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The best boutique hotels in Amsterdam for style, location and value for money

Where to stay in the Dutch capital for style and attitude

Paul J. Devries,Deborah Nicholls-Lee
Tuesday 04 January 2022 10:50 GMT
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It's easy to find stylish digs in the Netherlands
It's easy to find stylish digs in the Netherlands

It may rank high on the list of destinations for stag and hen dos, but Amsterdam has so much more to offer than an inebriated weekend browsing its (in)famous coffee shops.

The last few years have seen a wave of new hotels arriving in the city, seriously expanding the range of interesting options to stay within – and, most encouragingly, beyond – the well-trodden cobbled streets of its immediate historic core. Even existing properties have been dealt a much needed jolt and upped their game.

The Dutch capital packs a lot in for a city with under a million inhabitants. Best explored on foot or bicycle, its narrow streets, slender canal houses and vertiginous staircases are reminders that space has always come at a premium. Its human scale perfectly suits smaller, boutique hotels – here are the best options if you’re looking for something more intimate. Keep scrolling to book your next city break.

Best for central location: Hotel Seven One Seven

Neighbourhood: City centre

There are several types of rooms and suites inside Seven One Seven, once the home of a wealthy sugar trader. All come with unique features and different colour schemes, with the two largest suites given five side-by-side windows along the width of the building’s facade overlooking Prinsengracht canal. However, only the merchant and grand heritage rooms are available to book currently, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for future availability.

The public spaces, including a library and a garden patio, add to the feel of staying in a private home. Its location puts you about midway between Museumplein and Dam Square, with easy access to Vondelpark.

Double rooms start at £170 per night.

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Best hotel for smart design: SWEETS Hotel Amsterdam

Neighbourhood: City-wide

These individual suites are dotted around the city

Water is at the heart of Amsterdam and in many ways has always been the city’s lifeline. With water comes bridges, and with bridges come bridge houses – you’ll see them all over the city, in various architectural styles with many designed by well-known architects.

With centralised bridge control, the little houses became redundant, but now this brilliant concept hotel is turning 28 of them into individual hotel suites (SWEETS is a play on the word suites and the notion of the bridge houses being little sweets dotted around the city).

Decide on a style you like, or a neighbourhood to be based in: from the Kattenslootbrug, designed in 1950s Amsterdam School style, to the Amstelschutsluis, on a lock only accessible by boat and dating back to 1673, no two houses are the same. Breakfast can be brought to your door, or you can consult the in-bridge iPad for local suggestions.

Best hotel for chic interiors: Sir Albert Amsterdam

Neighbourhood: De Pjip

Sir Albert Amsterdam is housed in a former diamond factory

Now with sibling Sir Adam just across the water from Centraal station, this is where it started for Sir Hotels in Amsterdam, inside what was once a diamond factory. You’re a short stroll from Museumplein and high-end shopping on PC Hooftstraat in one direction, and the famous Albert Cuyp street market in the other.

The 90 rooms come in four categories, dressed in a calming mix of dark wood, white walls and creams and browns. Suites are still a cosy 30 sq m (323 sq ft), while the residence has a sofa bed in the living room and the added advantage of two bathrooms. IZAKAYA is a well-known local restaurant serving Japanese food with South American influences.

Best hotel for couples: Canal House

Neighbourhood: Grachtengordel-West

Canal House has a triple-width garden with casual seating

Sister hotel to Cowley Manor in the Cotswolds and L’Hôtel in Paris, Canal House is in a prime location on Keizersgracht, around the corner from Anne Frank Huis. Its 23 rooms are categorised Good, Better, Great, Exceptional, Outstanding, and Best. All come in a moody mix of purple, copper and black – the two highest categories give you canal views.

The ground floor features The Bar and The Great Room; the latter overlooks a triple-width garden with casual seating to enjoy a sunny afternoon. A small Garden House offers a meeting space or cosy dinner setting for up to 10 people.

Best hotel for Michelin-starred dining: The Dylan Amsterdam

Neighbourhood: Grachtengordel-West

The Dylan Amsterdam has historic surroundings and contemporary interiors

The stone entrance gate you walk through when entering The Dylan dates back to 1632, when a theatre could be found here (Antonio Vivaldi conducted the orchestra for its 100th anniversary). Everything else is only marginally younger, but inside you’ll find the historic surroundings contrast with very contemporary interiors.

Rooms, of which there are 40 in total, come in four styles: Loxura, inspired by the copper-coloured Loxura butterfly; Serendipity, with minimalist design in greys and browns; Loft, done up in whites with traditional exposed beams; and Amber, bringing in warmer gemstone colours.

Vinkeles is the hotel’s Michelin-star restaurant, but there’s also Brasserie OCCO and you can hire a private 19th-century saloon boat for lunch or dinner on the canals.

Best hotel for exclusivity: Soho House Amsterdam

Neighbourhood: City centre

Soho House Amsterdam is due to open over the summer

One of the latest additions to the Amsterdam hotel scene, Soho House opened in 2018, part of the brand’s rapid expansion around the globe.

