Beyond Canals and Cannabis: Discovering Amsterdam and its Design-Forward Hotels
Travel8 Minutes Read

Beyond Canals and Cannabis: Discovering Amsterdam and its Design-Forward Hotels

January 18, 2024 Share

Tapping into Amsterdam’s design scene to uncover the capital’s most coveted, designer-approved stays for your upcoming trip.

When you think of Amsterdam you probably think of two things… quaint canal houses, or weed. And whilst that dichotomy is the essence of the Dutch capital, you should also be thinking about is the city’s bustling creative scene. And what better way to experience it than by staying in some of the city’s best-designed hotels? Making use of my knack for good design (a title I’ve awarded myself, even if I attended art school for 7 whole years), here’s a curated selection of my favorite design forward stays in Amsterdam.

De Durgerdam Hotel

Nestled in a restored 17th-century sailor’s inn, De Durgerdam Hotel is a masterpiece of sustainability, seamlessly blending historic elements with contemporary design. Buro Belén’s touch is evident in the thoughtfully chosen materials and artistic details, creating a space that tells the tale of its seafaring heritage while embracing eco-friendly practices. Each room feels like a secret hideaway, offering views of the tranquil IJsselmeer lake, a serene contrast to the city’s hustle and bustle.

De L’Europe Amsterdam

No design tour of Amsterdam would be complete without a visit to De L’Europe Amsterdam. Located in the heart of the city, this hotel is where tradition meets trend, thanks to the ingenious work of Nicemakers, a local interior design studio. The hotel’s historic roots are palpable in its classic elegance, yet the interiors boast modern touches that speak to a more cosmopolitan traveler. It’s an embodiment of luxury, where each room serves as a canvas showcasing the finesse of Dutch design.


Third on our list is the SWEETS Hotel, a daring concept that breathes new life into Amsterdam’s former bridge houses. Amsterdam’s bridge houses are a charming aspect of the city’s landscape. Originally serving as watchpoints for bridge keepers, these small structures have a unique character and history, which SWEETS Hotel cleverly refurbished with modern comforts.

Volkshotel Amsterdam

For something more eclectic, the Volkshotel Amsterdam beckons. This former newspaper office turned hotel is a hub for creative souls. Designed by Hanna Maring, it features rooms that are each a world unto themselves, from a bohemian dream with a wooden bathtub to a modernist haven with colorful screens. The hotel buzzes with energy, its rooftop bar offering a panoramic view of the city, making it a perfect spot for those who seek inspiration with a view.


Botel, is a lot of things, one of those being iconic. A quirky and innovative concept that epitomizes Amsterdam and its design flair for the unconventional, Botel is housed in a converted 1950s ferry. This floating hotel offers a unique stay experience, which blends maritime charm with modern amenities, providing a peaceful retreat on the water. It’s a delightful choice for those who want to experience a different side of Amsterdam, where the gentle sway of the water lulls you to sleep.

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Author: Laura Scalco
Boutique hotels
design travel
hand-picked hotels
where to stay in Amsterdam