by Santorini Dave • Updated: December 19, 2018
W Amsterdam – Sleek, modern, and couldn’t be more central, with Royal Palace views.
Occupying a 1920’s telephone exchange building and a former bank dating back to 1906, W Amsterdam is the epitome of urban sophistication. Inside, it’s all muted greys, strong lines, and floor-to-ceiling windows letting in plenty of light, with welcome splashes of bold color. Room decor references local culture and history, from the bank vault minibars to the Piet Parra wall illustrations; most rooms have Nespresso machines. On-site dining ranges from expertly-seared steaks and burgers to refined Mediterranean fare. The young staff is well-informed and helpful, and the W Insider provides in-depth info on the local art and design scene.
W Amsterdam – Location
- Address: Spuistraat 175, Amsterdam.
- Nearest Tram: Dam.
- Area: Super-central location just off the main Dam Square in the Medieval Centre, and right next to the Royal Palace. Adjoining the historic canal ring; numerous dining options, bars, and shops nearby; walkable (or short tram ride) to the Anne Frank House, the Museum Quarter, and Centraal Station.
- How to Get There: Take the train from Schiphol Airport to Centraal Station, then the tram (1, 2, 5, 13, 17) to Dam stop, next to the hotel.
- Handy to: The Royal Palace, Dam Square, Amsterdam Museum.
W Amsterdam – The Basics
- Ages: Guests tend to be couples on a romantic getaway or honeymoon, or business travelers. No specific amenities offered for children.
- View: Some of the rooms and suites features views of Dam Square and the historical center, whereas others overlook Singel canal.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools/jacuzzis.
- Laundry: In-room laundry.
- Extras: Bikes for hire, turndown service, business center, X Bank shop selling the best of Dutch design, art and fashion.
- 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: 020-811-2500
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: https://www.wamsterdam.nl/
W Amsterdam – Amenities
- Pool: Heated indoor pool with whirlpool and hot tub in the basement, plus rooftop WET deck with pool overlooking the Medieval Centre.
- Spa: AWAY Spa offers massages and beauty treatments, and has an attached sauna and steam room.
- Fitness Center: 24-hour gym with Technogym equipment, HIIT fitness classes, and canal views.
- For Disabled Guests: 3 rooms adapted to guests with disabilities, plus elevators.
W Amsterdam – Food and Drink
- Restaurant: MR PORTER Steakhouse is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Attached bar gets busy in the evenings. Dress nicely. • $$$ • THE DUCHESS serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Imaginative Mediterranean cuisine, including foie gras donuts. Belle Epoque ambience: stained-glass roof and sumptuous Roaring Twenties decor. No kids’ menu. • $$$ • THE BUTCHER 9 Streets is all about American-style burgers, homemade milkshakes, and craft beer. • $$.
- Lounge/Bar: The rooftop W Lounge bar serves adventurous cocktails.
- Breakfast: Not complimentary. One of the best breakfasts in town, with an extensive buffet, imaginative salads, and hot dishes cooked to order; €30 per person. Served 7-10.30am at MR PORTER.
- Room Service: Available around the clock from THE BUTCHER and MR PORTER.
W Amsterdam – Rooms
- Room Types: Cozy Exchange • Wonderful Exchange • Fabulous Bank • Fabulous Canal Bank • Cool Corner • Studio Suite • Marvelous Exchange Suite • Marvelous Bank Suite • Fantastic Suite • WOW Suite Exchange • WOW Suite Bank • Extreme WOW Suite Exchange • Extreme WOW Suite Bank
- Smoking Rooms: W Amsterdam is 100% smoke-free.
- Best Room: The Extreme WOW Suite Bank comes with the signature round W king-sized bed, views of the Singel canal, an excellent sound system, and a walk-in rain shower in the open-plan bathroom with Bliss Spa amenities.
