The Best Hotels in Amsterdam

Canals, culture, and cannabis are just a few of the reasons Amsterdam, the capital of the Dutch Golden Age, remains one of Europe’s most popular cities. Two of the must-visit Amsterdam museums include the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum. After visiting one or both, step into one of the hundreds of coffee shops—legal marijuana dispensaries—with the more well-known ones located in the Red Light District.

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.
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.
Nieuwe Doelenstraat 2-14, 1012 CP Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The imposing De L’Europe—one of Amsterdam’s original luxury hotels, a holdover from the late 19th century’s age of Grand Tours and neoclassical architecture—has been thoughtfully restored in keeping with its opulent history and The Netherlands’ artistic tradition. The hotel, a red-and-white brick landmark crowning the intersection of the Amstel River and several canals, bridges old and new visions of luxury. Its extensive art collection, consisting of both originals and copies of Dutch Masters, is curated in conjunction with the Rijksmuseum; many pieces were in the collection of Dutch brewing magnate Alfred “Freddy” Heineken, whose family owns the hotel. The museum-caliber artwork can be found not only throughout the see-and-be-seen common areas but also in many of the rooms, especially those in the gallery-like addition, known as the Dutch Masters Wing.

The 48 rooms and 63 suites have decadent touches, including Carrara marble bathrooms with heated floors, personal iPads, and Coco-Mat beds. But De L’Europe’s crowning attraction may actually be outside: A wraparound terrace offers waterfront dining overlooking the historic city, and many of the best rooms have private balconies with views of the rooftops. When hunger strikes, guests can head to the Michelin-starred Restaurant Bord’Eau or Bib Gourmand winner Marie, then grab a nightcap in the luxurious lobby lounge. For rest and relaxation, the hotel also features a spa with bespoke treatments, an infrared sauna, and a Turkish steam bath.
Professor Tulpplein 1, 1018 GX Amsterdam, Netherlands
An Old World grande dame of the 19th-century tradition, the InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam presides over the Amstel River from its waterfront perch at the eastern edge of the original city. An imposing example of a Dutch take on French Renaissance Revival architecture of the period, the hotel—known initially as the Amstel Hotel—was conceived of by well-to-do Amsterdam doctor Samuel Sarphati to attract wealthy Grand Tour–goers to the struggling city. Since then, dignitaries from Queen Elizabeth II to former President Bill Clinton, and celebrities from Audrey Hepburn to George Clooney, have entered the imposing lobby—with its grand staircase, marble columns, and gilded chandeliers—and taken up residence in its opulent suites.

While in its latest iteration the hotel has updated itself in all the right ways, it still offers each guest the superlative but understated service that such royals (of both state and silver screen) would expect, down to the private butler service that comes with each room. The current French-inspired decor channels the building’s original architecture and includes romantic hand-drawn wallpaper in bedrooms. The unfussy, seasonal cuisine and craft cocktails in the restaurants and bars infuse the traditional space with modern sensibilities. Even the health club has its feet in both past and present: The thoroughly modern facilities were inspired by one of the forefathers of physiotherapy, who took up residence in the hotel and treated such distinguished clients as Empress Elisabeth of Austria there.
Albert Cuypstraat 2-6, 1072 CT Amsterdam, Netherlands
Who is Sir Albert? This issue might perplex the uninitiated because the hotel and its staff insist that the mysterious aristocrat transformed his private mansion into a collection of sleek and fashionable pieds-à-terre for the international cognoscenti who come to Amsterdam. In reality, the 19th-century red-brick building was once a diamond factory, built to be so sturdy that the trams wouldn’t shake it, and, while that rich history is reflected in some of the angular and clean-lined decor, it’s more fun to imagine that a wealthy eccentric has designed the stylish and spacious rooms and left you in the hands of a staff used to realizing whims before they’re even imagined.

