenM brand's first property, located within the Schiphol International Airport complex, stands out for its super-efficient, cutting-edge design, conceived by Dutch star architects Concrete, with prefab rooms stacked on top of the ground floor. Guests check themselves in via high-tech monitors in the lobby (rooms are then preset according to guest specifications) before making their way through a buzzing 24-hour café with bright-red counters and communal tables. On either side of the café are several open public rooms outfitted with funky multi-colored Vitra chairs, bookshelves, flatscreen TVs, and desktop Mac computers available to guests. All 230 identical rooms are a compact 150 square feet, but they feel bigger thanks to a clever layout. Two Jetsons-like cylinders each enclose a toilet and a high-pressure rain shower, while the rear half of the room is taken up entirely by a floor-to-ceiling window and an enormous custom-made bed with Frette linens. A "mood pad" allows control of everything from the TV and the window blinds to the colored lighting and wake-up alarm music. If only all airport hotels were this much fun.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
College Hotel
Roelof Harstraat
Amsterdam
Netherlands
Tel: 31 20 571 1511
info@thecollegehotel.nl
www.thecollegehotel.com

Conceived by Roc, Holland's most prestigious hotel school, this erstwhile schoolhouse is a breath of fresh air. The entire ground floor is public space: To the left of the entrance is the chic reception desk, made of leather and mother-of-pearl, and to the right high-ceilinged hallways lead to a colorful bar with patterned-velvet chairs and couches and, beyond, an airy white-brick–and–glass dining room that was once the gymnasium. The 40 rooms, with their flat-screen TVs, glass showers, and black-lacquer doors and wardrobes, are sleek but cozy; the German manufacturer of their sensually soft sheets also makes shirts for Gucci and Prada. The service throughout is thoughtful and sincere.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Conservatorium Hotel
27 Van Baerlestraat
Amsterdam
Netherlands 1071 AN
Tel: 31 20 670 1811
reservations@conservatoriumhotel.com
www.conservatoriumhotel.com

You will sacrifice a canal view, but the location of this bustling hotel, opened in February 2012 directly across from the Museumplein, more than compensates. So does the obvious expense that went into restoring the 19th-century neogothic landmark, previously the city's premier music conservatory. Designer Piero Lissoni focused on the 129 rooms and suites; some of the large (especially by Amsterdam standards) units flaunt their original loft ceilings and are laid out as duplexes with high windows and exposed structural beams. The same sense of style infuses the glass-covered atrium, the brasserie, and lounge, as well as the Tunes Restaurant and Bar. It's the hotel's Akasaha Holistic Wellbeing Center, though, that may make the biggest splash. The cavernous center is divided into spaces aligned with the four elements, but if you have to choose, forget earth, fire, and air and head for the water spa, which features a watsu pool and hammam treatments.—Raphael Kadushin

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Dylan Hotel
384 Keizersgracht
Amsterdam
Netherlands 1016 GB
Tel: 31 20 530 2010
info@dylanamsterdam.com
www.dylanamsterdam.com

Don't weep, Anouska Hempel fans—Blakes is alive and well. It just has a new name (since October 2004). The owners are new, too, but the management is the same, as are Hempel's trademark touches, familiar from Blakes London and Paris's Louis Vuitton flagship store in Saint Germain-des-Prés. Both London-based Lady Weinberg's flamboyant style and her minimal phase are on display here: There are Oriental rock 'n' roll rooms in cardinal red and cream; Japanese rooms in black, navy, and beige; and spice-trader East India rooms in cinnamon, mahogany, and black lacquer. In a word: theatrical. If the other word that leaps to mind is claustrophobic, head to the adjoining historic building, which was renovated and added to the Dylan in 2006. The airier rooms there favor a more neutral mix of creams and grays, architectural four-poster beds, and a soothing view of the canal. Under the direction of executive chef Dennis Kuipers, the restaurant, which was renamed Vinkeles in July 2008, remains exclusive and exciting. Kuipers also oversees the more casual Mediterranean-style Terrace restaurant. Bikes (cheap) and captained boats (not cheap) are available to rent; both are handy around Leidseplein.—Updated by Raphael Kadushin

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
The Exchange
50 Damrak
Amsterdam
Netherlands 1012 LL
Tel: 31 20 523 0080
post@exchangeamsterdam.com
www.exchangeamsterdam.com/

A sister hotel to the iconoclastic Lloyd hotel, the Exchange is located on tatty Damrak, the tourist-thronged artery that runs from the Centraal Station to Dam Square. Its owners aimed to trendify the street by commissioning students from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute to design the hotel's 61 guest rooms. The result? Bedrooms that resemble art installations. They range from the Mattrass Room, which features a bed encased in the bell jar of a big crinoline, to the Marie Antoinette room draped in pistachio and rose fabric pooling on the floor, so you feel like you're sleeping in a macaroon. The adjoining café offers a respite from your night's fashion statement.—Raphael Kadushin

