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Train travel is becoming an increasingly popular method of travel: it’s often cheaper, it’s better for the environment and there’s no faffing around with 100ml liquids at check-in.
For UK residents, and Londoners in particular, the Eurostar is a brilliant - and fuss-free - way to explore cities such as Paris, Brussels, Ghent and Lille.
However, if you were looking to traverse the cobbled streets and tree-lined canals of Amsterdam, the journey was slightly less straightforward... until now.
Instead of changing trains in Brussels - with stopover times of up to two hours and long security lines- Eurostar will be running a direct return service from the Netherlands back to King’s Cross St Pancras from 30 April.
This means that you’ll be able to plonk your shopping bags (having checked out the boutique-lined streets of the Jordaan District), your trusty suitcase and yourself onboard at Amsterdam Central Station and be back in London just over four hours later. Joy!
So, with this in mind, you hardly need to be Mystic Meg to predict that more and more people will be travelling to the cultural hub come spring.
And, whether you choose to explore by canal boat, bike or on foot, after all the museums (Stedelijk Modern Art Museum is a must!), sightseeing and other attractions, you’re going to need a comfortable place to rest your head.
We’ve rounded up the best hotels to stay in Amsterdam - whether you’re looking to blow the budget or keep some spare for your next European city break - from iconic hotels that span 25 canal houses to boutique boltholes that offer their own take on Netherland hospitality, these are the places to put a pin in.
The Alfred Hotel | Book here
Located in the South District of Amsterdam, near Vondelpark, this three-star hotel is ideal for families and those looking to be close to lots of the main attractions. Though the neighbourhood itself is quiet, lined with quaint cafes rather than buzzy bars, it’s only a stones-throw from the vibrant vibe of the inner city.
Motel One Amsterdam | Book here
Expect idiosyncratic works of art - keep your eyes peeled for the bicycle wheel sculpture - and open-plan living at this design-conscious hotel. The bar boasts an award-winning gin menu and the public areas and bedrooms don’t hold back on colour and contemporary touches.
Volkshotel | Book here
This quirky hotel, only a 10-minute walk from the hip De Pijp quarter, used to be a newspaper office, and the building still boasts clever nods to its rebellious past throughout. From eccentric room option (like the one above) to more down-to-earth options, the location is slightly out of the way but merits an out-of-town stay on its own.
Hotel van de Vijsel | Book here
Located in the former timber trade ‘Houthandel van de Vijsel’, it’s little wonder that a big part of the structure and design here is wood. In fact, it’s like staying in a cosy, mountain chalet rather than a city hotel, which only adds to its charm.
Boutique luxury stays
The Hoxton | Book here
Known around the Western World for its stylish brand of hospitality, The Hoxton sits on the Herengracht Canal, in what was once the Mayor’s house. Expect canal views, original beams and features coupled with on-trend touches, and a young, cool, crowd.
Hotel Estherea | Book here
You won’t know whether you’ve stepped into a different country or back in time, at this decadent hotel in one of the most historic areas of the city. This 17th-century building is brought back to its golden era with richly coloured interior, crystal chandeliers, decadent fabrics and the eccentric, expressive prints.
The Hendricks Hotel | Book here
This boutique hotel is a stones-throw from Amsterdam Central Station, meaning no waiting around for taxis when you arrive, and offers a selection of elegant, themed rooms. The jewel in the crown is definitely the Royal Sky Room (pictured above) with an intricate, high-beamed ceiling and views across the city.
Canal House | Book here
The rather confusingly named Canal House is located in the trendy, shopping district of Jordaan, packed with artisanal cafes, affordable art shops and independent fashion boutiques. The decor might not be to everyone’s taste, but the staff are well known for their hospitality here and the pretty garden courtyard is lovely place to linger.
Blow the budget stays
The Dylan | Book here
Those in-the-know here will tell you that this canal-side, five-star, boutique hotel, just a five-minute walk from Anne Frank’s House, is the chicest in the city. Expect a Michelin-starred restaurant, an innovative cocktail list, cosy lounges and bedrooms with more hi-tech mod cons then you can shake a stick at.
The Pulitzer | Book here
Perhaps Amsterdam’s most iconic hotel, the five-star Pullitzer spans 25 canal houses, from the 17th and 18th century, and features a hidden central courtyard for guests to enjoy some peace and quiet. Art takes centre-stage here, with individually designed rooms and suites, once decadent spaces housing Dutch aristocrats and celebrities.
Conservatorium Hotel | Book here
One of only two hotels in this roundup with a pool, the grand Conservatorium Hotel offers relaxation and tranquillity, alongside a central location for exploring the city. Repeatedly crowned the number one luxury hotel in the Netherland guests can enjoy a selection of restaurants, a bar, lounge and 1,000 sqm of Akasha Holistic Wellbeing.
The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam | Book here
This luxurious hotel is nestled within several 17th-century canal-side palaces and offers their discerning guests access to a renowned eatery, brasserie and cocktail bar, as well as a spa with an indoor pool. In fact, it’s all so sumptuous that actually getting out and exploring might prove a problem.