Amsterdam is famous the world over for its laid-back way of life and beautiful canals. With a vibrant nightlife scene, plenty of cultural attractions and some excellent green spaces, it’s easy to see why the city attracts thousands of people every year. The capital city of The Netherlands boasts many world-class hotels, offering a wide range of services geared towards travellers of all stripes. Whether you’re there to relax or in town to party, you can’t go wrong with these excellent picks for accommodation in The Venice of the North.
Set inside a renovated cruise liner that has been moored to the northern banks of the River IJ, this shipshape hotel offers guests the opportunity to rest, relax and socialise while surrounded by water. There are 175 simple, yet spacious guest rooms onboard the boat, plus five individually designed lodgings located inside the red letters that spell out B-O-T-E-L on its upper deck. Though it may seem further afield than other accommodation options, guests at Botel have immediate access to Amsterdam’s trendy, post-industrial quarter NDSM-Wharf during their stay and can reach the city centre within minutes via a speedy ferry service that docks nearby.
As its rooms, facilities and services are geared towards culturally curious travellers with a taste for the local music scene, the Sir Adam ranks among the best destinations in Amsterdam for night owls and clubbers who appreciate an added dose of luxury during their time abroad. Musical memorabilia is peppered throughout the hotel, with each room equipped with a Crosley Cruiser record player alongside a collection of LPs. As the hotel stands inside a sky-high culture hub called A’DAM Toren, there are plenty of bars, hangout spots and restaurants located nearby, including an underground club named Shelter, which lies directly underneath the Sir Adam. To discover other local hotspots, guests can consult the hotel’s team of city hosts, who are on-hand to share their knowledge of Amsterdam’s nightlife and cultural offerings.
Due to its creative layout and avant-garde interior elements, Hotel Not Hotel resembles something more akin to a contemporary art gallery than a conventional place to stay. Rest assured, though, as there’s plenty of space for relaxation, recuperation and leisure too, in the hotel’s 23 guest rooms, lobby and on-site cocktail lounge, plus a Thai kitchen called Kevin Bacon Bar. Each room available at Hotel Not Hotel was designed around a specific theme, and features unusual yet stylish furnishings that match perfectly with the hotel’s artsy vibe. For instance, guests can reserve a spot inside a renovated tram from the early 20th century or spend the night inside secret rooms hidden behind mock bookcases. Aside from their quirks and idiosyncrasies, every room is equipped with a double bed, an ensuite bathroom and other essential items.
This award-winning boutique hotel christens its guest rooms after famous literary figures and artists, creating a measure of prestige that perfectly matches the establishment’s welcoming yet exclusive ambiance. Set inside a 19th-century mansion on the banks of Prinsengracht canal, the hotel stands within walking distance from many famous sites, making it an ideal home away from home for sightseers in Amsterdam. Two suites inside the hotel boast canal views, while the other seven look onto an enclosed garden that’s accessible to guests throughout their stay.
This classy spot, located in the heart of Amsterdam’s 17th-century canal belt, is set inside 10 charming townhouses. Though they are centuries old and still feature many of their original elements, the townhouses in question have been renovated to meet modern demands and currently contain 57 spectacular rooms, equipped with everything you’d expect from a four-star, boutique hotel. Aside from the essentials, Ambassade Hotel’s rooms also feature artworks and items from different periods of European history, ranging from paintings created by members of the COBRA movement to furnishings that date back to the Napoleonic era. There’s also a French-style brasserie located on-site, plus a large library with lounge, stocked with 4,000 books signed by their authors (all of whom have stayed at Ambassade Hotel at one point or another).
Famed for its spectacular neoclassical architecture, high-end services and luxurious wellness centre, Conversatorium stands among the most refined hotels in the Netherlands. Built inside a former music conservatory with stately details, the hotel lies roughly midway between Vondelpark and Museumplein, in Amsterdam’s affluent Oud-Zuid neighbourhood. Its interior and rooms are masterfully crafted, employing touches of modern style to complement the hotel’s historical character. Though there’s plenty to see nearby, it is easy enough to spend entire days relaxing inside Conservatorium, thanks to its excellent restaurants, charming cocktail bar and opulent spa facilitates.
Considering its historic setting, elegant interior and overall ambiance, it is easy to mistake this delightful, two-suite hotel for a museum. Long before it became a hotel, Dutch impressionist painter George Breitner lived and worked inside the house, creating artwork inside its lofty halls. Though today there are some modern touches hidden around the hotel, it is decorated in a manner befitting Breitner’s time with fin de siècle (end of the century) elements spread throughout its rooms and hallways. Both suites inside the hotel are decorated with lavish furnishings and look as though they’ve remained frozen in time since the end of the 19th century – creating a picture-perfect destination for honeymooners or couples searching for a romantic getaway in Amsterdam.
Combining modern style with heritage, this exclusive hotel is spread between two monumental buildings in Central Amsterdam that overlook Dam Square. The entire hotel was designed with comfort and luxury in mind, and is geared towards globetrotters or jet-setters who are happy to splash out during their time abroad. Potential guests can choose between 238 high-end rooms and suites, with access to an underground spa, three restaurants with bars and a nightclub. What’s more, the hotel is the only establishment of its kind in the capital with a rooftop pool, which offers incredible views across Amsterdam’s historic centre.
Thanks to its long-standing reputation, first-rate service and Michelin-starred restaurant, Hotel de L’Europe is quite possibly the most celebrated and respected establishment of its kind in Amsterdam. The hotel dates back to the mid-19th century and stands inside a monumental building with grand flourishes befitting a five-star residence, from an acclaimed canal-side cocktail bar to a lavish spa and fitness centre.
Nicholas Grantham contributed additional reporting to this article.