Among the two-pearl hotels vying for the tourists who flock to central Amsterdam, the family-run Boutique Hotel View stands out for its recently updated common areas and more stylish rooms, some of which have overlook a canal. It's right on a tram line, making it a convenient base for exploring the city, but can also suffer from the heavy traffic that comes with it -- which can be exacerbated by the area's late-night party scene. The noise levels and lack of an elevator make it best-suited to younger tourists looking to experience Amsterdam's canal life, without the usual frills -- or the usual bill.
Contemporary design in an old canal house at the heart of the action
The interiors of this four-story canal house are cramped, but charming. The tiny entryway leads into a narrow hall with a staircase leading up to the rooms (there is no elevator), with windows on one side providing a view into the recently updated lobby, which also doubles as the hotel's breakfast room and lounge. An upright double bass near the small front desk jazzes up the dark color palette and contemporary furnishings, which include an avant-garde chandelier and sleek white chairs. A resident cat prowls hardwood floors, and, though restricted to this room, it may not please breakfast diners with allergies. Most guests are tourist couples looking to explore central Amsterdam on foot and, thus, spend little time lounging at the hotel.
On a canal in Leidseplein, within walking distance of most major Amsterdam sights
Situated on the curve of a picturesque canal, the Boutique Hotel View is on prime real estate in Amsterdam's Leidseplein neighborhood, one of the city's liveliest areas, especially popular for its nightlife and tourist sights. The museum quarter is in walking distance, with major attractions including the Museumplein's (Museum Square's) Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum. From the tram lines outside the hotel, the city center can be reached in minutes. Schiphol Amsterdam Airport is about an 18-minute car ride; the hotel can arrange airport transfers for a fee.
Small and modern, with few amenities; some with views of the canal
Most of the 14 rooms packed into the Boutique Hotel View are small, but they're pleasantly decorated in a contemporary style with dark wood furniture, light-colored walls, and geometric accent pieces, though some of the larger deluxe rooms and suites have ornate wallpaper, original (no longer working) fireplaces, and flourishes of pink. There's only space to sit in the Deluxe rooms and suites, which also come with tea- or coffee-makers, but none have mini-fridges. The white-tiled bathrooms are equally cramped -- most are best described as large walk-in showers that also have a toilet and sink. Close inspection reveals dusty shelves, rusting fixtures, and loose door handles, but little that can't be remedied with a call to the front desk. Front-facing rooms have canal views, but get the most street noise.
Its central location overlooking a canal is the Boutique Hotel View's best feature, with few other on-site amenities to speak of. The breakfast isn't free, but the continental buffet offerings are bolstered by homemade, cooked-to-order pancakes, eggs, and other hot options made by the exceptionally helpful staff. A guest computer room provides two semi-private stations for those without their own devices to get online with the hotel's free Wi-Fi. Snacks and drinks can be purchases from the front desk throughout the day.
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