Recent developments on the Amsterdam accommodation scene will suit all pockets.
Amsterdam has always had a shortage of accommodation but all that may be set to change. Hotels cluster around particular districts of Amsterdam: 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 is to avoid those near the station or Red Light District.
Despite the economic downturn, new luxury hotels seem to be popping up everywhere recently. For example, Conservatorium (Van Baerlestraat 27, 570 0000, www.conservatoriumhotel.com) is located in a former conservatory and Sir Albert (Stadhouderskade 25, 710 7265, www.siralberthotel.com) 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 successes earlier in the millennium 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 (Damrak 50, 523 00 80, www.hoteltheexchange.com), 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. Meanwhile in neighbouring Sloterdijk to the west, a hostel Meineger Hotel (Orlyplein 1, 808 0502, www.meininger-hotels.com) has been built in an abandoned office building.
The best way to experience the local version of Dutch hospitality is to stay in a B&B. Far from the dowdy seaside associations that the term conjures up, B&Bs are often designed to their stylish owners’ high specifications. However, be warned: if you’re on a budget, then bed-and-breakfasting is seldom the most economical option.
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.
If you prefer to camp then head to the relaxed but happening Camping Zeeburg (www.campingzeeburg.nl) just east of the city.
Credit card payment isn’t always accepted in this quaint old city, particularly in smaller places, so check first. A rate may or may not include the city tax of five per cent, which could be added on to your final bill. Most hotels have WiFi, but you may be charged extra for it. Before booking, it’s always worth checking for special deals on hotels’ own websites, or on more commercial hotel websites – www.tripadvisor.com or www.booking.nl (also in English) are good places to start.
The hotels reviewed by Time Out have been chosen for their location, because they offer value for money, or simply because they have true local character. Unless otherwise stated, the rates are for rooms with private bathrooms and include breakfast.
While every effort and care has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information here, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors it may contain. Before you go out of your way, we strongly advise you to phone ahead and check the particulars.