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Amsterdam, Blog, Drink, Eat, Stay, The Netherlands

The Pulitzer Hotel, Amsterdam

March 18, 2017
The Pulitzer, Amsterdam

Amsterdam has changed hugely in the past few years when it comes to hotels.  The iconic Amstel and De L’Europe have been pushed aside with the openings of new, better, glitzier or more contemporary hotels like the Waldorf Astoria (stunning all round), the W (I love the bar here) and the Hoxton (great for brunch).

The Pulitzer Amsterdam has been around for years, but shut for a massive refurbishment.  It re-opened in August 2016 and wow, it’s a stunner.  I’d never been to it before the renovation, so I don’t have much to compare it to.  But I was impressed not only with the look and feel of the place (a little Soho House-esque in terms of design and quirky touches) but also by how despite the hotel having 225 rooms, it still feels like a boutique hotel.

The Pulitzer, Amsterdam

It looks small(ish) from the outside too, but it’s actually 25 (!) canal houses put together, and connected by wonderful gardens and terraces, which will, I’m sure, be very popular in the summer.  The lobby stands out upon entering, with lots of colour and art.  And I love their cafe Pause, where we had tea and a delicious banana cake.

The Pulitzer, AmsterdamThe Pulitzer, AmsterdamThe Pulitzer, Amsterdam

While we only saw one room, I loved the look of it, under the beams, which is so quintessentially Dutch.  And it’s this mixture of classic Dutch design and a touch of the eclectic (and eccentric) which works so well here.   Some of the suites look amazing too.

The Pulitzer, AmsterdamThe Pulitzer, Amsterdam

My favourite part of the hotel was the Pulitzer Bar, so slick and beautiful and inviting and of course open to locals too.  I will be returning their for one of their signature cocktails.  Their restaurant Jansz also looks great, and can be accessed from the Reestraat (one of the nine ‘little streets’ / Negen Straatjes).

The Pulitzer, AmsterdamThe Pulitzer, Amsterdam

In short, all the Amsterdam old-timer hotels and even the new kids on the block need to watch out, as the Pulitzer provides a more affordable five star option, which will especially attract a younger, trendier crowd.

The Pulitzer

Prinsengracht 323,

1016 GZ Amsterdam

Rooms from EUR 275 a night

Photo credit: Pulitzer Hotel (apart from the photo of the bar)

Amsterdam, Blog, Eat, Stay, The Netherlands

Hoxton, Amsterdam – the perfect brunch & coffee place

March 25, 2016
Hoxton, Amsterdam

I love the Hoxton in London (Hubbard & Bell is great for brunch), so I had high hopes when I heard that the Hoxton had opened in Amsterdam. A few years ago Amsterdam was severely lacking in good hotels.  Then the Waldorf Astoria opened, then the Hoxton, and the W Hotel, and soon even Soho House will be arriving in Amsterdam.

The Hoxton is five canal houses combined, and occupies prime location on the Herengracht.  Lotti’s is what they call their ‘neighbourhood restaurant’ (managed by Soho House), and it really has become a hub for locals; from businessmen having meetings over lunch, to bloggers and entrepreneurs typing away furiously on their Macbooks, sipping cappuccinos.  Amsterdam has needed a place like this, and the Hoxton has fitted in superbly.

Hoxton, AmsterdamHoxton, Amsterdam

Their design is what you’d expect from a Hoxton Hotel; sleek but homely, a combination of mustard yellows, muted blues and worn leather sofas.  The main eating space has a large retractable roof, which lets in the light in the winter, and the sun in the summer.  I came here with old friends, and we much enjoyed brunch here; a combination of avocado on toast, eggs and pastries.

While I didn’t see the bedrooms, they are stylish and comfortable, and not ridiculously priced (rooms from £110 per night).

Hoxton, AmsterdamHoxton, Amsterdam

The Hoxton

Herengracht 255,

1016 BJ Amsterdam

Photo credit: The Hoxton

Amsterdam, Blog, Drink, Stay, The Netherlands

W Lounge, Amsterdam

March 19, 2016

I’m not really a W Hotel girl.  Yes, they are luxurious and super comfortable hotels.  But usually they are a bit flash, a bit loud and a bit ‘trendy’ for me.  But then I went up to the W Lounge (6th floor) for the new-ish W Hotel in Amsterdam and, while the interiors aren’t really my style, I could quite happily admit that this was a very cool place to come for a drink.

W Hotel, Amsterdam

Firstly, the views.  They are quite ridiculous, especially in a city which doesn’t have much of a cityscape.  With the W Hotel’s enviable location right in the centre of town, the views are directly of the Dam Palace and Amsterdam’s beautiful centre.