W Amsterdam – Local Transport
- Walking: Easy walking distance to Anne Frank House, Museum Quarter, attractions in the Medieval Centre and the Red Light District, Nine Streets shopping neighborhood. Numerous restaurants, bars, and shops within a few minutes’ walk.
- Tram: Direct tram connections from the Dam stop to Centraal Station, western canal ring, Jordaan, southern canal ring and Leidseplein, plus the Museum Quarter.
- 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.
W Amsterdam – What’s Nearby?
Best Nearby Restaurants
- Breda – One for special occasions. Multi-course, seasonal lunch and dinner menus by some of the city’s most creative chefs, plus 15 wines by the glass. Reservations essential. 3-minute walk.
- Lucius – Local institution, popular as ever after 4 decades. Expect refined seafood dishes, from the pike the restaurant is named after to steamed razor clams with chili. Reservations strongly advised. 4-minute walk.
- Ashoka Restaurant – Bright and breezy Indian and Nepalese restaurant with numerous vegetarian options. 5-minute walk.
- Haesje Claes – Low ceilings, dark-wood furniture, and Dutch classics – from smoked fish platters to stamppot (potatoes mashed with vegetables). 5-minute walk.
- The White Room – Beautifully presented, seasonal, ingredient-driven creations from the Michelin-starred chef inside a stately 19th-century white-and-gold dining room. Multi-course tasting menus only on Fridays and Saturdays; weekday lunches a bargain. Dinner reservations essential. 5-minute walk.
- FuLu Mandarijn – Good mix of Cantonese and Sichuan dishes in smart surroundings. Offerings include dim sum, sea bass in hot chili broth, Kung Pao chicken, and Peking duck with pancakes. 5-minute walk.
- Van Kerkwijk – Intimate, subtly-lit little place with a daily changing menu of French classics, Moroccan tajines, curries, and other internationally-inspired dishes. 6-minute walk.
- D’Vijff Vlieghen – Characterful restaurant spread over 5 17th-century canal houses, renowned for its imaginative Modern Dutch dishes, and decked out with original Rembrandt works. Reservations essential. 6-minute walk.
- Upstairs Pannenkoekenhuis – Traditional Dutch pancakes in tiny 16th-century house, sampled by Anthony Bourdain in The Layover. Reserve ahead, as there are only 4 tables. 9-minute walk.
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- Café Schuim – Mural-bedecked grungy bar that gets seriously packed on weekends, and in the evenings. Younger crowd. 2-minute walk.
- Café Belgique – Chilled-out Belgian beer bar, with 8 brews on tap at the carved wooden bar, and many more bottled options. 5-minute walk.
- De Drie Fleschjes – Characterful 17th-century tasting house that specializes in liqueurs and jenevers. The accompanying snack of choice here is meatballs. 5-minute walk.
- Dante Kitchen & Bar – Vintage interior, high wooden bar and tall ceilings, a warm ambience, great cocktails, and numerous wines by the glass, accompanied by quality bar snacks. 6-minute walk.
- Bubbles & Wines – This sleek wine bar attracts a lively, stylish clientele with its 50+ wines and champagnes by the glass, and superb bar snacks. 6-minute walk.
- The Tara – Maze-like Irish pub that’s a big expat favorite. Good for catching football on the big screen. 7-minute walk.
- Bierfabriek Amsterdam – Hip, brasserie-style microbrewery with private tap tables, 4 own brews on tap, and an accompaniment of rustic dishes. 8-minute walk.
- Café de Dokter – Amsterdam’s smallest pub, run by the descendants of the doctor who founded it in 1798. Expect candlelight, chandeliers, and atmospheric bric-a-brac, plus good whiskies and beer. 8-minute walk.
Nearby Shopping and Cool Shops
- By Popular Demand – Quirky, original gifts in the form of cool gadgets and hard-to-find home decor. 1-minute walk.
- De Bierkoning – Over 1,500 bottled beers from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and the UK. 2-minute walk.
