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From cheap and cheerful to luxury, discover the best places to lay your head in Amsterdam

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Amsterdam accommodation has always been in short supply but all that may be set to change. Some of the best hotels in Amsterdam cluster around particular districts: the Museum Quarter and the Canals district have plenty, whereas the Pijp and Jordaan, alas, contain only a few hotels. A general rule of thumb has been to avoid those Amsterdam hotels near Central Station, but this may soon become a thing of the past: see the arrival of the swanky new art'otel just across the tracks.


Despite the downturn, new luxury hotels seem to be popping up everywhere recently. For example, Conservatorium is located in a former conservatory and Sir Albert in a former diamond factory. These two exhibit a local pattern whereby existing buildings are revamped in favour of construction from scratch. These hotels may well have been inspired by the earlier successes of former shipping office Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam and former youth prison Lloyd Hotel. The management of the latter recently built on its success by opening a fashion hotel, The Exchange, in a prime central location where each room was designed by a local fashion designer.


One mid-market newcomer is the modern, multi-storey Mövenpick, which recently opened in the increasingly fashionable eastern docklands. Also close to Centraal Station, the rooftop bar of the DoubleTree by Hilton offers panoramic views over a city in which, contrary to popular belief, it can be pretty hard to get high.


The economy sector has been just as creative. After all, it's had to face some fierce competition from the likes of Airbnb and Couchsurfing which both proved popular in this town where its residents are both relaxed and hospitable. CitizenM - local folks with global ambitions - came up with their own unique solution: just stack up some shipping containers and rent them out as 'budget luxury' accommodation.


With water, water everywhere, it's only natural to want to float in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, there are surprisingly few options for a city awash with boat hotel potential. Amstel Botel, Ideaal II, Le Maroxidien and Frederic Rentabike are the best of the bunch. If you're looking for a houseboat to rent, check out www.houseboats.nl.


High end

Ambassade Hotel

  • Critics choice

This literary hotel arranged across ten canal houses is the place to bump in to your favourite author. Staff are discreet and attentive, and rooms - which stretch from single to suite to apartment - are decorated in Louis Quatorze style. Naturally there's a library,

  1. Herengracht 341, 1016 AZ
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American Hotel

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

A dazzling art nouveau monument that's looking extra spruce now that a fountain has been added to its terrace, the public areas here - like the magnificently buttressed Café Americain - are all eye-pleasers. Rooms, though - even the deluxe ones - are pretty cramped,

  1. Leidsekade 97, 1017 PN
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Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

The Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam occupies the fabulous structure on Prins Hendrikkade known locally as the Scheepvaarthuis or 'Maritime House'. It was on this building that many of the greatest names in Dutch modernism cut their teeth, and from which the signature

  1. Prins Hendrikkade 108-114
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Sofitel the Grand Amsterdam

  • Price band: 3/4

Steeped in centuries of history, this hotel began life as a staging post for royals in the Golden Age, and has also been Amsterdam's town hall. Near the epicentre of the Red Light District, guests nevertheless feel like they've been whisked a million miles away from

  1. Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197, 1012 EX
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Hotel Okura Amsterdam

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

This multi-storey, multi-tasking and very smart business-class stopover (the choice of Japan Airlines) has everything captains of industry need: a top-floor, top-of-the-range French restaurant, Le Ciel Bleu; a full-size pool and health club (open to non-guests);

  1. Ferdinand Bolstraat 333, 1072 LH
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Mid range

Amsterdam Marriott Hotel

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Right next to the green lungs of Amsterdam - the Vondelpark - the Marriott has just been given an overhaul, so it's goodbye to the dowdy green and brown gentleman's club styling and hello to soothing yellows and modern furnishings. All 392 rooms now come equipped with

  1. Stadhouderskade 12, 1054 ES
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Hotel Arena

  • Critics choice

Another multi-purpose venue, these beautiful buildings were once an orphanage, before changing into a youth hostel. From there, it was only a short step to becoming a trendy hotel, bar and restaurant. Big city folk, used to long treks, will laugh at its accessibility,

  1. 's Gravesandestraat 51
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Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Big, tall and glamorous, this stripy, stone-coloured hotel is brand spanking new and a great base for exploring the Waterfront and Noord on the banks opposite. Rooms are decorated in soothing greys and woods; pricier ones grant access to an executive lounge - free

  1. Piet Heinkade 11, 1019 BR
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Park Plaza Victoria

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

A stalwart of the city hotel scene, the Victoria has recently been spruced up; the public areas (including lobby and bar) of this 300-roomed hotel opposite Centraal Station now look very dapper indeed, decked out in browns, creams and reds. Rooms themselves are of a

  1. Damrak 1-5
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Singel Hotel

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This medium-sized, 32-roomed building is ideally located for canal and Jordaan strolls and for arrival and departure by train - it's a five-minute walk from the station, and right next door to the beautiful, domed Koepel church. Inside its 17th-century walls, rooms are

  1. Singel 13-17, 1012 VC
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Boutique

Bilderberg Jan Luyken

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

One of the city's most stylish secrets, this place - complete with spa and a wine bar - is just a kitten-heeled skip away from the designer shops of PC Hooftstraat. Rooms are slickly done out in chocolate and caramel tones, with designer touches and wall-mounted CD

  1. Jan Luykenstraat 58, 1071 CS
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Seven one Seven

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

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,

  1. Prinsengracht 717, 1017 JW
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Lloyd Hotel

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

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

  1. Oostelijke Handelskade 34
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Vondel

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

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

  1. Vondelstraat 28-30, 1054 GE
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The Dylan

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

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

  1. Keizersgracht 384, 1016 GB
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Budget

Amstel Botel

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

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,

  1. NDSM Werf Pier 3
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Ibis Amsterdam Centre

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

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

  1. Stationsplein 49, 1012 AB
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CitizenM

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

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

  1. Prinses Irenestraat 30
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Flying Pig Downtown

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Not so much a hostel, more a way of life, and a stalwart of the Interrailing scene. Young (they don't accept guests over 40 - or under 16) backpackers flock here from around the world, as much for the social life as the accommodation. You can see why: the hostel

  1. Nieuwendijk 100, 1012 MR
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Greenhouse Effect

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Planning on immersing yourself in cannabis culture? Then this is just the place to rest your addled head. Perched above the coffeeshop of the same name on the fringes of the Red Light District, there are plenty of druggie draws in the area. Some rooms have shared

  1. Warmoesstraat 55, 1012 HW
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