Stating that hotels in Amsterdam come in all shapes, sizes and formats is not much of an exaggeration. Visitors to this Dutch city have their choice of mid-range and upscale chain hotels, family-operated bed and breakfasts, and lodgings set in 17th-century canal-side houses. Even so, visitors to Amsterdam who consider their lodgings to be as much a part of their trip as the destination is should proceed directly to one of Amsterdam's historic canal houses.
July and August are the peak months for Amsterdam's hotel industry. Frommer's strongly recommends advance bookings during this period, and that advice applies doubly to visitors in town for a single night. Such travelers might find that hard-nosed Dutch hoteliers are unwilling to book them even when vacancies are available, due to the high odds of booking a longer-term guest instead. Short-term visitors to Amsterdam who cannot plan in advance should therefore look for last-minute vacancies instead.
Ten canal houses from the 17th and 18th centuries were conjoined to create the Ambassade, which, according to Frommer's, "re-creates what it must have felt like to live in an elegant canal house" more than any other hotel in Amsterdam. Also a Fodor's Choice hotel, the Ambassade's rooms are individually and elegantly decorated in a style chosen to match the particular house that room is located in. Rooms near the rear of the complex, however, have a reputation for being both small and dark. The Ambassade's location near Spui Square and its Friday book market make it popular with visiting literati, and several well-known authors have frequented the hotel.
Part of the stylish Dylan chain of boutique hotels, Dylan Amsterdam is a New York Times Travel Pick and Fodor's Choice. Although the hotel occupies a modern building, it does enjoy views of Amsterdam's canals and incorporated the stone archway from a ruined 17th-century theater into its structure. The 33 rooms and eight suites are spacious and decorated in a thoroughly Euro-modern fashion that exudes "laid-back glamour," according to Conde Nast Traveler. The hotel restaurant is set in a late 18th-century bakery and serves a highly regarded French menu.
Named for one of the most famous sights in Amsterdam, the Seven Bridges offers its guests 11 individually decorated rooms. Each room is furnished with an eclectic collection of antiques personally chosen by the hotel's owner and drawn from periods ranging from Amsterdam's 17th-century heyday to the early 20th-century Art Deco, while the ceilings often feature either plaster moldings or wooden beams. Even those rooms located in the basement have a bright, cozy feel. Breakfast is included and served in guest rooms, which look out either onto the canal or to the rear garden.
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