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam
108 Prins Hendrikkade
Amsterdam
Netherlands 1011 AK
Tel: 31 20 5520 000
info@amrathamsterdam.com
www.amrathamsterdam.com

The Amrath's June 2007 debut was one of the most dramatic Amsterdam hotel premieres in recent memory, and the culmination of a massive restoration job. In renovating the Scheepvaarthuis—a shipping company office shaped like an ocean liner overlooking the harbor, just east of the Central Station—the hotel's designers zealously respected the building's Amsterdam School architecture (the austere Dutch version of Art Nouveau). The main entrance area feels a bit squeezed (it represents the bow of a ship), but look up and the entire world lies before you: The spectacular stained-glass ceiling crowning the entranceway depicts the globe. There's more breathing room past the lobby, where the space opens to the hotel's twin public attractions: the seafood restaurant Seven Seas (still finding its legs) and a combination bar and lounge. The 165 guest rooms echo the drama of the lobby in their soaring ceilings; masculine, dark wood furniture; honey-toned wallpaper, adding to the room's burnished patina; and some 21st-century touches (free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs). Nab a room facing the River IJ: The Dutch light pouring through the high windows turns everything golden. If all the nautical allusions put you in the mood for a dip, there are a swimming pool, Turkish bath, and whirlpool hot tub in the basement Wellness Center.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Arena
51 Gravesandestraat
Amsterdam
Netherlands 1091 AA
Tel: 31 20 850 2400
info@hotelarena.nl
www.hotelarena.nl

In Oosterpark, not too far from the city center, the St. Elizabeth building (circa 1890) was a Catholic orphanage turned youth hostel until 1999, when it was upgraded into this happy, still-youth-centric hotel. As is the norm these days, top designers were employed in the conversion—though you wouldn't immediately know it from the uniformly unadorned spaces with wooden floors, white walls, and white flat-pack furniture. Standard rooms look like the orphans never moved out and are to be avoided. Get an Extra Large if possible—they're huge and the furnishings are way more posh—or for top bang for the buck, one of the six suites that were added in 2004. Most of the character here comes from original construction: tall ceilings and 15-foot windows, and rooms with sloping ceilings tucked under the eaves, for example. One weird hostel hangover: Normally standard amenities—such as hairdryers and irons—must be requested and require a deposit. The cool and pretty upscale Euro-fusion restaurant, called ToDine (geddit?), the cartoonish café-bar ToDrink, and the ToNight club (a mini-Limelight in the old chapel) are popular and therefore noisy, so if you're not joining in with the fun, get a room in the back.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel de l'Europe
2–14 Nieuwe Doelenstraat
Amsterdam
Netherlands 1012 CP
Tel: 31 20 531 1777
hotel@leurope.nl
www.leurope.nl/

A long-established grande dame hotel parked on the Amstel River, 111-room L'Europe has undergone a zealous renovation plan that has paid off. First up, and launched in 2010, was an entirely new Dutch Masters Wing of 23 suites so large they include a living room, dining room, and a bedroom anchored by a signature, epic-size reproduction of a Rijskmuseum masterwork, so you can fall asleep guarded by Rembrandt's night watchmen or a Vermeer dairymaid. The refurbishment of the hotel's original Rondeel Building was fully unveiled in late 2011. Its 88 refreshed rooms and suites feature heated floors and technological updates, and the terrace of its new French-flavored Hoofdstad Brasserie has helped relaunch the landmark as a stylish local hangout, along with the more formal Bord'Eau restaurant. Slated to open in 2012 is an expanded spa, which will augment the indoor swimming pool capped by a glass dome, overlooking the Amstel.—Raphael Kadushin

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Pulitzer
315–331 Prinsengracht
Amsterdam
Netherlands 1016 GZ
Tel: 31 20 523 5235
Fax: 31 20 627 6753
www.starwoodhotels.com/luxury/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=100

This iconic hotel is situated on not one, but two canals. Cobbled together from 25 historic canal houses gathered around a gracious courtyard, it achieves Amsterdam-coziness in spite of its 230-room girth. Each room is different, all have either a garden or canal view, and some suites are duplexes. The Pulitzer's scale makes it the closest thing this city has to a resort—there's an art gallery, a gym, and a private boat for canal cruises. The restaurant, Pulitzers, part of which was once a pharmacy, is now one of the city's top tables for French-inspired cooking. After dinner, retire to Pulitzers Bar or the cigar lounge. In summer, you can take high tea in the courtyard.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
InterContinental Amstel
1 Professor Tulpplein
Amsterdam
Netherlands 1018 GX
Tel: 31 20 622 6060
amstel@ihg.com
www.intercontinental.com/ams-amstel

