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.)
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Top photo copyright © Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel.
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