by Santorini Dave • Updated: December 5, 2018
art’otel Amsterdam – Hip, contemporary hotel that doubles as an art gallery.
Occupying a historic stone building – a former shipping company headquarters – on one of Amsterdam’s busiest street corners, this ultra-contemporary hotel is all about the art. Joep Van Lieshout’s works are everywhere: from the phallic “fertility lamp” to the enormous installation of sperm, suspended from the ceiling in the interior atrium. Generously-sized rooms come in shades of charcoal and black, with splashes of yellow and purple, original art, Illy coffee makers, customizable lighting system, and large screen TVs. Spacious bathrooms come with rain showers, and peek-a-boo panels that can be blacked out by the shy at the flick of a switch. Service is informal and efficient.
art’otel Amsterdam – Location
- Address: Prins Hendrikkade 33, 1012 TM Amsterdam.
- Nearest Tram: Centraal Station.
- Area: On a busy main street intersection overlooking the Centraal Station. Numerous attractions, bars, and restaurants right on the doorstep, the historic Canal Belt and the main departure point for canal boat tours are both a couple of minutes’ walk away, and Dam Square is less than 10 minutes’ walk. The tram hub in front of the train station connects you to all major points of interest, including the Museum Quarter (15 minutes), and Anne Frank House (7 minutes).
- How to Get There: Take the train from Schiphol Airport to Centraal Station, then cross the square and the street.
- Handy to: Centraal Station, historic canal ring, canal boat tours.
art’otel Amsterdam – The Basics
- Ages: The hotel has an adult vibe to it, especially with the risqué art in common spaces, and an onsite bar/nightclub. Guests tend to be hip younger visitors on a city break, and business travelers, though older children can be accommodated. 5&33 bar is 18+.
- View: The ‘Iconic View’ rooms look out towards the busy Prins Hendrikkade and Centraal Station, and are not really worth the upgrade. Rooms at the rear are quieter, and have limited street views.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools/jacuzzi.
- Laundry: In-room laundry service.
- Extras: There is an art gallery in the basement of 5&33, with a rotating calendar of exhibitions from contemporary artists, and a signature 12m-tall video curtain connecting it to the upper floor that screens video art throughout the day. The hotel itself doubles as an art gallery for renowned Dutch artist Joep van Lieshout. Bicycle rental is available.
- When to Book: Reserve 3 months in advance for the mid-March to mid-May tulip season, the July and August high season, and the Christmas-New Year period.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: 020-719-7200
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: https://artotelamsterdam.com/
art’otel Amsterdam – Amenities
- Pool: Indoor pool.
- Spa: No spa, but there’s a solarium, and a Finnish sauna.
- Fitness Center: Well-equipped fitness center with TechnoGym equipment.
- For Disabled Guests: One adapted room for wheelchair users.
- For Families: Babysitting services can be arranged on request.
art’otel Amsterdam – Food and Drink
- Restaurants: All black glass and polished concrete floors, 5&33 kitchen (noon-1am; until 2am on weekends) specializes in unfussy Mediterranean cuisine, and has plenty of local fans. Dinner reservations recommended. The attached fireside lounge serves teas, coffees, and cakes. • $$-$$$.
- Lounge/Bar: The 5&33 bar is a popular night hot spot for young Amsterdammers, and serves excellent cocktails, including original creations. DJ sets some nights. Open until 1am (until 2am on weekends).
- Breakfast: Complimentary buffet breakfast (available between 7.30am and 10.30am).
- Room Service: Room service available from 5&33 kitchen.
art’otel Amsterdam – Rooms
- Room Types: Art Room • Art Room – Iconic View • Art Room XL • Art Room XL – Iconic View • Masterpiece Suite
- Smoking Rooms: Rooms at art’otel Amsterdam are 100% smoke-free, but there’s a smoking lounge attached to the 5&33 bar.
- Best Room: The 4 spacious Masterpiece suites come with separate living rooms, sofas, and two 42-inch screen TVs. Light sleepers might want to book a room or suite at the rear rather than facing Centraal Station.
