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Banks Mansion 4.0

Amsterdam, North Holland Province, Netherlands

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • In the Canal Ring, walking distance to most tourist attractions
  • Classic, elegant rooms with top-notch amenities; some have canal views 
  • Free minibar items and in-room alcoholic drinks
  • Excellent buffet breakfast with hot items included in all rates
  • Cozy lounge with free daily wine and cheese hours
  • Free Wi-Fi, and movies and sports channels in all rooms
  • Concierge services, and loaner wooden bikes (for a fee)
  • Elevator to all floors (but a few steps to main entrance)

Cons

  • No accessible rooms
  • No full restaurant or gym on-site

Bottom Line

Set along Herengracht Canal, the 51-room Banks Mansion is a beautiful boutique with an upscale home-away-from-home concept. Rates aren’t cheap, but they include tons of freebies that add value and make the stay special and comfortable. Instead of a bar and a restaurant, the hotel has a spacious, sun-filled lounge with free drinks, snacks, and wine and cheese hours daily, and an excellent (and also free) breakfast with made-to-order fare is served every morning in a pleasant room with an intimate vibe. Entry-level rooms are on the small side, but some have picturesque canal views, and all have a wonderful array of high-end amenities, including decanters with free whisky, cognac, and gin, espresso machines, and free unlimited minibar items. Travelers seeking something with more on-site amenities in this price range may want to consider The Dylan Amsterdam

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Scene

Upscale boutique with tons of great freebies and a strong local feel 

Housed in a traditional Amsterdam building set along one of the most famous canals in town, the Banks Mansion is eye-catching and elegant from the get-go. Interiors are beautifully decked out in an upmarket, classic style that draws heavily on wood and stained-glass. Custom-made carpets with geometric designs, Modernist patterns on couches, and abstract art are nods at the source of inspiration for the interior design, famous Dutch architect Hendrik Petrus Berlage. Despite its rather unconventional decor style, the property feels cozy and intimate, with a concept that aims at making guests feel at home. Rates, while not inexpensive, include a staggering array of freebies that show an excellent attention to detail, such as a self-service bar with free drinks and snacks throughout the day, in-room decanters with three different alcoholic drinks, and free breakfast with cooked-to-order dishes. The free wine and cheese hours are popular among guests, most of whom are middle-aged couples. 

These thoughtful touches help create a homey atmosphere that is better suited to travelers who want to take in the city one step at a time, than for those seeking to explore every corner of Amsterdam in a short weekend trip. The Toren is a great alternative for the latter, with plush, ornate rooms, a great lobby lounge, slightly lower rates, and a central location near the Anne Frank House. Set directly adjacent to the lovely Vondelpark, the Pillows Anna van den Vondel offers a similar experience to the Banks Mansion, with intimate table d’hote dinners, high-end personalized service, and a serene garden. Families seeking something in the same price range as the Banks Mansion may want to compare rates at The Dylan Amsterdam, which offers several child-friendly amenities and services, including a dedicated kids’ concierge.  

Location

Central location in the Canal Ring, close to tourist attractions, shopping, and dining

The hotel is located on the banks of the Herengracht, one of Amsterdam’s most famous waterways. There are dozens of small cafes, bars, and restaurants within a few blocks of the hotel, and the Nine Streets shopping area is just a 10-minute walk away. Most major tourist attractions can also be reached on foot within 15 minutes, including the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Rembrandt Museum, and Dam Square. The Anne Frank House is about a 20-minute walk away, or 15 minutes by tram. Tram lines 16 and 24 stop half a block away, while lines 4, 9, and 14 can be found a three-minute walk away. The hotel has a few wooden bikes that guests can rent for a fee. The Banks Mansion is a 12-minute tram ride from Central Station and a 30-minute drive from the airport. 

Rooms

Elegant rooms with excellent amenities and cute bathrooms

The hotel’s 51 rooms are decorated in a classic, elegant style that combines a dark-brown color scheme with stained-glass accents and custom-made Berlage-inspired carpets with geometric patterns in orange, blue, and red hues. The overall style is understated and tasteful, and decorative touches such as rotary phones, warm lights, and polished wooden furniture with Modernist influences tie in well with the early-20th-century feel. Rooms range from somewhat small 269-square-foot (25-square-meter) Double Deluxe units to 807-square-foot (75-square-meter) Suites, but all are comfortable and have large windows, many with canal views. Units on the first and third floors have French balconies. 

Each room is outfitted with a wide array of great amenities, including queen or king Topperbox beds with soft duvets and several different pillows, robes, slippers, Nespresso machines, and free Wi-Fi. Other basics such as safes and umbrellas are also provided, and large flat-screen TVs feature free movies and sports channels. Minibars are stocked with a great selection of free items (refilled for free), and each room features decanters filled with gin, cognac, and whisky that guests can use free of charge. Bathrooms are compact but charming, with checkered floors, big sinks with antique taps over wooden vanities, spacious walk-in rain showers, hairdryers, and an array of quality toiletries. Many rooms have separate tubs as well. 

All rooms have elevator access, but there are no wheelchair-accessible rooms. 

Features

Excellent breakfast buffet, and tons of upscale freebies

The hotel’s home-away-from-home concept is captured in the staggering array of excellent freebies and cozy common spaces. Free breakfast is served every morning in a stylish room decorated with local art. The spread includes a variety of continental options -- such as pastries, breads, jams, cheeses, and meats -- plus made-to-order eggs and pancakes, hot and cold drinks, and juices. The main common space at the Banks Mansion is the lobby lounge, known here as the Living Room, and it's a beautiful space with large windows overlooking the canal, comfortable seating, and a cozy nook with a fireplace. A selection of free beverages and snacks are available throughout the day there, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, coffee and tea, pastries, and fresh fruit. The hotel also offers free, daily wine hours, complete with a selection of local cheeses bought at a nearby traditional market.

Unfortunately, there are no full restaurant or wellness facilities of any kind here. Hotel staff can arrange bike rentals and provide concierge services. 

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Address

Herengracht 519-525, Amsterdam, North Holland Province 1017 BV, The Netherlands

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