Nestled amid the canals of Amsterdam’s hip Jordaan neighborhood, Canal House’s romantic facade promises dark, dust-laden rooms packed with antiques, but such promises will mostly go unfulfilled. The hoteliers—also behind a handful of acclaimed boutique hotels in the UK—resisted the urge. Well, about everything except the dark rooms: decked out in rich leather and velvet furnishings, with hardwood floors and original wood beams, there’s no denying that the rooms at these two 17th-century, canalside merchant houses are atmospheric and sultry. But they’re also undeniably modern, with star Dutch designer Marcel Wanders’ avant-garde artwork adorning walls and clean-lined furniture straight out of a gallery. The Great Room and its adjoining bar—a winding collection of rooms of low tables where guests gather for drinks and board games at all hours—are mildly more traditional in their inflection, with Dutch Golden Age paintings and gilded chandeliers. The real star, though, is the hotel’s garden, a surprising rarity in so green a city. Central Amsterdam is just outside the front door, but no one would blame you for whiling away the hours out here, lounging in the modern black patio furniture under the shade of a maple tree.
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At the north end of Keizersgracht, Canal House sits amid historic Amsterdam’s picturesque canals, tempting Instagrammers at every turn. The surrounding, trendy Jordaan neighborhood is packed with shops, restaurants, and bars, and sights like the Anne Frank House are just around the corner, on Prinsengracht, one of Amsterdam’s main central canals. The neighboring Negen Straatjes (or Nine Streets) area is home to some of the city’s best shopping, filled with hip little boutiques. Rent bicycles to explore the city like a local, or hop on a canal bus to zip down to the Museumplein, home to the recently reopened Rijksmuseum.
Need to Know
Rooms: 23 rooms. From $226. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options:An extensive breakfast buffet (included in all stays) is served each morning in the refined Great Room, an intimate, private club–like room of wood panels, mirrored walls, large windows, and leather banquettes; drinks and light bites can be ordered here throughout the day. Snacks, coffee, and wine are available at all hours in the adjacent bar, a sultry affair of black leather sofas and gilded ceilings. Spa and gym details: The hotel has neither a gym nor a spa, but in-room spa treatments can be arranged, and the front desk can provide running and biking maps.
Who's it best for: Couples on a romantic weekend getaway. Our favorite rooms:All rooms in these historic houses are slightly different, but the canal-facing Exceptional Rooms strike the perfect balance of postcard-perfect views and plenty of space to make oneself at home. Visit the garden: After a few hours of sightseeing, the hotel’s leafy and serene garden is the perfect place to unwind with a glass of rosé and a good book, and its intimate, frescoed Summer House—a two-seat pavilion—is ideal for a romantic aperitif.