Hotels

Book the best places to stay in Amsterdam – from luxury to boutique and B&B

Hotels

The best hotels in Amsterdam

From boutique barracks to waterborne way stations, here’s our pick of the best places to lay your head

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Amsterdam’s best boutique hotels

The Dylan

Outrageous elegance are the key words here. Guests are made to feel like superstars - even the odd bona fide star drops in from time to time too - and lodge in colour-coded chromatherapy rooms designed to enhance the mood, like zingy raspberry, Zen-like black or toasty turmeric. Every detail, from chef Dennis Kuipers' North African-inspired menu to the careful alignment of the cushions in the public areas, is well thought through by the owners.

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Seven one Seven

This rather well-kept secret of a hotel is the opposite of the grand gestures of the Amstel hotel, and the epitome of understated glamour. It's a small, flower-filled building that places emphasis on searching the globe for the best accoutrements - linens from the USA, bespoke blankets from Wales, box-spring mattresses from London. There is afternoon tea every day, and a patio for summer breakfasts or general lounging. Guests are the type that shed their euros on antiques in the Spiegelkwartier.

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Lloyd Hotel

This former youth prison has been re-invented as one- to five-star accommodation complete with a new 'cultural embasssy'. Fitting in nicely in this harbour neighbourhood which has always been famed for its modern residential architecture, Lloyd features the work of hotshot Dutch designers, Atelier van Lieshout and Marcel Wanders.

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Vondel

Another hidden gem near museums and upmarket shopping opportunities, this thoroughly chic place is covered with art and boasts a lovely decked garden. Rooms, ranging from small to huge along with a junior and family suite, are thoroughly designer driven, with Burberry-checked blankets, chandeliers and swanky bathrooms. Unusually for such a trendy hotel, families are positively encouraged, which marks it out from snootier establishments.

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The best budget hotels and hostels in Amsterdam

Hotels

Amstel Botel

Convenient for Centraal Station, the docklands and hops across to Noord, this a good bet if you're looking for good, clean accommodation with the odd frill, like free in-house movies. Unless you are fooled by their 'luxury' rooms boast and come expecting the QEII, you'll be perfectly satisfied. The bar has long opening hours (from 9am to after midnight) and games like pinball and pool, plus a jukebox - ideal for pacifying youngsters on rainy days. Be warned that major renovations in the area mean that views aren't quite as watery or relaxing as they have been.

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CitizenM

Welcome to the future of hotels: the shipping container at CitizenM. Due to the housing shortage in Amsterdam, local students have long been living in these humble units, but it's safe to say that CitizenM was the first initiative to utilise them as the basis for a 'budget luxury' designer hotel. CitizenM's initiator is Rattan Chadha, who left his role as founder and CEO of Amsterdam-based clothing chain Mexx to cover the globe with shipping container hotels. The first opened at Schiphol Airport in 2008 and was the result of a partnership with advertisers KesselsKramer, who commissioned local design gurus Concrete to style it, and Philips to do the technology. This newer branch, near the Zuidas business district, is on the outskirts of the city centre but is well served by public transport, meaning you can be in postcard territory within minutes. The idea was to strip things down to the bare essentials: 14 square-metre (150-square-foot) rooms are created and assembled off-site, and have wall-to-wall windows, a shower pod, a toilet pod, a king-size bed with luxury linens, flatscreen TV, and a 'mood pad', which controls all of the above plus the lights and temperature. The resulting accommodation is surprisingly comfortable. While the branding is aimed at the new young, global jet-set class, so far it seems that traditional business travellers are keen to make use of CitizenM in the name of taking advantage of a (relative) bargain. Meanwhile, if the lobby feels like a Vitra

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Restaurants

Greenhouse Effect

This snug shop is shaped like a long, sleek train carriage with a polished interior and high-quality ganja. It tends to fill up fast, but they have a separate space operating a similar policy under the same name next door. There you'll find a full bar, regular DJs and, if the drink and dope combination renders you immobile, a good variety of hotel rooms upstairs. Across the street is Getto, arguably the single best gay/straight-friendly bar in town, where the green smoke is also allowed.

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Ibis Amsterdam Centre

If you're arriving in town late or leaving first thing, this place is ideal, not only because it's as close to the railway station as it's physically possible to be without actually being in it, but also because the bar is open 24 hours and breakfast begins at an eyelid-drooping 4am. There's no fancy business here - just the reliable Ibis formula of basic but comfortable rooms and reasonable facilities, plus their 'Fifteen Minute Satisfaction' promise: if a problem isn't sorted out in a quarter of an hour, your stay is free. Other branches of the Ibis hotel chain in Amsterdam are located at Valkenburgerstraat 68 (531 9135) near the Stopera, on Transformatorweg 36 (581 1111), and also at Schipholweg 181 (502 5100) in Badhoevedorp.

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