The best places to stay in four price ranges: budget ($), moderate ($$), expensive ($$$), and luxury ($$$$)


Hans Brinker

Renovated 120-room hostel in a former monastery, close to central Leidseplein Square. The mostly youthful guests can choose between rock-bottom bunk-bed dorms or private rooms; the majority wind up in the disco, which would have scared off Hans himself. Kerkstraat 136-138; tel. 31 20 622 0687.

Hotel Hegra
The chance to stay in a 17th-century canal house at a budget tab. Eleven small, spartan rooms (some with shared bath) come with a full breakfast and a top location, near the Anne Frank House. Herengracht 269; tel. 31 20 623 7877.


Lloyd Hotel
“A real social experiment because it features everything from one- to five-star rooms all under one roof.”—Steve Korver, editor, Amsterdam Weekly. Located in the newly redeveloped East Docklands; 117 rooms in the art deco landmark building range from simple and student-ready to luxurious suites, some boasting grand pianos; large restaurant, bar, and library, draw the artiest crowd in town. Oostelijke Handelskade 34; tel. 31 20 561 3636.

Hotel Arena
“A former backpacker’s favorite in a 19th-century orphanage, recently upgraded with both luxury rooms and budget options.”—Willem Vos, editor, 127 minimalist rooms, some split-level, feature modernist classics (think Eames); doubles as an all-purpose entertainment hangout, including café, restaurant, and jumping nightclub. 's-Gravesandestraat 51; tel. 31 20 850 2400.

NL Hotel
“An intimate hotel right near the Vondelpark.”—Willem Vos. Thirteen Zen-like, black-and-white rooms (Asian accents and tulip paintings) designed by award-winning Dutch designer Edward van Vliet; chic but cozy. Nassaukade 368; tel. 31 20 689 0030.

Seven Bridges
“Like a personal home, filled with the owners’ hand-picked antiques.”—Eelco Douma, manager, Ambassade Hotel. An 18th-century canal house at the intersection of two canals; top-floor, beam rooms are smallest, cheapest, and coziest; beds handcrafted by Dutch woodworkers and baroque-to-Biedermeier antiques; breakfast delivered to your room on Wedgwood china. Reguliersgracht 31; tel. 31 20 623 1329.

Hotel Orlando
“May be Amsterdam’s best kept secret; it’s the last word in homey.”—Willem Vos. Overlooking the Prinsengracht, this 17th-century canal house has five guestrooms; blends contemporary Dutch art and Philippe Starck accents with beam ceilings and oak floors; farmhouse breakfast, crusty brown bread, and Dutch cheese. Prinsengracht 1099; tel. 31 20 638 6915.


Grand Hotel Amrath
“A beautiful new restoration of Amsterdam’s former shipping house.”—Steve Korver. 164-room conversion of an art nouveau landmark, shaped like a moored ship, close to Centraal Station; large rooms feature soaring windows; full-service wellness center and pool; bar and Seven Seas seafood restaurant. Prins Hendrikkade 108; tel. 552-0900.

Banks Mansion Hotel
“Art deco meets Frank Lloyd Wright; you pay a lot but everything from breakfast to drinks is included.”—Eelco Douma. Centrally located; 51 guestrooms in former bank feature leaded stained-glass windows and rain showers; all-inclusive appetizers, private bar, snack, morning paper, breakfast, Internet. Herengracht 519-525; tel. 31 20 420 0055.

“A hotel with a real literary history that hosts authors on book tours.”—Steve Korver. Composed of ten 17th-century canal houses in the Nine Streets area; 18th-century reproduction furniture and Delft-blue breakfast room; attentive, warm staff; Koan float and massage center; 59 rooms. Herengracht 341; tel. 31 20 555 0222.

Hotel Pulitzer
Massive western canal complex composed of 25 17th- and 18th-century canal houses, near the Westerkerk. 230 recently renovated rooms overlooking two of the grandest canals; inner garden patio; hosts quarterly art shows and a summer music concert. Prinsengracht 315-331; tel. 31 50 523-5235.

The Grand Amsterdam Sofitel Demeure
131 room (plus 35 suites) luxury hotel situated incongruously near Red Light District, in converted 15th-century convent; neoclassical courtyard; hushed Anglo-French rooms dressed up with floral prints, wood inlaid furniture; art deco bathrooms; Café Roux brasserie; indoor pool, massage, sauna, steam room. Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197; tel. 31 20 555 3111.


The Dylan
Situated in a 17th-century Nine Streets canal house; 41 rooms and suites designed by Britain’s Anouska Hempel, vary from flamboyant (candy-cane stripes) to more subdued, neutral; most overlook tranquil inner courtyard; upscale Dylan Restaurant, Bar Barbou, and in-room spa treatments. Keizersgracht 384; tel. 31 20 530 2010.

The Intercontinental Amstel
“Classic five-star luxury; all the big names have stayed here.”—Willem Vos. Classic grand dame hotel in largely residential East Amsterdam; among largest guest rooms in town; fresh tulips; Michelin-star La Rive restaurant; Turkish bath; 79 rooms and 24 suites. Professor Tulpplein 1; tel. 31 20 622 6060.

Seven One Seven
“I love the room at the top that looks out on both the Prinsengracht and a charming back garden.”—Eelco Douma. Grand, centrally located 19th-century building; marble halls and fireplaces; eight guest rooms decorated with antique brass beds, classical busts, Dutch prints; help-yourself minibar and epic breakfast. Prinsengracht 717; tel. 31 20 427 0717.


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