The storybook charm of the 1870’s exterior−dormers, bay windows, jigsaw trim, Neoclassical columns, and sculpted reliefs of cats−ends as soon as you step into the banal reception area. This landmark was designed by Pierre Cuypers, the architect of the Rijksmuseum and Centraal Station; take time to look for the relief of the cat chasing mice.
If you’re coming from Schiphol International Airport, take bus 197, which takes you almost all the way to the hotel for only €5.00 (get off at the Leidseplein stop).
Rooms appear recently renovated, but some are so small that two people can’t easily pass each other. You’ll find functional no-frills furniture, photo print wallpaper with Dutch scenes (practically a ubiquitous feature in Amsterdam hotels these days) and tulip red accents.
YOU SHOULD KNOW There is no air-conditioning, but windows do open.
Sober white-tiled bathrooms are small but do the trick, however only the most basic bathroom products (soap and shampoo) are offered in standard rooms.
There is a 24-hour reception, but the lobby is nothing special.
A basic (but free!) Continental-style buffet breakfast is served in a bright yellow room overlooking a small garden with rose-ringed parrots.
There is a hotel bar, but honestly there are much better ones a short walk away.
Situated on a quiet, residential street near Leidseplein and Vondelpark, Prinsen Hotel is around the corner from Amsterdam’s Museum District with the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum, the city’s chicest shopping street P.C. Hooftstraat and the renowned Leidseplein with its bars, cafes, and restaurants. From here, you have good access to parts of South, West, and Centrum on foot. There are also a number of nearby tram stops.
Sustainable seafood specialist The Seafood Bar (5-minute walk) offers smoked fish varieties from Volendam, delicately-battered fish and chips, four varieties of oyster and platters of fruits de mer. But if all you crave after all that airplane food is something simple and clean, get your chicken ramen kick at Umaimon (6-minute walk). De Foodhallen (14-minute walk), Amsterdam’s lively indoor food court, provides plenty of choice for even the pickiest of eaters with over 20 food stands.
Popular café Gollem’s Proeflokaal, a dark and cozy Belgian beer café with more than 180 bottled brews and 22 on tap, is only a 6-minute walk away. Bar Oldenhof (14-minute walk) in the nearby Jordaan offers a wide range of whiskeys and reasonably-priced cocktails (by Amsterdam standards, that is) in a bar with a nouveau gentlemen’s club vibe.
WHY WE LIKE IT
While Prinsen Hotel’s rooms are small, you’re in a good location, plus there’s free breakfast.