Amsterdam somehow manages to have it all. It has the buzz of a metropolis, with few big-city drawbacks. It’s small enough to walk or cycle almost anywhere you want, yet is rarely dull.
Dinky gabled buildings, pretty bridges and quiet canals give it village-like charm, yet you’ll also find top-ranking art museums and one of the best orchestras in the world. Most of all, Amsterdam combines its glittering past with a wry, rough, rebellious contemporary edginess.
Housed in a former library, on one of Amsterdam’s loveliest canals, the Andaz is close to the Anne Frank House, and a short hop from Museumplein. Alice in Wonderland and Amsterdam’s long history inspire funky interiors by the Dutch designer Marcel Wanders.
A former newspaper office block turned into student accommodation, a hotel, and studio apartments for longer visits. The tone is hip yet relaxed. Rooms are comfortable and the restaurant offers good value. You’re slightly outside the historic centre, but close to public transport.
Intimate and detached from city bustle, The Dylan comprises just 40 rooms, spread through two historic canal-side buildings. Period charm meets contemporary styling in a prime location. A top-class restaurant and smart, engaging staff all contribute to the mood of discreet, low-key chic.
A good business and general travellers’ hotel, slightly out of the canal belt but well-placed for public transport. Service is efficient, with close attention to detail. Rooms are large and well-equipped, and the restaurant uses top-quality produce to create fine, varied dishes.
Italian contemporary style – and the best lobby-lounge in town – Conservatorium is infused into a 19th-century bank building, bang in between Museumplein and Amsterdam’s chicest fashion street.