Boutique Accommodations in Amsterdam
If staying in a big hotel owned by a multinational hotel chain doesn’t float your boat, choose from numerous smaller boutique hotels in Amsterdam for a more authentic Dutch experience. In these intimate settings, you’re more likely to experience life as a local. On the con side, you may not enjoy 24/7 concierge services and might face lugging your suitcase up stairs that ascend at a nearly 90° angle to upper floors—a hallmark of historic buildings in Holland.
Van Baerlestraat 27, 1071 AN Amsterdam, Netherlands
Conservatorium has a fascinating past. It started as a bank and then became a music academy before renowned Italian designer Piero Lissoni transformed it into a hotel in 2012. The building itself harmoniously blends old and new, with modern steel beams and glass walls complementing original brickwork and wooden beams. The hotel houses one of the city’s largest and most decadent spas—a subterranean temple to holistic wellness, with its own hammam, Watsu pool, lap pool, and more. Its restaurants and bars are also among the trendiest and most highly acclaimed in the city. Upon arrival, each guest is assigned a personal host to offer recommendations, reservations, and historical tidbits.
Prinsengracht 587, Amsterdam
Once Amsterdam’s main public library, the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht looks like a 1970s block on the outside. But inside, renowned Dutch designer Marcel Wanders has transformed the space into a whimsical and grown-up homage to Alice in Wonderland. Decorated with oversized furnishings (including Wanders’ signature Tulip chairs and modern twists on chandeliers), Delft blue tilework and brocade upholstery (references to historic Dutch style), and avant-garde artwork, the design hotel hardly feels like part of a chain, even one as hip as the Andaz. Instead, with its serene herb garden full of quirky topiaries, a checkerboard mural, and chess-piece statues, the canalside hotel channels a fresh take on Amsterdam. But don’t worry, authentic Amsterdam is still out there—take the free bicycles for a spin along the waterways, and know that free snacks await you back in your room.
Herengracht 386, 1016 CJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
During Holland’s Golden Age, when spice trade with Asia and North Africa was booming, wealthy merchants built mansions along the expanding canal ring that became Amsterdam. Today the fashionable homes have been reincarnated as upscale offices, hotels and museums. With their striking gables and ornate gargoyles, the mansions create an odd, tilting landscape that was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2010. Since space was at a premium, the structures are long and narrow, with roof-high hooks that are still used to raise and lower furniture. Most have two entrances—one for the wealthy above ground, another for servants and tradespeople, who entered below—as well as beautiful rear gardens. The Canal House Museum (Het Grachtenhuis) reveals secrets of Holland in its heyday through displays showcasing the Canal Ring expansion. Other museums dedicated to preserving the heritage of 17th century canal-side living include Museum van Loon, once home to the co-founder of the Dutch East Indian Company, with a first floor piano and original coach house. There’s also Museum Geelvinck, owned by one of Amsterdam’s wealthiest families in the 17th century, featuring exhibits that reveal how other cultures touched Amsterdam. In addition, there are Sunday concerts at 16:45. To really experience canal-side living, book a room at the glam, antique-filled Canal House Hotel. Or stay at the acclaimed Pulitzer Hotel, an amalgam of 25 historic canal homes outfitted with modern amenities.
De Oude Molen 5, 1184 VW Amstelveen, Netherlands
Overlooking the Amstel River 10 miles southeast of Amsterdam, Lute Suites is a collection of seven three-story cottages on the grounds of a former gunpowder factory. A stay here is a bit like sleeping in a modern Alice in Wonderland, thanks to Dutch interior designer Marcel Wanders (artistic director of the innovative firm Moooi and frequently described as the next Philippe Starck). The wildest suite is number five, which includes coat hooks made from tea saucers, Moooi’s trademark creative lighting, and a freestanding bathtub that resembles a giant piece of soap. Book dinner at the hotel’s modern restaurant, also called Lute, and order the truffle soup, served with parmesan foam and a delicately cooked quail egg.
Staalstraat 7-A, 1011 JJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
What do you get when you combine a design gallery/store with a café, beauty salon, fashion boutique and rental apartment? Add it all up and it equates to Droog, a multifunctional space that melds a 160-square meter exhibition space with an airy dining room, a tearoom overlooking an outdoor garden and a single bedroom for overnight guests. “The concept of a hotel has been reversed,” says Renny Ramakers, co-founder and director of Droog. “Whereas a hotel is...mostly about sleeping, here we have enlarged and emphasized all the aspects that many hotels also offer and made them central to the experience—and it even has a room to sleep in.” Housed in a 17th century building in central Amsterdam, Droog showcases product design in exhibitions and lectures, and invites people to plug in as they choose. In the gallery, view the latest in international furniture design, art and fashion. Shop at the Droog Store, then refuel at RoomService by Droog, open for late breakfast, lunch, high tea and early dinner, or just drinks and snacks. Head to Cosmania to up your beauty game, shop for hip fashion at Kabinet and stock up on wellness products at Weltevree. On top floor, Hôtel Droog offers overnight guests a brightly-lit bedroom, bathroom with separate bath and shower, living area and kitchen. Perched in the aery enclave, enjoy a splendid view of Amsterdam rooftops and the city below.