- For Families: There are several interconnecting rooms, but no family rooms per se.
art’otel Amsterdam – Local Transport
- Walking: The historic canal ring and Dam Square are a short walk on foot; walkable to attractions in the Medieval Centre and Red Light District.
- Tram: From the nearby Centraal Station hub, trams run to all major points of interest, such as the Museum Quarter (15 minutes), Anne Frank House (7 minutes), Rembrandtplein and its nightlife (8 minutes), and De Pijp and its independent cafes and boutiques (18 minutes).
- Taxis, Uber: Taxis and Uber charge around €35 from the airport to the hotel. Within the city, Uber rides cost around half of taxi fares. It’s often quicker to walk, cycle, or jump on a tram.
art’otel Amsterdam – What’s Nearby?
Recommended Nearby Tours
- Amsterdam City Tours – Coach tours depart for the Keukenhof flower gardens and Zaanse Schans windmills from the I Amsterdam tourist office. Start location: 1-minute walk.
- Lovers Canal Cruises – Semi-open boat cruises, plus luxury cruises on small, restored historic boats. Start location: 2-minute walk.
- Stromma – Open boat canal tours, hop-on, hop-off boats, and 100 Highlights canal cruise. Start location: 3-minute walk.
- Rederij Kooij – Private canal tours in a vintage wooden boat. Start location: 3-minute walk.
- That Dam Guide – Intimate, small-group, 2-hour tours that provide an excellent all-round view of the sex industry. Guides explain Amsterdam’s laws and working conditions, and point out the good and bad sex shops, peep shops, live theaters, and strip clubs. Start location: 3-minute walk.
- Prostitution Information Centre – Fascinating information center where you get the answers to everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Amsterdam’s prostitution industry. Hour-long walking tours (€15 per person) depart from here at 5pm on Saturdays. Start location: 6-minute walk.
- Amsterdam Red Light District Tours – Several options of Red Light District walking tour – with a group, with a private guide, and with exclusive private guides who’ve worked in the sex industry for decades. Start location: 9-minute walk.
- Offbeat Amsterdam: Red Light District Walking Tours – Entertaining 90-minute tours that depart from Dam Square, and take in the history of the sex worker industry and highlights such as a peep show, hidden street art, and the Amsterdam Museum of Prostitution. Start location: 9-minute walk.
- Blue Boat Company – Open-boat cruises, themed kids’ cruises, evening cruises, and Hard Rock burger cruises. Start location: 19-minutes.
Best Nearby Restaurants
- Kam Yin – Large, inexpensive portions of Chinese and Surinamese standards. Popular with students. 3-minute walk.
- De Silveren Spiegel – Beautifully presented contemporary takes on Dutch dishes in an atmospheric house dating back to 1614. 5 to 8-course tasting menus only on Fridays and Saturdays. Romance your loved one here. 4-minute walk.
- Omelegg – Central branch of the popular all-day breakfast/brunch café. 2 dozen different omelettes and shakshuka are specialties here. 4-minute walk.
- La Zoccola del Pacioccone – Tiny pizzeria, authentic Italian pizzas and beer, and good vibes. 5-minute walk.
- Dabka – Good Lebanese mezze spreads and kebabs; eat inside, or on the canal-side terrace. 5-minute walk.
- Ashoka Restaurant – Bright and breezy Indian and Nepalese restaurant with numerous vegetarian options. 6-minute walk.
- Cannibale Royale – Gourmet burgers and steaks. 6-minute walk.
- De Belhamel – Romantic French restaurant serving the likes of sea bass risotto, and sirloin with fondant potatoes. Great canal-side location. 6-minute walk.
- Anna – White tablecloths, imaginative modern Dutch fare, terrific list of global and organic wines, and a fine location overlooking the Oude Kerk. 7-minute walk.
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- In de Olofspoort – A jenever tasting house, accessed through the former city gate, with an incredible range of the venerable Dutch spirit. 3-minute walk.
- In de Wildeman – Former distillery turned beer café with an excellent selection of Dutch and Belgian beers, 18 brews on tap, and a quiet ambience – good for conversation. 4-minute walk.
