Amsterdam's top hotel hotspots
Over the last five years, some incredibly interesting hotel concepts have been developed in Amsterdam, not only accommodating the growing number of tourists but also providing a space for locals to work, eat, drink and play.
These hotels go beyond the remit of providing a bed and a breakfast (although they do tick these boxes). They show some cool extras that attract both tourists and residents alike.
The Selected Six
In this selection you’ll notice a mixture of boutique hotels to the polar opposite community concept, where the area of accommodation almost levels the area of communal spaces. And of course it’s no surprise that the price matches the exclusivity...
› Volkshotel (2015)
Once home to De Volkskrant, one of the Netherland’s biggest newspapers, Volkshotel has been repurposed with multiple functions: an affordable hotel (with some "special" less affordable rooms!), basement club Doka, a rooftop bar-restaurant called Canvas, rooftop hot tubs and sauna, co-working spaces, artists-in-residence and regular events.
Dutch designer Bas van Tol redesigned 163 standard hotel rooms, leaving nine special rooms to others that entered an open call to design rooms with a specific theme.
Room 305, designed by Jos Blom and Jasper Eustace, is considered the most adventurous of the nine, and is named Edmund after the explorer Edmund Hillary. A central wooden structure, inspired by mountains, houses a double bed, a shower and, on top, a bath surrounded by a landscape of cacti.
› The Hoxton (2015)
Five canal houses on Herengracht make up The Hoxton, which houses 111 rooms over five floors. Having had success with two hotels in central London, the concept expands to Amsterdam, with added perks of canal-side views (on both sides) and a building with monumental features and a very central location - what more could you want?
Well, starting from the top, literally, you get affordable rooms, a restaurant, a rooftop mezzanine coffee and cocktail den, the lobby bar, meeting and event spaces. Downstairs there’s a restaurant called Lotti’s, run by Soho House & Co.
› Farlada Crane Hotel (2015)
This is an odd addition to the list, but Farlada Crane Hotel shows the experimental nature of hotel design in Amsterdam. It takes a little more effort to get to - you have to take a ferry to NDSM Werf, a 15 minute free ride from the ferry depot at Central Station.
Once you arrive, you really can’t miss it, stretching 50 metres in the sky, you’ll notice a boutique hotel which has three spacious high-end luxury themed suites located from 35 metres upwards.
Right at the top, there’s a hot tub where you can enjoy views over the city. Another cool addition is a professional TV Studio which is 15 metres high, ideal for events, festivals, meetings, music and TV recordings.
It probably won’t come as a surprise that you can also rope jump off the building for a mere 85 euros extra!
› Hotel Not Hotel (2014)
Located in Amsterdam West, Hotel Not Hotel definitely plays with the idea of a traditional hotel by housing a series of individually designed "rooms" that are arranged within a big living room environment.
Design collective Collaboration-O, artist Arno Coene and his partner Iris Roskam, and the hotel owners came up with the concept for this hotel. One of the rooms is called Amsterdam Tram Cart where an old tram cart has been restored to house a king-size bed with some extras. The hotel feels like a gallery space, where the rooms are considered artwork.
› Hotel Droog (2012)
This choice really falls on the boutique side of the scale. Set right in the centre on one of Amsterdam’s cobbled streets, Hotel Droog presents itself as a "hospitality experience" where you can come for a drink or a bite to eat, shop, exhibitions, fashion, a walk in the garden, and a bed for the night in "The One and Only Bedroom".
The hotel room is at the very top of the three-storey 17th century building and comprises a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living area.
› Hotel The Exchange (2011)
Another one for the boutique scale is this independent fashion hotel Hotel The Exchange which offers rooms ranging from one to five stars, designed with the concept of a "hotel with rooms dressed as models" in mind. In collaboration with Café STOCK, the hotel is situated right in the centre on the Damrak.
Suzanne Oxenaar and Otto Nan, together with the Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy in Amsterdam and the Llove Hotel in Tokyo designed the concept. They collaborated with eight students from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute to create series of rooms inspired by past and present fashions. 20mt-long necklaces are draped around the hotel and room designs include a 1980s rainbow theme.
An interesting aspect found in some of these examples is the attention to work space, most notably The Hoxton and Volkshotel. These hotels encourage co-working, supporting the locals as well as the tourists in their needs.
Tourists are also given the opportunity to interact with locals without needing to leave their hotels - great for one of those rainy days in Amsterdam!
Cover photo courtesy of Hotel Not Hotel