My favorite Hotels in Amsterdam
After visiting Amsterdam for a few years and staying in Airbnb flats to be closer to locals and absorb their culture as much as possible, I began to explore different hotels. Partly because my previous 20-year work as a Public Relations (some of those dedicated to hospitality) required me to take every traveling opportunity to learn more about the business.
The experience began in the 5-star Conservatorium, that belongs to The Set group - very well located, right beside Vondelpark. This is a listed building, where the city’s old music conservatory used to work. For those who like large hotels, offering a large range of luxury and comfort, it is one the best options in the city, if not the very best. Without a doubt, the highlight of the experience was the gourgeous Spa, the most complete in the city. The Spa’s name is Akasha, which means earth, water, fire and air in Sanskrit. It is 12.000 square feet of delightfulness: seven treatment rooms, pools, saunas, Jacuzzis. The Day Use for visitors (which costs between €50 and €75, depending on the selection) is a great choice to enjoy the hotel’s gorgeous gym.
On a more intimist note, the Pulitzer Hotel dazzled me with its unassuming charm and very polite staff. It is located by one of Amsterdam’s most beautiful canals. My first experience was not as a guest. I had lunch there at the contemporary Jansz, and, in the evening, I spent hours sipping excellent drinks prepared by the great bartenders at the hotel’s Bar. Elegant, cozy, a must . If you plan on being a guest – and no one regrets it – try meeting the dear and experienced concierge Ron Stoevelaar. He not only knows the city like the back of his hand, but gives assertive tips to every type of guest.
It is worth noting that the Pulitzer was founded in the 1960s by the award creator’s grandson. To begin the project, he acquired 12 old houses by the Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht canals.
Just like in the Pulitzer, my first experience at Hoxton Hotel was as a visitor. Following some friends’ recommendation, I went to enjoy its famous Sunday brunch. The very cool and modern décor at the hotel entrance won me over. It is full of young people from around the world, and from Holland too, and it has a trendy and friendly staff. The restaurant is delicious and works connected to the bar all day long (there is a great selection of drinks made with gin); the breakfast, as oposed to the usual, is not served in the restaurant. Inside each bedroom, guests find a cute little bag where they choose what they want (bananas, juice, milk) and the time they want it delivered. It is already included in the daily rate and is left at your bedroom door every morning. Such a smart idea! A tip: the bikes at Hoxton can be rented daily at no cost! Enjoy the ride! A note: the Hoxton chain has just opened a unit in Paris, following the same standards of a modern, contemporary hotel, with a lively lobby bar. In Amsterdam, it was innaugurated in 2015, where the former Hotel Rembrandt operated, which became obsolete in service and decoration.
Do not miss the Amstel Hotel: it is part of the city’s history, and any Amsterdam inhabitant can confirm this. They all highly respect the hotel’s grandeur and for what it represents in the history of Holland’s hospitality. This is where kings, queens, celebrities, socialites and great businessmen stay, and since 2016 it has been celebrating its 150th anniversary. It is one of those hotels that do not give up an impeccable and luxurious service.
Its entrance is imponent, all covered with marble, with double ceilings and classic furniture. For many, many years, its restaurant La Rive kept a Michelin star, but unfortunately, it was lost in 2016. That did not make the restaurant lose its charm or discourage its clientele, eager for the tables decorating the terrace and sought after on sunny days. If you are in the city for one day, go and try the delicious options the menu offers for the afternoon tea at the Amstel Brasserie, where I tasted the most remarkable carrot cake of my life.
My last hotel experience in the city could not have surprised me more. Founded by Alfred Freddy Heineken (icon of the world brewing industry), the Hotel de L’Europe was built in 1896, and offers a hotel service with heart, cordiality and international standards (for over 30 years, it has been part of the strict hotel chain Leading Hotels of the World). Despite being large, it does not lack the small details and gestures of an efficient and careful team that many times is unconspicuous. Most of its rooms have an astonishing view to the Amstel river, as does the very beautiful Michelin Bord’Eau restaurant and the more casual Hoofstad Brasserie bistro, where a jazz band performs daily at the happy hour.