- In ‘t Aepjen – Atmospheric local watering hole inside one of very few remaining wooden buildings in Amsterdam, with vintage jazz on the stereo. 4-minute walk.
- Brouwerij de Prael – Multi-level tasting room of the eponymous craft beer brewery, with numerous IPAs, stouts, barley wines, and other brews on tap. 5-minute walk.
- Café Belgique – Chilled-out Belgian beer bar, with 8 brews on tap at the carved wooden bar, and many more bottled options. 7-minute walk.
- De Drie Fleschjes – Characterful 17th century tasting house that specializes in liqueurs and jenevers. The accompanying snack of choice here is meatballs. 7-minute walk.
- ‘t Arendsnest – Dutch beer only: almost 200 bottled brews, and 30 on tap. Choose between the canal-side terrace, or the gorgeous brown café interior, complete with copper jenever boilers. 10-minute walk.
Nearby Shopping and Cool Shops
- Chills and Thrills – Smart shop selling magic truffles, herbal trips, accessories, and more. 3-minute walk.
- Kokopelli – Smart shop specializing in magic truffles, with an attractive juice bar and lounge. 4-minute walk.
- Old Amsterdam Cheese Store – Central branch of the famous cheese store. Get your Gouda goodies here. 6-minute walk.
- Heinen Delfts Blauw – Central branch of the famous ceramics store where you can buy anything from small gifts to collectors’ pieces. 6-minute walk.
- RoB Amsterdam – Bondage, leather, rubber, and other dress-up gear. 6-minute walk.
- Condomerie Het Gulden Vlies – Condom boutique selling condoms in all colors, shapes, and sizes. 8-minute walk.
- Rush Hour Records – Vinyl and CD shop that’s particularly strong on house and techno (though you’ll find funk, electronica, jazz, and disco as well). 8-minute walk.
- Mark Raven Amsterdam Art – Mark Raven’s cityscapes, posters, and t-shirt art. 9-minute walk.
- Magna Plaza – Upmarket shopping mall, best for fashion, jewelry, and souvenirs. 10-minute walk.
art’otel Amsterdam – The Hotel
The signature 12m-tall video curtain screens video art as you walk downstairs to the basement art gallery, which hosts exhibitions by contemporary artists.
The Active Club gym is equipped with Technogym equipment, and is open around the clock.
The pool is part of the Active Club and is open 24/7.
The Finnish sauna keeps varied hours, depending on the days of the week.
There is no formal reception, and the whole hotel doubles as an exhibition space for Dutch artist Joep Van Lieshout.
The atmospherically lit 5&33 bar is a popular night hot spot for young Amsterdammers, and serves excellent cocktails, some of them original. Live DJ sets on weekend nights. Open until 1am (until 2am on weekends).
5&33 Kitchen (open noon-1am) specializes in unfussy Mediterranean cuisine, and is popular with locals as well as guests. Dinner reservations a good idea.
Some of Joep Van Lieshout’s art, scattered around the hotel, is rather risqué, such as the ‘fertility lamp’ in the library.
Art Rooms are the most compact, but they come with standard amenities such as in-room entertainment system, flat-screen TV, desk, and rain shower in the bathroom.
Art Rooms – Iconic View look out onto the busy Stationsplein and Centraal Station. It’s not really worth paying extra for the view, especially since the Iconic View side of the hotel is more vulnerable to street noise.
Art Rooms XL and XL–Iconic View offer a bit more space and a comfortable seating area.
The 4 spacious Masterpiece suites have a separate living area, and 2 TVs apiece.
The hotel sits on the busy Niewezijds Voorburgwal thoroughfare and tramway. Centraal Station, the Netherlands’ main train hub, is 3 blocks north of the hotel, across the Open Havenfront waterway. From in front of the train station, trams run all over the city. There’s also the entrance to the metro.
A block north of the hotel, the pedestrian Nieuwendijk lane leads west towards the historic canal ring. This is one of the most tourist-heavy parts of town, but tacky souvenir shops and kebab takeouts aside, here you can pick up quality magic truffles and weed from a number of shops. Chills & Thrills is locally recommended.