In a town with relatively few grande dame hotels, the Amstel qualifies as Amsterdam's most dogged; it's been itching for that honor ever since it opened on the Amstel River in 1867. You feel its regal ambitions roiling the minute the supremely efficient staff whisks away your luggage and you enter the lobby, which is modeled on a French Renaissance palace and groans with marble. The restaurant, La Rive, flaunts its Michelin star; guests take high tea in the Riverside lounge; and in a rare concession to modernity, there's a health club and indoor pool. Most of the 79 patrician guest rooms are wrapped up in enough chintz and toile wallpaper to cover Versailles, and tellingly, the toile depicts Marie Antoinette look-alikes flitting through Watteau-worthy bowers. Each room also comes fully loaded with Dutch still lifes, Delft ceramics, and flat-screen TVs tucked discreetly behind built-in cabinetry; nothing less than marble would do for the bathrooms. All this pomp makes jet-lagged business travelers, and even the democratic Dutch, feel a bit aristocratic. Loiter long enough, and you may see an actual grande dame in the flesh (past guests include Marlene Dietrich and Madonna) or one of the local royals. Queen Beatrix celebrated her 60th birthday here, and there is a royal suite plumped and waiting for any passing family members.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Lloyd Hotel
34 Oostelijke Handelskade
Amsterdam
Netherlands 1019 BN
Tel: 31 20 561 3636
post@lloydhotel.com
www.lloydhotel.com

In the trendy Eastern Docklands district, the Lloyd's history begins in 1921, when the building was constructed as a dorm hotel for migrants. The Germans commandeered it as a prison during WWII, then in the '60s, it became a juvey hall. Fortunately, before it opened as a hotel in early 2004, the owners let about a score of Holland's top design talents loose on the 116 rooms, which are categorized with one to five stars. Teeny, plain one-star rooms might have wainscoting and raised cot beds; robes are provided for forays to the shared bathrooms. Three-star "remarkable" rooms mix 1920s furniture and pieces from big-time Dutch designers like Hella Jongerius. Four-star "exceptional" and five-star "amazing" rooms have masses of space, fabulous views, and perhaps a polystyrene bathroom, a concert piano, or a 12-foot bed. A caveat: Some rooms are so inscrutable that visitors seeking old-style luxury may prefer to gawk here but sleep elsewhere. Public areas—a restaurant, art book–filled library, and a soundproof room for your next jam session—are a hangout for hip locals and a clearinghouse for arts institutions, hosting readings, cooking classes, screenings, and the like.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Miauw Suites
36 Hartenstraat
Amsterdam
Netherlands 1016 CC
Tel: 31 20 717 3429
miauw@miauw.com
www.miauw.com

If historic canal-side hotels, such as the Ambassade, let you pretend to be a Golden Age burgher, Miauw Suites makes you feel like a contemporary Amsterdammer living in your own stylish apartment in the bohemian Nine Streets district. The hotel's co-owner, fashion designer Analik Brouwer, meets you in the ground-floor exhibition space and hands over your keys. While the four guest rooms vary in size (there are two suites and two bedrooms), they all have the same impeccable accents: pillowy white duvets, sandstone or limestone bathrooms with heated floors and cascade showerheads, a ready-to-use iMac on a little wooden desk, Diptyque candles, fresh flower bouquets, and a well-edited stack of DVDs (Brouwer's partner, Rene Eller, is a director). The rooms are all also surprisingly affordable: A 300-square-foot bedroom with private bath is $210; the top-floor White Suite ($350) comes with a fully equipped kitchen, separate bedroom, and long combination dining/living area punctuated by a gray Cubist couch and Persian rug. The long bank of windows overlooking the Keizersgracht is alone worth the tariff.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Seven One Seven
717 Prinsengracht
Amsterdam
Netherlands 1017 JW
Tel: 31 20 427 0717
Fax: 31 20 423 0717
www.hotel717.nl

Money is no object, you're so over minimalism, and you want an intimate place to stay. Beyond the grand oak staircase in this 18th-century canal house are eight themed rooms (Tolkien, Stravinsky, and Picasso, for instance). More like pieds-à-terre than hotel rooms, each has a sitting area and cushy touches such as custom-woven Welsh blankets. Even the smallest is a generous 430 square feet. Staff members serve breakfast in bed, set out wine and cheese by the fireplace, and act as concierge for your busy Amsterdam evenings. Museumplein and the nightlife of Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein are within a few minutes' walk from the front door.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.