Secondly, the terrace.  Yes, it’s small and I can imagine it overflowing with people in the summer months.  We came on a sunny day in December and we had the whole place to ourselves.  There is a long pool, which you can swim in (guests only) and while it’s clearly not for children’s recreational use, I can’t think of a better wake up than a few laps in the pool with the view of the palace.

W Hotel, Amsterdam

And lastly, the vibe.  While I mentioned above that I find the W Hotels a bit too loud, that doesn’t mean that they’re not fun.  And the W Lounge is certainly a lively place to be in the late afternoon and evening.  Even if you’re not outside the huge windows mean you can still enjoy the views of the city, while fireplaces and comfy sofas mean it’s a great place to visit all year round.  The ideal place for a pre-dinner cocktail.

W Hotel, Amsterdam

W Hotel Amsterdam

Spuistraat 175, 1012 VN

Photo credit: W Hotel

Amsterdam, Blog, Stay, The Netherlands

Hotel Not Hotel, Amsterdam

September 22, 2015
Hotel Not Hotel, Amsterdam

If you’re going to stay in a quirky, creative, unusual hotel, it might as well be in Amsterdam.  For those of you looking for affordable and fun accommodation then Hotel Not Hotel is the place for you.  As we were in Amsterdam to see the fantastic contemporary photographic fair and festival UNSEEN, it seemed an apt place for us to stay.

Hotel Not Hotel, Amsterdam

There’s a strong hint in the name in terms of what you may, or may not, expect from Hotel Not Hotel.  This is a hotel, but it’s also a series of individual pieces of ‘art’ (in a loose sense of the word); where each room is different, no room is just a ‘room’.  It also has a few hostel-esque features, namely the shared bathrooms (which are very clean and modern) for some of the cheaper rooms, and a relaxed, laid back vibe.  But it’s far from a hostel.  The interiors are in fact, rather beautifully done.  I love the book cases doubling for doors to hidden rooms.  And the Mr and Mrs front doors leading to two rooms (one of which was ours for the night).  The crows nest and the tram cart are two other unique rooms.  It’s all well thought through and, even though it may not be for everyone, it is at least a very original idea.

Hotel Not Hotel, AmsterdamHotel Not Hotel, AmsterdamHotel Not Hotel, AmsterdamHotel Not Hotel, Amsterdam

They have a bar called Kevin Bacon.  While I’m not a massive fan of the actor, I thought the bar itself was rather beautiful.  It also has a small roadside terrace from which you can enjoy a morning coffee, or an early evening cocktail.

Hotel Not Hotel, AmsterdamHotel Not Hotel, Amsterdam

Bicycles are for rent, for €12 a day (and they’ll reserve them for you in advance).  We depended on this mode of transport throughout the weekend, and if you want to act like a local, then it’s key that you rent one too.  Then the hotel’s location – slightly out of the city centre, in bustling Amsterdam West – is not a problem either.  It takes 10 minutes max (depending on the calibre of the bikers you’re with) to cycle into the centre, or Amsterdam West has so many cosy neighbourhood cafes and bars (like Ted’s), as well as the brand new Cafe Panache, which seems to be the place to be for dinner on the weekend (blogs to follow on these).

Hotel Not Hotel, Amsterdam

Stay here for the experience, for a laugh.  It’s full of surprises.  Don’t take it too seriously, just enjoy it for what it is.  Then like us you’ll giggle when you wake up in a room which is not much bigger than a cupboard, looks like a chapel and is labeled ‘Crisis Free Zone’.  100% worth considering for a weekend away with friends.

Hotel Not Hotel, AmsterdamHotel Not Hotel, Amsterdam

For other Amsterdam accommodation ideas, consider the Volkshotel.  Plus sides is that it’s even more affordable than Hotel Not Hotel, has hot tubs on the roof, and a really fun bar.  Negatives are that it’s even further out of town.

Hotel Not Hotel

Piri Reisplein 34
1057 KH Amsterdam

Photos belong to Hotel Not Hotel

Amsterdam, Eat, Stay

Conservatorium Hotel, Amsterdam

June 21, 2015

By Emilia van Lynden

The Conservatorium hotel, which opened in 2012, is a treat for all who visit. It is not only one of the Amsterdam’s best hotels, but it also boasts two superb restaurants, a swanky cocktail bar and a private dining room. The building used to be to a conservatory which housed three music institutions but after it closed in 2008, the Italy designer Piero Lissoni was asked to restore this late 19th Century building back to its former glory. The hotel is incredibly popular with tourists from all over the world, however the restaurants and bars have become a place where locals also often enjoy a luxurious dinner or a cocktail on a Friday night.

conservatorium hotel amsterdam

I was lucky enough to go there with my father a few weeks ago and certainly did not turn down his offer. Even though we only went for a quick bite, I was stunned by the good service, quality food and fine wine.  We had dinner in the brasserie which is in the internal courtyard within the hotel. The windows are from floor to ceiling  – roughly six metres high – and which allow the restaurant to be lit mainly through natural light.

conservatorium hotel amsterdam

I went for scallops with lemon risotto and zucchini flowers, whilst my father decided for a meat option; duck breast with beetroot and raspberry. I don’t often find myself in swanky restaurants and the scallops were some of the best I’ve had.   My father, who refuses to cook duck breast at home anymore as he creates such a mess, was more than pleased with his choice.

