A city steeped in history, Amsterdam's many hotels give visitors a taste of the city's rich past, such as properties housed in former monasteries or former schools.
This article published with permission from Oyster Blog.
Amsterdam may be famous for its red light district and its friendly stance on marijuana, but the capital of the Netherlands has much more to offer. A city steeped in history, Amsterdam is home to beautiful historic buildings, numerous parks, fields of tulips that bloom in the spring, about 40 museums, and a system of canals and bridges that rivals (and in fact, is larger than) the one in Venice.
Many of the city’s hotels give visitors a taste of the city’s rich past, such as properties housed in former monasteries or former schools.
Vondelpark & Museum Quarter
The Conservatorium Hotel delivers a true five-pearl experience in Amsterdam's residential Museum Quarter. It's housed in a 100-year-old former bank building, and the hotel's warm, modern design melds seamlessly with the structure; the stunning atrium lobby, for example, is industrial-chic, featuring wood, brick and glass. The gorgeous rooms, big, modern fitness center, stylish indoor pool and lovely spa are highlights.
It's a premier choice for luxury travelers looking to trade a central location for added space and quiet.
Sofitel Legend the Grand Amsterdam
The Sofitel is an upscale property in the heart of the Old Center. The building has a rich history; it has been both a 15th century convent and a city hall. The 177 rooms are contemporary and homey (though some are on the small side) and feature Nespresso machines, flat-screen TVs and wonderful beds. Bathrooms are sleek, and most have walk-in showers.
Hotel features include a high-end spa with indoor heated pool, a modern fitness center, and Bridges Restaurant with a canal-side garden terrace for dining al fresco.
The College Hotel
The College Hotel is a sensuous, intimate four-pearl option in the Museum Quarter. It is appropriately named — not only because it is housed in a historic school building, but because most of the staff members are hospitality students in training.
Features are few — there's no fitness center or spa on-site — but there is a popular Bar & Lounge with a fireplace where afternoon tea is served, as well as a fine dining restaurant. The public spaces wow with their sultry sophistication, but rooms aren't quite as luxurious.
The Convent Hotel Amsterdam
The Convent Hotel Amsterdam is a friendly 148-room hotel with a unique history: It previously housed two monasteries from the 13th and 14th centuries.
The beautiful entrance makes way to a comfortable but chain-like lobby, while The Duke of Windsor bar has a cozy "Orient Express" theme. Guest rooms are clean, though a bit outdated in decor, and have modern touches such as flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, minibars and free Wi-Fi. Beds come with soft pillow-top mattresses, and windows let in lots of natural light.
Lovers of original craftsmanship can request a room with a vaulted wood-beamed ceiling.
The Dylan Amsterdam
The Dylan is a stylish, upscale boutique housed in a historic 17th-century building with a lovely courtyard. The 41 rooms are split into six different styles, ranging from lofts with cathedral ceilings to all-white rooms to Asian-inspired spaces. All rooms have high-end amenities including Bose sound systems, stocked minibars, and Zenology toiletries.
A cozy lounge, two bars, a brasserie and a lovely courtyard with heat lamps are all draws, but the real highlight here is the Michelin-star Vinkeles restaurant, which serves contemporary French cuisine in an exclusive space with just a handful of tables.
This romantic boutique hotel near the Anne Frank House has historical significance: It was once used as a safe house in WWII. The Toren family bought the property in 1968 and expanded it over time to include additional accommodations along the Keizersgracht canal.
Though each room is unique, they are decorated with the same sophisticated Toren touch combining rich hues, chandeliers, and ceiling paintings. There is a cozy bar on-site, and the hotel is affiliated with Christophe -- an acclaimed restaurant around the corner that delivers directly to guest rooms.
Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy
The Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy is an almost ominous presence on the waterfront of the Upmarket Eastern Docklands — a slightly foreboding building with a quirky interior. The hotel itself has an unusual history — built in 1921, it was first used as an emigrant hotel and then as a prison before being converted into art studios and, finally, refurbished into a hotel in 2004.
Amenities include a trendy bright-red bar, a ceiling-high gift shop, and meeting and exhibition spaces. Outside, visitors can walk to a handful of transportation options, which will be necessary to get to the heart of the city.
Sandton Hotel de Filosoof
Vondelpark & Museum Quarter
Calling all non-conformists — this quirky hotel in the residential Voldelpark area has 38 rooms and suites based on unique philosophical and/or cultural themes. Taking residence in a few 19th century buildings, every detail — down to the steep spiral staircase — has oodles of character.
Whom will Sandton Hotel de Filosoof appeal to? For twenty-something couples who prefer to avoid the sterile chain hotels and gravitate toward the unusual, this is ideal. Each room has a distinct color scheme, and amateurish artwork to boot.