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OVERVIEW

Nestled in the corner of a park, Hotel Arena is housed east of the centre in a bright, roomy building full of historic features and minimalist design. It has large, comfortable guest rooms and at its heart, there's a lively restaurant/bar area looking out onto a terrace and lots of greenery.


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Rooms available from £137.95 per night

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OUR REVIEW

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

The hotel is set back from the street and overlooks pleasant Oosterpark, just east of the city centre. Shops, cafés and restaurants are nearby. The Tropenmuseum is a ten-minute walk, and the Artis Natura (zoo) is a little further. The city centre is 20 minutes by tram. Bar Bukowski, a four-minute walk, is a funky, urban cafe and cocktail bar with a terrace, while Restaurant Elkaar (eight minutes) serves modern Dutch cuisine.

By train: the Eurostar goes direct from London St Pancras to Amsterdam Centraal. The hotel is a 10-minute taxi ride from the station. Book trains to Amsterdam.

By plane: direct flights from London and Manchester take around 1 hour 15 minutes. The hotel is a 20-minute drive from Schiphol airport and a 10-minute drive from central station. Parking costs €35 per day. Book flights to Amsterdam.

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THE LOOK AND FEEL

Originally an orphanage, then an old people's home and more recently a backpacker's hostel, there's a 1960s/70s Scandinavian feel throughout the building now, especially at the restaurant/bar area, with its big bar with light leather chairs, fire pit, stripped wood ceiling and abundance of plants hanging from the ceiling and lining the walls. There's also an industrial vibe going on, with polished concrete floors and some black metal. There's always a buzzing atmosphere here, with constant chatter and cocktails being shaken, against a backdrop of soft soulful music. A brick-floor courtyard leads to the park.

THE FACILITIES

The hotel is light on facilities (there's just one restaurant/bar, no business centre, spa, pool or fitness centre, for example) but makes up for it in charm, attractiveness and its tranquil location. The large chapel will soon hold Friday party nights and other events and a new art gallery is in the making. Service is polite, efficient and friendly.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Art gallery
  • Bike rental
  • On-site parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

BED AND BATH

Every room is individually designed, with some having a mezzanine, and also some loft and villa rooms. The furniture promotes a subtle 1960s and 1970s Scandinavian feel, and guest rooms are minimalist with white walls. Typically there's a big, comfy bed and a desk for working. Some rooms look onto the park, others onto garden courtyards.

Room types: Comfy, Super Comfy, Suite, The Loft, The Villa, The Top Suite

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, hairdryer, kettle, seating area, flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi

FOOD AND DRINK

Glass-walled, pavilion-style Park restaurant/bar boasts excellent park views. Menu choices are quite small, typically five starters and five mains for dinner. They're sometimes surprising, for example, poached egg and asparagus seem more like a breakfast dish than an evening meal, but the food is very tasty all the same. There's a good buffet choice for breakfast, and the bar serves up a good selection of house cocktails, beers and wines.

Bar & Restaurant: garden-themed restaurant and terrace. International cuisine, locally-sourced produce. Serving light bites and large plates. All-day menu, open daily.

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