Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel
"Quirky" isn't a word that you'd normally associate with a five-star hotel, but the deserves the adjective. After all, how many luxury hotels have a 17th Century domed church and a genuine Dutch "brown café" on the premises?
To be sure, the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel is mainstream in other respects. The hotel (which is owned by Marriott International) has 402 well-equipped guest rooms and suites, plus a friendly staff and an amenity that makes sense in Europe's bicycling capital: two-wheelers for guests.
The Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel recently underwent a €20 million renovation that included a new lobby, a Mediterranean restaurant, a fitness center, redecorated guest rooms, and other improvements. It was a comfortable and well-equipped hotel even before the renovation was complete, so if you visit, you'll probably enjoy the hotel even more than I did when I stayed there in October, 2008.
Dome sweet dome and a brown pub
Back to those quirky extras that make the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel so intriguing:
A cozy location near the station
The Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel is easy to find and reach, although it's more low-key than you might expect: Much of the building is hidden behind the façades of traditional houses and storefronts on a quiet little street named Kattengat, just around the corner from the Singel Canal and a three-minute walk from Centraal Station. (Unless you've got piles of luggage, don't bother with a cab.)
For more information, including rates, visit the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel Web site or view the hotel's visual presentation in Adobe PDF format. And for more pictures of the hotel and its surroundings, see page 2 of this article.
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