- Magna Plaza – Upmarket shopping mall, best for fashion, jewelry, and souvenirs. 2-minute walk.
- Mark Raven Amsterdam Art – Mark Raven’s city scapes, posters, and t-shirt art. 3-minute walk.
- Concrete – Locally-designed t-shirts, trainers, and jeans. Also doubles as an exhibition space for street art and photography. 4-minute walk.
- Magic Mushroom Gallery – Branch of a popular smart shop chain, good for herbal ecstasy, ‘shrooms, marijuana, and accessories. 4-minute walk.
- Puccini Bomboni – Some of Amsterdam’s best handmade chocolates. 1 of 3 branches. 4-minute walk.
- Reypenaer Tasting Room – Peruse the cheeses in the shop above, or descend into the cellar to taste 6 of their offerings (book ahead). 4-minute walk.
- Laundry Industry – Urban wear for men and women by the eponymous Dutch design house. 5-minute walk.
W Amsterdam – The Hotel
The heated basement pool with whirlpool is open from 7.30am to 9pm daily.
The fully-equipped fitness center is open around the clock.
The rooftop WET Deck with infinity pool overlooking the Royal Palace is open from 7am to 7pm.
The rooftop W Lounge comes with a terrace that looks out over Amsterdam’s skyline.
Breakfast is served in the MR PORTER Steakhouse from 7am to 10.30am; the rest of the day it specializes in expertly-grilled meat. Dinner reservations recommended.
THE DUCHESS combines 1920’s elegance with an imaginative Mediterranean menu. Reservations required for lunch and dinner.
The most compact of the rooms, Cozy Exchange rooms come with king-size beds and standard amenities such as air-con, entertainment systems, and large TVs. Not much of a view.
Wonderful Exchange rooms are roomier, with city views.
While Fabulous Bank and Fabulous Canal Bank are identical in size and amenities, it’s worth spending a bit more on views of Singel canal.
Open-plan Cool Corner rooms have spacious sitting areas, and overlook either the atrium or the street.
Studio Suite Bank offers good city views, but the open-plan bathroom may deter some shy guests.
Both Marvellous Bank Suite and Marvellous Exchange Suite are split-level, with roomy living areas, but the MB Suite looks out over the city rather than the atrium.
The Exchange WOW Suite Bank looks out over Singel canal, and comes with the signature round bed.
In front of the hotel, Dam square is 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.
On the corner of the square, the Amsterdam branch of Madame Tussaud’s is the place to take selfies with wax figures of royalty and celebrities, if that’s your thing.
Directly behind the Royal Palace 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.
Further north along Spuistraat, Ashoka is an inexpensive yet good Indian/Nepalese restaurant, a rarity in the touristy center. Numerous vegetarian dishes.
Next door to the Magna Plaza is By Popular Demand, an original gift store that stands out among numerous tacky souvenir shops in the Medieval Centre. Come here for cool gadgets and homeware.
4 blocks west from the hotel, in the historic canal ring is Westermarkt, reachable on foot or by tram from the stop just north of W Amsterdam. Beneath the church, Wil Graanstra fries is a massive local favorite for Belgian fries.
Behind Westermarkt is the Anne Frank House, where her family hid from the Nazis during WWII. It’s one of Amsterdam’s most popular attractions, so book your ticket online to skip the lines.
Half a block north of the Anne Frank House, Leliegracht leads back east towards the hotel to the tiny Torensluis square that overlooks the Singel canal. There are 2 worthwhile shops facing Torensluis. 1 is a branch of Puccini Bomboni, selling some of Amsterdam’s best handmade chocolates.
Across the street is the Reypenaer Tasting Room; there are cheese shops with a wider range of Dutch cheeses, but this place does regular cheese tastings in the cellar (book ahead).
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.
Heading south from the hotel, busy Spuistraat is dotted with restaurants, bars, and a few shops. On the corner, just southwest of the Royal Palace, De Bierkoning is an excellent place to stock up on craft beers sourced both locally and elsewhere in Europe.