If you take one of the tiny lanes that branch off Nieuwendijk to the south, you find yourself facing De Silveren Spiegel, an early 17th century house turned Dutch fine dining venue. Expect creaky floors, low ceilings, and multi-course tasting menus; reserve ahead.
West across the Singel canal, and overlooking the picturesque Brouwersgracht canal, De Belhamel stands out for the quality of its French dishes and its pleasant canal-side terrace. It’s one of the few good restaurants at the northern edge of the historic canal ring.
Branching off from Niewezijds Voorburgwal, and running parallel to it all the way south to Spui square, busy Spuistraat has a number of worthwhile restaurants and shops. Ashoka, a couple of blocks south of the hotel, is a good bet for vegetarians, with an extensive menu of inexpensive Indian and Nepalese dishes.
Another block south, Rush Hour Records is a worthwhile stop for music lovers, with a particularly strong house and techno vinyl range.
A little further south and to the west, the tiny Torensluis square overlooks the Singel canal, and is one of the gateways to the historic canal ring.
Facing Torensluis is a branch of Puccini Bomboni – some of Amsterdam’s best handmade chocolates.
A short walk west is the Amsterdam Duck Store; novelty rubber ducks range from Harry Potter and Madonna to Game of Thrones characters.
A block north along Herengracht canal, ‘t Arendsnest is the perfect haunt for beer lovers: it serves over 200 Dutch bottled beers, over 30 on tap, and has both an atmospheric interior, and a wonderful canal-side terrace.
Just south of Torensluis is Breda, one of the most imaginative restaurants in the city, the higher-end sister to Guts & Glory (off Rembrandtplein), and a great place to bring a date. Reserve well ahead for the seasonal, multi-course tasting menus.
Around 15 minutes’ walk from the hotel (or a short tram ride) is Westermarkt, with one of the city’s best Belgian fry takeouts beneath the Westerkerk. This is the tram stop you need if you want to visit the Anne Frank House.
Half a block north of Westermarkt is the house where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis, and one of Amsterdam’s most popular attractions. Book your ticket online to beat the queues.
East of Torensluis is Dam – Central Amsterdam’s busiest square, filled with visitors and buskers, and home to the Nationaal Monument, dedicated to WWII’s fallen.
The big attraction here is the Royal Palace – the official residence of the King of the Netherlands. When the king’s away, you can check out the sumptuous rooms.
Just north of the Royal Palace, the 15th century Nieuwe Kerk is well worth a look for its beautiful oak chancel, and excellent temporary art and photography exhibitions.
Directly behind the Royal Palace, on the busy Niewezijds Voorburgwal thoroughfare, is the Magna Plaza, a grand, upmarket shopping center filled with jewelry shops and fashion boutiques.
A block north, the central branch of Mark Raven Amsterdam Art sells posters of Amsterdam cityscapes and t-shirts adorned with Amsterdam scenery.
From Dam, the Medieval Centre’s other main thoroughfare, Damrak runs to Centraal Station. Most shops along Damrak are heavily geared towards tourists. So is the Old Amsterdam Cheese Store, but it’s still an excellent place to pick up a range of Dutch cheeses as souvenirs.
Nearby is Heinen Delfts Blauw, the most central branch of the store that sells the famous blue-and-white ceramics that Holland is known for. You can get anything from collectors’ pieces to inexpensive souvenirs here.
Just off Damrak is the dock for most canal cruise boat companies. Have a look at a few, since some offer open-boat and small group tours that can explore the narrow, less well-trodden canals, while others have large boats that may only navigate the main canals.
Across the street from the boat dock, Sexmuseum Amsterdam is the most entertaining of the city’s erotic museums, with several floors of the world’s earliest nude photos, X-rated ceramics through the ages, mannequins recreating scenes from the Red Light District, and more. Over-18s only.
