Close to Centraal Station, and opposite Amsterdam’s monumental former commodity exchange, three adjoining buildings offer one- to five-star rooms, which have been designed by students and alumni from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute to “look like models hot off the catwalk”.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Hotel The Exchange is situated in a very busy part of Amsterdam, so if you’re looking for a quieter stay, ask for a room at the back.
Views and amenities vary considerably, from lower-price interior-view rooms to bright, spacious units with terraces, but all are unique and funky, with a creative use of specially woven fabrics. For example, the Eighties Room's walls are covered with a giant 1980s-style "skirt" and "sweater"; to open the curtains, you zip the sweater up. And, the romantic 17th century beamed Crinoline Room wears a crinoline cage, suspended over the bed like a canopy. To heighten the effect of “dressing”, paint colors and wall tiles are a pinkish nude. Rooms are accessorized with plenty of personal touches: even the room numbers are hand stitched on cloth in embroidery frames. Bigger rooms also have air-conditioning and Nespresso machines.
While all rooms have private bathrooms – simple, white-tiled affairs with adjustable shower heads, white tiles and basic amenities – the bigger rooms have robes and extra amenities like body lotion.
None, just a simple red cubicle designed to look like a fifties-era American box bag and some steep stairs.
Upstairs there’s a large couch covered in a damask-like fabric inspired by hotel mattresses for lazing about. On another floor you’ll find a common area with an artsy light installation draped like an oversized necklace and, elsewhere, a table and chairs “dressed” in burlap, with a sewing machine for everyday fashion emergencies and plenty of (fashion) books for inspiration.
Café Stock, a restaurant with locavore leanings, hand-drawn murals of “fashion birds” and a striking ceramic gold bar – a reference to the nearby commodities exchange - that's great for breakfast and lunch.
Café Stock serves wine and beer but closes early. Luckily, there are countless bars and cafes in the area.
Situated on bustling Damrak, you’re in the very heart of Centrum, with excellent access to the Old Center, Red Light District, and Western Canal District. Centraal Station’s city-wide network of trams, trains, and the metro is only a 5-minute walk away.
Fix your morning woes with some of the city’s richest croissants, butteriest brioche and most perfect pain au chocolat at artisan French bakery Gebr. Niemeijer (5-minute walk). With its cozy fireside Chesterfields and low-lit, theatrically-inspired décor, The Lobby Restaurant (7-minute walk) is a popular local hangout and dining destination (the flammkuchen, are famous!), and there’s a covered outdoor terrace, too. Or if it’s comfort of the Cantonese kind you crave, head to three-story pagoda-style Sea Palace (14-minute walk), a great place to grab dim sum and Peking duck.
For some of the most creatively presented cocktails in town, head to craft cocktail bar Tales and spirits (4-minute walk). If you’re heading to the Red Light District Mata Hari (4-minute walk) offers a welcome respite with its retro atmosphere, comfy leather chairs and menu of local beers and bar bites (there’s a decent upstairs restaurant, should you want to stay for dinner, too).
WHY WE LIKE IT
Whether your budget is XS or XL, “fashion hotel” The Exchange offers a range of options for style-savvy travelers looking for a central place to stay.