For a hip hotel in the heart of the city, look no further than the Hoxton. The central location on the exclusive Herengracht (Gentlemen’s Canal) is perfect whether you’ve come to Amsterdam for culture, concept stores, quirky cafés or culinary delights.
The hotel is a conversion of five historic canal houses, home of a mayor of Amsterdam in the 17th century. But while the façade harks back to the Dutch Golden Age, the interior is a far cry from old.
Instead of a traditional hotel lobby you’re greeted by a lounge/bar area buzzing with young professionals clicking away on their Macs over a glass of Perrier or fashion conscious Amsterdammers sinking into battered leather sofas over large shots of caffeine, Double Dutch cocktails or local draft beer.
This is very much an all-day destination, with as many or more locals than residents. Décor is retro: faded rugs on timber floors, distressed brickwork and a colourful mix of vintage armchairs. Up on the Mezzanine it’s a bit quieter with better canal views and heavy tomes to get stuck into (encyclopaedias, Balzac and other classics). Check-in is delightfully informal.
Staff are all young and super friendly, making you feel at home from the minute you arrive. They will explain that you are free to fill your mini bar with drinks sold at reception at supermarket prices. This hotel has lots of nice touches. One unusual perk is free telephone calls worldwide for an hour for each day you are there.
Young professionals and couples wanting a lively vibe and something a bit different.
It’s first come first served for the smart VanMoof guest bikes and since there are only four don’t be surprised if they have already been grabbed. Guests have use of a gym around the corner. There’s a local DJ in the bar Thursday-Sunday evenings.
The 111 guest rooms make smart use of tight spaces. Choose from Shoebox (12 sq metres), Cosy, Roomy and Concept.
Expect a combination of luxury (super-comfy beds and high quality linen), utilitarian (50s Danish desks and metal hanger instead of a wardrobe) and quirky (60s alarm clocks, Roberts radio, mustard retro phones).
There are also canal-side guest rooms. Metro tiled bathrooms are far from spacious but function well with good rain showers, thick towels and fast hairdryers. Elegant glasses are provided for wine, there is chilled water and fresh milk in the fridge, a kettle, Lyons coffee bags, Clipper teas and a bar of cocoa chocolate (all complimentary).
Food and Drink
Hang the brown “brekkie bag” on the hook outside your door at night and start the day with the fresh orange juice, banana and honey-nut granola with creamy Greek yoghourt.
If you want something more substantial to start the day head downstairs to Lotti’s for poached eggs, Dutch smoked salmon and sourdough toast. The white-tiled café/grill is open from early morning until late at night and serves all day for burgers, bitterballen, hand-crafted cheeses, meat platter or salads – all freshly prepared.
The dinner menu is more extensive, featuring a fish dish fresh from the market, tender hanger or aged ribeye steak and a choice of veggie dishes.
Is Wifi available?
Yes, fast and free, throughout the hotel.
Room rates vary hugely according to size and view: Shoebox start at €199, Cosy €200-499, Roomy €219-499. But you can get cheaper deals tonline. Book well in advance and don’t expect last-minute bargains at weekends.
The Hoxton is so central you can walk (or cycle) to all the main attractions. You are in the Negen Straatjes (Nine Streets) quarter, a shoppers’ delight with specialist boutiques and some excellent restaurants; Anne Frank’s House is less than half a mile away, the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum about a mile.
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