Kimpton de Witt sits on the edge of the maze of medieval tiny lanes that stretches between the Niewezijds Voorburgwal and Damrak thoroughfares. They’re dotted with atmospheric bars, and bisected by the pedestrian shopping street, Niuewendijk, that runs all the way south to Dam square.
Two blocks south of the hotel, tiny Kolkstraat hides In De Wildeman, a beer cafe that specializes in Dutch and Belgian beers. Numerous brews on tap, and a great little terrace for people-watching.
A couple of blocks further south along Niuewendijk and west along narrow Nieuwe Nieustraat, La Zoccola del Pacioccone is a tiny, authentic pizzeria that’s popular with locals and visitors alike.
A block north of Dam square, tiny Zootsteeg lane is home to 2 excellent bars. De Drie Freschjes, a 17th century tasting house, is the best place in central Amsterdam to sample a wide range of jenevers and other local liqueurs.
A little further west, Café Belgique is a local favorite for Belgian beers, with 8 brews on tap, many more bottled ones, and a good little people-watching terrace.
Running parallel to Damrak to the east, and culminating in the popular nightlife hub street Zeedijk to the north near Centraal Station, Warmoesstraat is another popular pedestrian shopping street. Its proximity to the Red Light District means a plethora of sex-themed shops, the pick of which is Condomerie Het Gulden Vlies, a condom boutique that sells condoms in all colors, shapes, and sizes.
Further north is RoB Amsterdam, with its wide range of bondage and dressing-up gear.
Just south of RoB, a tiny lane leads east to the square surrounding Oude Kerk, Amsterdam’s oldest church. The square is home to Anna, an excellent Modern Dutch restaurant that pairs imaginative dishes with global and organic wines.
Just east of the church square is Oudezijdz Voorburgwal, arguably the prettiest canal in the Medieval Centre.
A block east is the heart of the Red Light District. Amidst the live sex show venues, the Red Light Secrets Museum of Prostitution lets you check out a replica Red Light room, play dress-up in the dominatrix room, and learn about the inner workings of Amsterdam’s prostitution industry. Over-18s only.
Nearby, the Erotic Museum offers a quirky look at eroticism through the ages, with nude photo and bondage equipment exhibits. Pricier than Amsterdam’s other sex museums, so you’re better off going to the Sex Museum along Damrak in the Medieval Centre. Over-18s only.
Off Warmoesstraat, down the Lange Niezel pedestrian street, Cannibale Royale is the most central of the popular meatery’s branches. Gourmet burgers and steak tartare at lunchtime; steaks in the evenings.
Further north and also off Warmoesstraat, down the narrow Oudezijds Armsteeg lane, Brouwerij de Prael is a real treat for beer lovers. The tasting room of the eponymous craft brewery has numerous brews on tap.
Towards the north end of Warmoesstraat, Kam Yin is a cheap and cheerful place favored by local students, with heaped portions of Chinese and Surinamese dishes, and a canteen-style ambience.
Next door, Kokopelli is an excellent smart shop with a wide range of magic truffles and marijuana. Smart shops are a dime a dozen in the Medieval Centre, but this one has both, knowledgeable staff, and a cool lounge.
Around the corner, tiny Nieuwebrugsteeg lane is home to the central branch of Omelegg. Like the original in De Pijp, it’s all about the egg here: a couple of dozen different omelettes, shakshuka, and other eggy creations served all day.
At its north end, Warmoesstraat turns into the tiny Sint Olofspoort lane. In De Olofspoort is a tiny, characterful tasting room that’s very much part of the local scene, compared to the tourist magnet bars in this part of town. A great place to sample jenevers, and occasionally locals will break out in impromptu songs.
Directly across Zeedijk street, In ‘t Aepjen is another atmospheric watering hole inside one of the last few remaining wooden buildings in Amsterdam. It’s a mellow spot, with vintage jazz on the stereo, and not a stag party in sight.
The north end of Zeedijk is part of the Medieval Centre’s nightlife scene, with scores of bars, pubs, and largely mediocre eateries. Exceptions include Dabka, a longstanding local favorite for Lebanese mezze, and a great canal-side terrace to boot.