Situated in the 1930s Bungehuis building, built as a trading office and previously part of the University of Amsterdam, Soho House has 79 rooms ranging from Tiny to Extra Large. Those on the first floor come with original wall panelling, mosaic-tiled floors and restored art deco lighting.

Beyond the rooms, there is everything you’d expect from a Soho House outpost: a Cecconi’s restaurant, a Cowshed spa, gym, screening room, members’ club – even a rooftop pool with bar. Fittingly, there is space to park 75 bikes and a small workshop for repairs onsite.

Prices start at £250 for a non Soho House member or £190 for a member.

Book now

Best hotel for hipsters: Hotel V Nesplein

Neighbourhood: City centre

The Lobby restaurant and bar takes up the ground floor

Less than five minutes’ walk from Dam Square, you’ll find Hotel V Nesplein tucked down a narrow street filled with restaurants, bars and a theatre. First thing you’ll notice as you walk in is a massive chandelier dropped to about waist height. Most of the ground floor is taken up by The Lobby restaurant and bar, which is usually packed with a good mix of locals and visitors.

Upstairs there are 43 rooms across three categories; they offer a good amount of space and have a vintage feel with deep yellow walls and a few pieces of retro furniture. Breakfast is complimentary if you book directly through the hotel’s website. A small family-run brand, Hotel V has two additional properties in the city, one near the Albert Cuyp street market and one further southeast on Fizeaustraat.

Best hotel for maximalists: Hotel TwentySeven

Neighbourhood: City centre

Hotel TwentySeven has richly furnished interiors

Hotel TwentySeven isn’t just near Dam Square – it’s on Dam Square itself. The 16 suites can be found between the third and seventh floor of the Industria Building on the square’s southeast corner.

If minimalism isn’t for you, TwentySeven has you covered: rich golds, reds, and browns dominate, and every surface, including the walls and ceilings, adds a pattern, texture, or print to the mix. The Rooftop Stage Suite comes with a pitched roof and both a circular bed and huge circular window overlooking the city; several suites can be combined if you need more space. Restaurant Bougainville is on the third floor, plus there’s also a bar.

Best hotel for history buffs: NH Collection Doelen

Neighbourhood: De Wallen

NH Collection Doelen is one of the city's oldest hotels

Many a hotel in Amsterdam can lay claim to a long history, but NH Collection Doelen has been around the longest. Its origins trace all the way back to 1482 and the construction of a defence wall to ward off attacks from Utrecht, a city about an hour’s drive southeast.

Both Queen Victoria and Empress Sissi have stayed, as have the Beatles. Rembrandt’s Night Watch, displayed today in the city’s Rijksmuseum, was intended for a hall in this building, and a copy can be seen in the exact same spot where the original hung for many years. There are 83 rooms and suites in light colours and featuring white Carrara marble bathrooms; the suite favoured by Empress Sissi comes with an original tile-framed fireplace. Restaurant Bumbu Kitchen serves Indonesian-inspired cuisine.

Best hotel for East London cool: The Hoxton, Amsterdam

Neighbourhood: Grachtengordel-West

Hoxton Amsterdam

Bringing Shoreditch’s hip vibe to the upscale Herengracht canal, The Hoxton occupies five monumental buildings but retains a relaxed, homely feel. In the lobby, wooden floors and exposed brickwork create a backdrop for vintage accessories and mismatched armchairs scattered with ethnic cushions. Here locals mingle with guests, with the dress code as cool and laid-back as the decor. Upstairs in the bedrooms, the Art Deco-influenced styling continues. Each room is different, but many have canal views, and some have period features such as marble fireplaces, wood panelling or moulded ceilings. In such tranquil surroundings, it’s hard to believe that Dam Square is just a five-minute walk.

Best hotel for homesick Scots: The Highlander

Highlander

Neighbourhood: City centre

This rebranded hotel – formerly the Citadel Hotel – gets its Scottish-sounding name from its Dutch owners, the Hooglands, but nevertheless features tartan decor in abundance. With the pretty canal district to the hotel’s rear, and the red light district a few streets in front, guests are well placed to see both sides of Amsterdam’s split personality. This duality is reflected in the interior design, with smart velvet furnishings sitting alongside quirky urban art. The 31 rooms come in six colour themes to suit a variety of tastes. The pink rooms are perhaps the most romantic, but the rooms on the top floor have a fresh, bright feel and afford the best views.

Neighbourhood: De Wallen

Misc Eatdrinksleep

Flamboyant wallpaper, colourful frescos and flea-market finds make up the eye-popping, but cosy, interior of this quirky hotel located in a 17th century property on one of Amsterdam’s oldest canals. A steep staircase takes you to six themed rooms which vary wildly in style – from the opulent Baroque room with its jacquard drapes and chandelier, to the starker Design room, inspired by the Dutch De Stijl movement. There’s a Rembrandt room too – unsurprising since this area was once his main stomping ground, and many key historical landmarks, such as the Rembrandt House Museum, are within a five-minute walk. At night, cocktail connoisseurs gather at the hotel’s intimate bar, where a mysterious drinks menu of taste ‘experiences’ is served to seated guests only. When hunger bites, Chinatown is so close you can smell it.

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