Around the corner, the grungy Café Schuim is very much part of the younger local scene in contrast to largely touristy bars that cluster around nearby Spui square.
Further south, Concrete occasionally hosts street art exhibitions, and sells casual urbanwear: locally designed t-shirts, sneakers, and jeans.
Across the street, Lucius has been a local institution for over 40 years. Refined seafood dishes, romantic ambience. Reservations highly recommended.
While most smart shops selling herbal highs are concentrated in the streets near Centraal Station and in the Red Light District, Magic Mushroom along this stretch of Spuistraat is recommended for its range of marijuana, magic truffles, and accessories.
A block east along St Lucienstraat, Laundry Industry is the most central branch of the Dutch design house specializing in urban wear for men and women.
Right nearby, the Amsterdam Museum is an entertaining romp through 1,000 years of city history, complete with hands-on exhibits, and dressing up opportunities for kids.
Near Spui, Haesje Claes is an atmospheric warren of rooms, and an excellent place to sample traditional Dutch dishes. The smoked fish and seafood platters are particularly good.
Across the street, D’Vijff Vliegen is the place to blow your budget on creative modern Dutch cuisine spread across characterful 17th-century canal houses. Reserve ahead.
Nearby, Dante Kitchen & Bar is a classier bet than most bars and pubs clustered at the west end of Spui, with a vintage interior, great cocktails, and numerous wines by the glass.
At its southern end, Spuistraat ends in Spui square, one of the most popular gathering spots in the Medieval Centre. On Sundays, it hosts the Art Plein Spui, an outdoor book and art market.
The tiny medieval lanes just north of Spui hide numerous atmospheric bars. Café de Dokter is a tiny 18th-century pub – Amsterdam’s smallest – decked out with eclectic antiques, and good for a beer or whisky (if you can squeeze in).
Just east of Spui, the wide Rokin canal is busy with canal cruise boats during the day.
On the east side of the canal, the Allard Pierson Museum houses a superb archaeological collection, from ancient Greek ceramics and an Egyptian mummy to early Mesopotamian artifacts.
Just north of the museum and facing the narrow Grimburgwal canal, the Upstairs Pannenkoekenhuis is arguably the best place in town to try traditional Dutch pancakes (Anthony Bourdain thought so). It’s inside a tiny 16th-century house, so reserve ahead.
Directly opposite, you can browse original gold jewelry designs at Hans Appenzeller. Or check out 3D holographic art and jewelry next door.
From here, narrow Nez street, dotted with alternative theaters, runs back to Dam square. There’s a good microbrewery here too: Bier Fabriek has private tap tables, and rustic dishes to accompany its brews.
A little way up the street, Mappa serves solid Italian dishes, accompanied by Italian wines from small producers.
Nearer Dam is Van Kerkwijk with its daily-changing menu of Moroccan tagines, French dishes, and more.
Nearby, Bubbles & Wines surpasses most Amsterdam bars when it comes to sheer class: it’s a stylish place with dozens of wines and champagnes by the glass, and superb bar snacks to match.
Rokin, the Medieval Centre’s main thoroughfare runs parallel to Nez. Rokin’s bars and restaurants are invariably touristy, and vary in quality. The Tara is one of the city’s most popular Irish pubs, attracting a large expat and visitor crowd. Good for catching the game on the big screen.
Closer to Dam, FuLu Mandarijn is a smart, mid-range Chinese option, with an extensive menu of authentic Sichuan and Cantonese dishes.
North of Dam square, the Damrak thoroughfare takes you all the way to Centraal Station. Branching off to the east, tiny Zoutstraat lane is home to several characterful bars. De Drie Fleschjes, 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.
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.
Across Dam from the hotel, dress nicely and make reservations in advance if you want to wine and dine your significant other at the White Room inside the Hotel Krasnapolsky. It’s well worth blowing your budget on the Michelin-starred multi-course menus.