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Pulitzer Amsterdam

The historic Pulitzer Amsterdam spans 25 400-year-old canal houses, offering a modern representation of Amsterdam both past and present.

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Hotel 717 is as close as visitors can get to living in a classic Amsterdam canal house on the city’s top avenue, Prinsengracht. Read Indagare's review.

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Andaz Amsterdam

With a prime location on one of Amsterdam’s most historic canals, the Andaz features an eclectic décor and warm atmosphere. Read Indagare's review.

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College Hotel

Interiors at the College Hotel are stylish, with crisp fabrics, sleek furniture and mod light fixtures, and the forty rooms have flat-screen TVs and custom-made furniture, some of which is on the small side. The staff—made up, in keeping with the collegiate theme, of students from Holland’s most renowned hotel-management school—is friendly and eager to please. The only caveat is the location, in the more residential southern part of the city and removed from the central canal belt. According to several locals, the restaurant, which is in the school’s former gym, is worth a trip if you’re not staying there.

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Conservatorium Hotel

The first Design Hotel to open in Amsterdam, the Conservatorium Hotel has fantastic rooms and friendly, attentive service as well as a restaurant and bar that’s luring the city’s beautiful people.

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De L’Europe Amsterdam

Overlooking the beautiful Amstel river, the De L’Europe originally opened in 1896, and though its 111 rooms now feature millennial tech amenities such as iPads, flat screen televisions and Bose sound systems, the overall vibe is that of an old fashioned era. Crystal chandeliers deck the bright red lobby, where guests are greeted by top-hatted doormen. And while the hotel was once the place to see and be seen, the De L'Europe has since been surpassed by newer properties.

Thanks to a partnership with the Rijksmuseum, each room at the De L'Europe features a different reproduction of a Dutch Master hanging in the museum. The color scheme in rooms can range from a heavy black and red to a softer mix of florals, and feature somewhat corporate furnishings. The best accommodations are the canal-view rooms in a newly renovated section of the hotel.

Owned by the Heineken family, the De L’Europe has a bar, Freddy’s, where regulars as well as the Heinekens themselves gather for after-work drinks. Fine dining restaurant Bord’Eau also draws a crowd, but my personal favorite was Het Terras, the expansive outdoor terrace that’s ideal for sipping wine and watching boats on a warm afternoon. There is also an impressive gym as well as an indoor pool, both facing the river, and a spa.

Location-wise, the hotel sits directly in the city center. Although the blocks just around the hotel feel a bit busy, it’s an easy walk to sights, museums and restaurants as well as quieter neighborhoods to wander and admire the historic homes (best at dusk when lights come on and you get an architectural peep show). There’s also a private jetty for exploring the city via boat, a must for first-time visitors.

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The Estheréa's 93 rooms are modest in size but immaculate and feature pretty touches like bright wallpaper and reproduction antique furnishings. Bathrooms are snug (some showers remind of those on boats). Some rooms have more than one bed, ideal for families or friends traveling together. Service is personal as well as efficient (not always a given at family-run places), and afternoon tea and homemade cookies are set up daily in the somewhat dim lobby, which has plush couches and chaises. If you want the same view that you would get at the Dylan or Hotel Pulitzer for a fraction of the price, book a top-floor canal room. The hotel has few amenities but does have a small gym (although exploring the city on foot or bike is the best way to get exercise in Amsterdam).

Suite at InterContinental Amstel, Amsterdam, Netherlands

InterContinental Amstel

The Amstel is still the place where many of today’s high-profile travelers (royalty, politicians, celebrities) choose to stay when in town, and frankly, the location is best for those who have a driver. Despite its size, the hotel has just 79 spacious rooms and suites, all different in layout. The details are well done: each room is stocked with L’Occitane bath products and an Illy coffee maker; some boast walls covered in pastel toile de Jouy; old-world touches include whimsical Delft pottery and well-chosen antiques. The accommodations to get are the ones on the higher floors (there are five altogether) facing the Amstel river, which snakes by the property and, from some angles, makes it appear as if on its own little island. Ask for romantic suite 422, tucked under the roof, with amazing views from four small window nooks; and Penthouse Suite 414, a red duplex extravaganza with round windows. But even a standard room like the well-laid-out No. 106, on the first floor, has high ceilings and a nice river view.

The river plays an important role in many of the common spaces as well. There’s something magical about watching the afternoon melt into the early evening, when the water sparkles with hundreds of small light reflections, while seated in the Amstel’s main lounge. It’s a great spot for a cocktail if you’re heading to De Kas restaurant, a fifteen-minute taxi ride southeast. Another draw for families or serious swimmers is the beautiful health club, which has a sunken pool facing a long floor-to-ceiling window so that, floating in the serene space, you’re eye-to-eye with the river.

Be sure to take advantage of the concierge, a charming, plugged-in Amsterdammer who can arrange everything from private canal tours to tickets for performances at the Concertgebouw. He also prides himself on staying abreast of new openings and current hot spots—an unexpected bonus from such an old-school institution.

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The Dylan Amsterdam

Opened in 1999 as Blakes, the Dylan was designed by the brilliant Brit Anouska Hempel (of Blakes London fame), who made sure that each of the forty rooms was unique and stunning, with bold colors and furnishings. When the hotel was sold and turned into the Dylan, in 2005, the new owners made the wise decision to keep most of Hempel’s work intact, and it has aged well.

Guests pass through a 17th-century stone archway, cross a small courtyard and arrive in a series of cozy rooms outfitted with plush modern furniture where they are warmly welcomed by über professional staffers dressed head to toe in black or grey. As in all Hempel’s projects, design takes center stage: big, bold colors, often dramatic monochromes and rich reds and gold, dominate, and most of the furniture was made especially for the hotel. Among the original details that were retained are the wide-plank wooden floors and the red-brick walls of the renowned Vinkeles restaurant (formerly a bakery). In addition to the Michelin-starred* *Vinkeles, the hotel is home to a more casual bar and brasserie, OCCO, which opened in 2017 and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. A stylish and intimate lounge with wideplank wood floors, a modern fireplace and warm lighting  is also located adjacent to OCCO for guests to enjoy.

Most rooms face the serene, leafy courtyard, although thanks to a new addition, the Dylan now also boasts two suites and six rooms that face the Keizersgracht. Designed (but not by Hempel, and thus lacking her inspiration) for travelers who appreciate a mod, all-white aesthetic, the two canal-view suites are spacious, airy and bright, sporting limestone bathrooms and painted floorboards. Guests will find the hotel offers room categories in two buildings, the “Original Building.” which embraces the historic and authentic design the hotel is known for, and the “Serendipity Building,” which features a more modern aesthetic.

Amenity-wise, the Dylan has bikes for guests and a small but functional gym. While there is no spa, the concierge will happily arrange in-room massages.

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The Hoxton Amsterdam

A favorite of local trendsetters, the hipster-chic Hoxton boasts a beautiful canal-side location and is a great value option. Read Indagare's review.
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W Amsterdam

The über hip W Amsterdam is known for its trendy scene and rooftop bar. Read Indagare's review.

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Lounge  at Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

Set in a string of 17th century rowhouses on the iconic Herengracht canal, the Waldorf is Amsterdam’s most luxurious hotel. Read Indagare's review.

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