Grand, historic property in the Canal Ring, overlooking Amstel River
Near restaurants, shops, Hermitage Gallery, and public transport
Large, elegant rooms with antique-style furniture and modern amenities
Marble bathrooms have separate rain showers and tubs
Outstanding dining includes popular afternoon tea service
Upscale French Mediterranean eatery and more casual brasserie
Spa complete with heated indoor pool, sauna, steam room, and massages
Well-equipped fitness center, and water aerobics classes
Elegant meeting rooms and banquet halls with river views
Free Wi-Fi throughout the property
Few major attractions within easy walking distance
Ornate, classic decor is not for everyone
Pricey breakfast not included in standard rate
Set overlooking the Amstel River, the stunning, luxurious Intercontinental Amstel is one of Amsterdam’s most iconic hotels. Its 79 rooms and suites are some of the largest in town, and are outfitted in an elegant style that combines beautiful antiques and handmade porcelain with top-of-the-line amenities and palatial marble bathrooms. Dining is outstanding at both La Rive and at Amstel Brasserie, and the gorgeous Amstel Lounge is popular among locals and tourists alike for its excellent afternoon tea service and lovely river views. The hotel also features exceptional fitness and wellness facilities, complete with personal trainers, massage services, and a heated indoor pool with large windows. In this price range, The Dylan Amsterdam is more contemporary and has a more central location in the Canal Ring.
Opulent five-pearl hotel with stately interiors and wonderful river views
Housed in a stunning building with a commanding setting on the banks of the Amstel River, the Intercontinental Amstel is one of Amsterdam’s grand dames. The property has been around since 1867, and its imposing facade, gorgeous lobby, outstanding service, and opulent rooms have historically set the bar for classic luxury. Climbing the carpeted steps to the arched entrance where uniformed doormen await can make travelers feel like a celebrity from back in the day, while the lavish lobby, with its stately arches and ceiling moldings, golden chandeliers, and polished marble floors take visitors straight to the Dutch Golden Age. The Intercontinental is classic and formal, but it manages to feel more elegant than stuffy, and common areas are always busy with non-guests admiring the grand interiors and panoramic river views. The busiest time of the day, however, tends to be in the early afternoon, when couples and families sit down for tea in the gorgeous Amstel Lounge, housed in a jaw-dropping space with floor-to-ceiling windows, huge skylights, plush velvet seating, and thick rugs.
The Intercontinental is one of the top hotels in Amsterdam, but this level of luxury comes at a price, and the rich, classic decor may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Those seeking something equally luxurious but more contemporary may prefer the Conservatorium Hotel, which has similar rates and chic rooms with high-end amenities. Hotel Estherea is a cheaper luxury option with whimsical interiors, lavish rooms, and a convenient location that's walking distance to most major attractions. For about half the price of the Intercontinental, the Canal House is an intimate boutique with fashionable rooms and a trendy bar.
On the eastern edge of the Canal Ring, near public transport and some attractions
The hotel is located by the Amstel River, about two blocks from the famous Skinny Bridge. Though part of the Canal Ring, this eastern end of the neighborhood is quieter than the more central areas, as few major attractions can be found nearby. There are a handful of restaurants, shops, and cafes in the immediate vicinity of the hotel, and the tram and metro stop about a block each from the main entrance, allowing for easy access to the heart of the action in the Old Center. Tourist sights such as the Hermitage Amsterdam, zoo, Albert Cuyp Market, and the Heineken Experience can all be reached on foot, while others farther afield -- such as the Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House, and Dam Square -- are just a quick 15-minute tram ride away. Centraal Station is about 10 minutes away by tram, and it takes about 25 minutes to get from the hotel to the airport by car.
Big, light-filled rooms with upmarket amenities and marble bathrooms; many have river views
The hotel has 79 rooms, including 24 gorgeous suites and 55 large entry-level Executive Rooms. They’re all decorated in a classic, ornate style, with beautiful antiques, rich fabrics, elegant wallpaper, and flowery details on throw pillows and heavy drapes. Rooms come in three different color schemes -- gold, red, or navy -- but all feature plush carpets, wonderful beds with several pillows, and huge windows that offer either city or river views. Handmade porcelain touches and drawings of old Dutch scenes add local charm, while neutral accents and small lamps help make spaces warm and homey.
Starting at 376 square feet (35 square meters), rooms at the Intercontinental are some of the largest in town, and each has enough space to fit a small seating area, a work desk, and a sideboard stocked with a wide array of liquors, an Illy coffeemaker, electric kettle, and minibar. Large TVs come with lots of international channels, and there are CD/DVD players in all rooms. Wi-Fi is free, and robes, slippers, and safes are provided. Marble bathrooms are large and decadent, with separate soaking tubs and rainfall showers, an array of quality toiletries, plush towels, and antique-style taps.
Excellent dining options, indoor pool, spa, and meeting spaces
The hotel has extensive fine-dining options, from a French and Mediterranean restaurant with an excellent selection of wines, to a more casual cocktail bar with a tapas-style menu. La Rive is only open for dinner and features a private dining area, while lunch and dinner are available at La Brasserie, a more relaxed eatery with big windows overlooking the river. Breakfast is outstanding, with a huge variety of quality hot and cold options, but the pricey spread is not included in all room rates. In the summer, the riverside terraces are a popular spot for a drink or a bite with a view, while the Lounge attracts lots of tourists and locals for afternoon tea and lunch.
Another highlight of the Intercontinental is the wonderful wellness and fitness facilities, which consist of a beautiful heated indoor pool with big windows, loungers, and water aerobics classes; a spa with massage services, a sauna, steam room, and whirlpool; and a gym with modern cardio and strength-training machines and personal trainers. The hotel also has seven meeting rooms and banquet halls, each with up-to-date audiovisual equipment and elegant decor. Concierge services are available in the lobby.
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