The rooms themselves are indulgent in a minimalist way, with dashes of both Japanese modernism and midcentury Scandinavian design in the black wooden floors, oversized white soaking tubs, and all the latest technology; clearly, Sir Albert is well traveled. He also must have a taste for authentic Japanese cuisine, considering the house restaurant is inspired by traditional Japanese pubs and attracts discerning foodies and hip young locals alike. He clearly travels in trendy circles, considering his house’s location in lively De Pijp; his appreciation for art, too, is evident in the proximity to the Museumplein.
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197, 1012 EX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Originally a 15th-century convent, followed by stints as the headquarters of the Dutch Admiralty and Amsterdam’s town hall, the Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam—or simply, The Grand—presides over the heart of the old city. With its imposing brick facade flanked by canals and its location within a stone’s throw of Dam Square and De Oude Kerk, The Grand would be a legend even without Sofitel’s designation. The majestic entrance courtyard hasn’t changed since its construction in the 17th century—a fact that’s reinforced by the hotel’s horse-drawn carriage, which offers guests a different way to explore the city center—and even before the building became a hotel, landmark figures in European history stayed on site, including William of Orange.

While today’s interiors are starkly modern, the designers alluded to the hotel’s storied past in the decor and textiles featured in the 177 rooms and suites, which overlook either the interior courtyard and gardens or the canals, and come with touches like rainshowers and signature MyBed mattresses. The private Canal House Suites—especially popular with the dignitaries and celebrities who frequent the hotel—may appear boldly contemporary, but accents like round windows and wood-beamed ceilings hint at their past as the private homes of Dutch admirals. The hotel’s five dining options include the Michelin-starred Bridges restaurant—set in what was once the town hall’s canteen—as well as the casual, all-day Bridges Bistro, traditional Flying Dutchman café, sophisticated Library D’Or lobby lounge, and peaceful Garden Terrace. The two-floor SO Spa houses a gym, heated indoor pool, wet area with Turkish hammam, and treatment rooms for French-inspired services.
Prinsengracht 315, 1016 GZ Amsterdam, Netherlands
One could argue that the Pulitzer Amsterdam isn’t actually one hotel. Before 1960, each of its 25 buildings was an individual, 17th- or 18th-century merchant canal house. Painstaking renovations over the years have guaranteed that each room feels distinct, maintaining original architectural details from each house, such as arched windows, exposed beams, and friezes. And, from the outside, each house still looks separate, so that the glamorous, art-filled hotel blends right into its surroundings, seeming to be just another of the neighborhood’s picturesque historic buildings.

The recently restored hotel has entrances on and views over two of the city’s main canals—Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht—with a tranquil garden in the middle. The 225 guest rooms blend traditional and modern Dutch craftsmanship and service, while the authentic restaurant and bar showcase local flavors. Located in the heart of Amsterdam’s historic city center, the hotel is within easy reach of the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, Van Gogh Museum, and the Anne Frank House. It’s also a quick walk, bike, or boat ride to the fashionable Nine Streets, the quaint shops of Jordaan, the flower market, and the Royal Palace.
Herengracht 542-556, 1017 CG Amsterdam, Netherlands
When the Waldorf Astoria opened its Amsterdam outpost in 2014, the iconic brand took six 17th- and 18th-century canal houses—two of which used to be official residences for the mayor, and at least three of which have architectural details by iconic artists—and transformed them into a distinctively Dutch version of world-class luxury. Located in the heart of the historic city, on the picturesque Herengracht canal, the color palette that runs throughout the four eateries (one of which received two Michelin stars within seven months of opening) and the 93 refined rooms were lifted straight from Vermeer’s famous Girl With the Pearl Earring painting. Soothing shades of lapis lazuli and ochre harmoniously complement the views through the large, white-framed windows, whether of the canal or the lush interior garden. The Waldorf also brought the brand’s signature superlative service and decadent spa, guaranteeing that the Amsterdam iteration would be just as beloved by the international elite as the original New York hotel.
Herengracht 255, 1016 BJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
For its much-anticipated first outpost outside London, the hip Hoxton boutique hotel brand—named for the trendy hipster neighborhood of its first hotel—chose five 17th- and 18th-century townhouses (including a former mayoral residence) on the canals of the Dutch capital. The brand has a formula that works, but rather than impose its signature style on another city—colonial-style, if you will—the designers have done it the other way around, imposing the buildings’ architectural styles and the city’s aesthetic on the brand. Original parquet floors, beamed ceilings, and wood paneling infuse the midcentury leather furnishings, geometric mirrors, and creatively patterned subway-tiled bathrooms with a Dutch feel, while the turquoise of the canal outside is reflected in the paint. Two rooms have original ceiling frescoes, and five have (non-working) fireplaces. In the ways that count, The Hoxton is true to its brand, such as bespoke toiletries, a scenester restaurant, a trendy bar, and its signature daily breakfast bag with a banana, granola, and orange juice.
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