Accommodation in the Red Light District
With its rows of head shops and sex shops, Warmoesstraat is one of Amsterdam’s most animated streets. It runs from China Town to Dam Square, forming a kind of border to the kingdom of excess: the Red Light District. This symbolic spot is the location of two noteworthy budget hotels: the Koopermoolen and the Greenhouse Effect. The Koopermoolen is setwith in a historic building that dates back to 1725 and offers affordable (around €80 for a double), classic accommodation. While it’s not a high-end hotel, standards are reliably decent for the price and location. The atmosphere at the Greenhouse Effect is more akin to that of a youth hostel, mostly due to the concerts held in the downstairs bar. A little more expensive than the Koopermoolen, the décor is also more original, with each bedroom boasting its own fanciful theme.
Also on Warmoesstraat, the Hotel CC (from €54) and the Hotel Luxer (from €50) are two 3-star establishments that both offer good value for money. The first is decorated in a sleek, almost futurist style, while the second plays on simplicity and modernity. For increased privacy, you could try the Red Light Studio (from €89), a modern studio apartment for two decorated with red furnishings in a nod to the location.
Charming hotels around Nieuwmarkt
The following hotels around the famous market square of Nieumarkt fall into a higher category than most accommodation in the Red Light District. Run by attentive owners, these small and cosy nests of calm make a perfect weekend retreat for couples. Set in a 16th-century town house on Geldersekade canal, the Mauro Mansion (around €130) comes highly recommended by past guests. A mix of warm colours, designer and antique furniture, exposed beams and brickwork combine to make this typical Dutch residence a charming and relaxing place to stay. Just south of Nieumarkt, the Misc Eatdrinksleep is a quirky little hotel that proposes six rooms, each with their own distinct décor. Choose between exotic African prints, Morrrocan drapes, ornate Baroque or contemporary design… the rooms all have a personal touch making this an atypical hideaway, and a warm welcome from the couple who own the hotel is guarenteed.
Finding a peaceful setting in the centre
Central Amsterdam is relatively small and easy to navigate by foot, so it’s easy enough to find a hotel that’s located away from the raucous streets of the Red Light District while still within easy reach of the major attractions. The neighbourhood of Jordaan, for example – a sought-after area for its bohemian-village feel – is full of comfortable, low-key hotels. With its contemporary décor and affordable rates, one of our favourite such establishments is the Chic & Basic. Also in Jordaan, the Hotel Sebastian’s (from €75) offers a more extravagant décor using deep colours and rich fabrics, whereas the The Old Lady (from €110) provides classic, elegance accommodation for two in a bright and airy apartment with period features.
Over on the other side of the city in the old Jewish quarter, the décor at Hotel Hermitage Amsterdam combines striking Baroque-inspired wallpaper with modern facilities. Travellers recommended it for its low prices, which start at under €50, plus its proximity to several museums and other places of interest. In the same area, The Bridge Hotel is also good value for money for a 3-star, with rates from €54.