Last weekend I reached the landmark birthday of four decades. I wanted to celebrate in style and if possible do so abroad, and somewhere I had not been before. I picked Amsterdam.
The Hoxton Hotel has two places in London, one (obviously) in Hoxton which I’ve not been to yet, and another in Holborn, a stones throw away from my office. I’ve had drinks and lunch at the Holborn outpost and really liked the atmosphere. It’s chilled out and relaxed, with clever styling and fantastic attention to detail. I hoped the Amsterdam outpost was going to follow suit and it really did.
The hotel is located in Herengracht – a classy area of the city littered with boutique shops and cafes. It’s comfortably away from the overly touristy area full of chip shops and tat but is only a ten minute walk from the boat rides, train station and museums.
The building is a beautiful converted barge house overlooking the canal and cobbled streets. Inside the decor is mid century/vintage with a members club vibe about it. Leather chairs, industrial lighting and quirky ornaments come together in a mismatched yet stylish way. There’s even a vintage photo booth for guests to use, which we of course did.
The clientele is mixed – different ages and nationalities mingle with locals for cocktails, brunches and weekend breaks.
The hotel staff are hugely friendly and massively helpful throughout our stay. There’s water and milk in the room which is replenished daily and free wifi too. Guests can call anywhere in the world for up to an hour – something I’ve never come across before.
Rooms here vary hugely – ‘shoebox’, ‘cosy’, ‘roomy’ and ‘concept’ offer a range of different sized rooms to suit budgets and needs. We have a roomy twin and its pretty big. Lovely big windows overlook a courtyard, furniture is plush and eclectic. The beds are massively comfortable, something that can’t always be said for hotel stays.
As with the rest of the hotel nice touches can be found in the rooms – a Roberts radio (playing jazz on arrival to our room), vintage paperbacks, stylish lighting and traditional Delft ceramics – it’s all right up my straat.
Gorgeous Pen and Ink products are found in the bathrooms and throughout the hotel, plus drinks and snacks can be purchased at reception at supermarket prices to take back to your quarters. We’re left a handwritten welcome note and bar of Stach chocolate which is also available to buy downstairs. On the morning of my birthday – I am left a box containing a helium balloon outside my door. Little touches do make the difference.
Breakfast is available at an additional cost in the hotel restaurant Lotti’s but guests receives a breakfast bag each morning left on a hook outside the room. A banana, freshly squeezed orange juice and granola with yoghurt is a perfect start to keep you going till you head outside for something more substantial such as Dutch pancakes.
One watch point – a DJ plays in the bar till late downstairs some nights so unless you plan on joining the party, maybe request a room on one of the top floors.
There are so many great options for accommodation in Amsterdam including hiring a houseboat. If you’re looking for somewhere in a great location with a bit of a twist then give the Hoxton a try.