Price ranges for rooms are as follows:
€€€ = most rooms € 250 or more
€€ = most rooms € 150-250
€ = most rooms € 150 or less.
1. The Dylan
If I could stay in any hotel in Amsterdam, I'd choose The Dylan. The 41 Asian-inspired guest rooms and suites fit one of six design themes; while some are draped in fine silks of rich raspberry or persimmon, others evoke a calm mood with linen in white, green or lavender. All this style comes from British design maven Anouska Hempel, who opened the hotel as Blakes in 1999. The space had previously been a 17th-century theater and an 18th-century home for the poor. The brick-walled bakery of the latter now serves as the elegant Dylan Restaurant. Common areas like the courtyard of the bar blend meticulously restored historical architecture with award-winning contemporary design.
Price: €€ (suites more)
Once you experience the highly sophisticated design and quality of service at The College Hotel, you might be surprised to learn that it's run by students -- students training in the art of horeca, or hospitality, at the Amsterdam School of Hotel Management. The ornate brickwork and 19th-century architecture (it was built as a school in 1895) are a grand backdrop for the clean modern décor of the 40 guest rooms and suites, which range from simple but elegant doubles to three-bedroom suites. Locals frequent the chic bar and lounge area, as well as the courtyard terrace in summer. Enjoy gourmet Dutch cuisine at The College Restaurant, which earns rave reviews.
3. Lloyd Hotel
Price: It depends
The Lloyd's unique price structure means guests on any budget can enjoy the boutique-hotel experience. The 117 rooms range in price from € 95 to € 450, based on surface area and their rating from one-star (shared bathroom in the hall) up to five-star (suite large enough to fit a grand piano). Guests may join visitors and locals at the many performances, exhibitions and presentations the hotel hosts throughout the year in its role as a "cultural embassy." Built in 1921 to house Europeans emigrating to the Americas and serving as a prison during WWII, the building seeps history and is a fine example of the Art Deco and Amsterdam School architectural styles.
The V is for Victorie, as in Victorieplein, where the group's first hotel is located. The Hotel V Frederiksplein opened in March 2008 after an extensive renovation of the monumental apartment building it occupies. It's crown design jewel is the lounge-like lobby, boasting a huge leather couch wrapped around an open-concept fireplace, overlooking a busy street through a wall of windows. The 48 single, double, "large" and "XL" rooms employ unique elements like dragon-wood wallpaper and pebblestone bathrooms. The location is über-convenient with four tram lines and a taxi stand just outside.
5. Hotel Arena
Located outside the main tourist area of Amsterdam, but still close to sights like the Tropenmuseum and Artis Zoo, Hotel Arena offers modern, minimalist accommodations in a stunning 19th-century former orphanage. Choose from a basic City Room, spacious Wellness Studio, garden-view Loft Deluxe or top-of-the-line Suite. As a guest at the Hotel Arena complex, you'll encounter locals who visit the café "ToDrink" and its idyllic terrace, patrons of the on-site international restaurant "ToDine" and the nightlife crowd who come to dance at trendy "ToNight" (the rooms are technically part of the "ToStay" section). After a 2008/09 renovation, the hotel expects to earn four-star status.
6. Hotel Roemer
Price: €€ (suites more)
Rain showers, jet-stream baths, iPod docks and Nespresso coffeemakers -- these are just a few of the amenities you'll find in Hotel Roemer's 23 double, executive and junior suite rooms, whose contemporary clean lines and pastel color schemes give no clue that the building was once an 18th-century mansion. Pronounced like "rumor," the hotel is situated on a quiet street of stately buildings nestled near the Vondelpark and busy Leidseplein. In fair weather, the garden offers a green respite from city sightseeing.
7. Hotel Vondel
Price: €€ (suites more)
Just around the corner from Hotel Roemer, which is owned by the same group, Hotel Vondel has a similar philosophy and design aesthetic, at a slightly lower price. With 78 rooms and suites, guests have more variety of accommodations to choose from, including sizes "S" through "XL," a junior suite and a family suite convenient for those who need larger adjoining spaces. Like those of its nearby sister hotel, Vondel's guests enjoy a calm outdoor space in the private courtyard garden. Joost, the on-site brasserie-style restaurant, offers lunch and dinner and fills room-service requests from both hotels.