Keizersgracht 148, Amsterdam, North Holland 1015CX, Netherlands
Straddling three Golden Age merchant’s houses, this canal-side boutique hotel breathes opulence. Think quirky 21st century Dutch design meets dark 17th century moodiness, with Moooi spider lamps hanging from white stucco ceilings and gilded mirrors on black walls.
Plush with grape velvet, silk wallpaper, leather headboards, and plenty of pastiche art, rooms are dripping with decadence. The 23 rooms are separated into six categories—Good, Better, Great, Exceptional, Outstanding, and Best—and vary mainly based on size and view (some offer breathtaking canal vistas, but the quieter garden side has its appeal too).
YOU SHOULD KNOW The bold black and purple décor won’t be to everyone’s taste.
Some rooms have tonal terrazzo tiled walk-in rain showers while others feature open-plan baths and/or showers and double sinks in the room more suited to couples who aren’t afraid of letting it all hang out.
Stock up on the exclusive herb-scented bath products from all-natural house brand Green & Spring.
Reached via a handsome white marble and stucco hallway with black-framed reproductions of Dutch masterpieces, you’ll find a purple backlit bar-slash-lobby and a black womb of a front room facing the Keizersgracht canal, where a complimentary cocktail or drink awaits you.
There’s no full-service restaurant, but a hearty breakfast is included in the central, high-ceilinged Great Room, which connects the adjoining canal houses. Bar snacks and drinks are available throughout the day, as well as room service (from avo toast to beef burgers with French fries) and mini bars are locally sourced.
Weather permitting, do take the time to enjoy the gorgeous triple-width garden: it’s one of the largest in the canal belt and is outfitted with several seating areas. The small summer house is the perfect place to hide from sudden showers, while the garden house can be booked for private gatherings.
Located at the heart of the Western Canal Belt, within easy walking distance of all the major sights and with good access to public transport, bringing your car would be an expensive mistake. Tram lines 13, 14, and 17 and various bus lines stop at nearby Westermarkt.
In an area rich with restaurants, it’s really a matter of what you fancy. For thoughtful fine-dining in a simple neo-bistro setting, try Breda (5-minute walk), one of the city’s most respected non-Michelin star restaurants. If it’s comfort food you’re after, La Perla Pizzeria (6-minute walk), is famed for its authentic wood-burning oven Pizza Margherita, and convivial vibe. Or expand your pancake horizons at Japanese Pancake World (5-minute walk), which serves 3 styles of savory okonomiyaki.
Café ‘t Smalle (4-minute walk) has been around since the 18th century, when it was the Hoppe Distillery, and it’s canal-side terrace is one of the prettiest places to grab a casual beer. For stronger cravings, head to J.D. William’s Whisky Bar (2-minute walk), for an extensive range of drams, whiskey-based cocktails and pan-Asian bites.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Nestled on Amsterdam’s grandest canal, Canal House is ideally situated for shopping and dining in the popular 9 Straatjes district, as well as romantic strolls around the canal belt and adjacent Jordaan. The rooms are cleverly designed to maximize space yet comfortable enough to cocoon with a loved one--with Blue-ray players and Bose iPod docking stations to keep you entertained. The décor and color scheme won’t be for everyone, but the garden offers a restful escape.
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