If you really want to go out for a treat in the heard of Amsterdam’s Museum quarter, then I would highly recommend this fabulous restaurant. You don’t have to necessary splash out but can choose one course with a bottle of their house wine.

Rooms from £340 per night

Conservatorium Hotel

Van Baerlestraat 27

Photos belong to Conservatorium Hotel

Amsterdam, Blog, Stay, The Netherlands

Volkshotel, Amsterdam

November 10, 2014

Volkshotel, Amsterdam

Those of you planning to visit Amsterdam any time soon (and who, like most of us, can’t afford to stay at the stunning new Waldorf Astoria), you’re in luck.  Imagine the Ace Hotel (hip, hot and happening with an industrial feel), but without the price tag.  A hotel which offers quirky, cleverly designed rooms which can sleep multiple people, very comfortably, but without being a hostel.  A place where locals come to socialise at their chilled cafe/bar ‘Werkplaats‘ and party the night away at their uber-cool cocktail bar/terrace/restaurant/club ‘Canvas’.  Volkshotel means ‘hotel of the people/locals’ and you certainly get that feel – it attracts a great mix of people, welcome everyone.

That’s the Volkshotel for you.

Volkshotel, Amsterdam

Volkshotel, Amsterdam

Formally the Volkskrant newspaper offices, this huge building has been completely transformed and opened earlier this year to rave reviews from tourists and locals alike.  Located in Amsterdam Oost (that means Amsterdam East, and yes, it’s sort of like East London was a few years ago, i.e a little grotty but seriously on the up), it’s 50 metres from a Metro station which takes you into central Amsterdam in minutes, and took us 25 minutes to get to from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.   If you fancy getting into the centre of town the more traditional way, it will take about 15 minutes to cycle, and they have bikes for rent from 9 euros a day.  Ideal.

Two weeks ago I introduced three girlfriends to Amsterdam.  First timers.  So it had to be good.  I contemplated Air BnB or Hotel not Hotel (very unique and arty, but perhaps more style over substance?) but came back to Volkshotel every time.   They offer standard double rooms (like ‘Ms Petite’ or ‘Sir Standard), but also ‘Ms Big’ Rooms, which fit four people and have two big double beds, bunk bed style.  At £34 per person per night, this was a bargain too good to reject.

Volkshotel, Amsterdam

Volkshotel, Amsterdam

Volkshotel, Amsterdam

Volkshotel, Amsterdam

Volkshotel, Amsterdam

Volkshotel, Amsterdam

Our room was on the 6th floor, and offered sweeping views of Amsterdam.  Yes, Amsterdam lacks the city scapes of London/Paris/Shanghai – but a view is a view and this one is pretty impressive.  The view is even better from the 7th and 8th floors.  On the 7th you have the previously mentioned Canvas Restaurant/Bar/Club, and where you shouldn’t resist having a cocktail on the terrace.  On the 8th floor/roof top is where we stumbled hungover the next morning, for a wake up in one of their three hot tubs with a serious view (and, to our delight, bright blue skies).  Too cool.  And if you’re not hot enough, you can always jump into their Scandi-style sauna too.

Volkshotel, Amsterdam


Volkshotel, Amsterdam

Volkshotel, Amsterdam


Volkshotel, Amsterdam

This place is really a no-brainer for groups of friends, or couples on a budget.   While not slap bang in the middle of town, the staff are helpful and will give you a map so you get your bearings.  Yes, it does smell like beer when you walk into the lobby, but hey, this only adds to the distrinct feel you get here for the Dutch way of life.

Make sure you explore Amsterdam Oost too – the cocktail bar Henry’s Bar has opened round the corner (next to cool sister bar Bar Bakouski), where they offer the hugest goblets of G&Ts, amazing hot dogs and a super fun vibe to start off your night.  And rest assured you won’t be alone; all trendy Amsterdammers also have cottoned on that Oost is now the place to be.



150 Wibaut Straat

1091 GR Amsterdam

Photos mine or the Volkshotel’s (mainly Mark Groeneveld)

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