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Hotel The Exchange 3.0

Amsterdam, North Holland Province, Netherlands

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Centrally located on the Damrak
  • Individually designed interesting rooms
  • Lounges brim with art installations 
  • Cafe serves an all-day breakfast
  • Public spaces display items from Options! web store
  • Some rooms have coffeemakers
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Rooms are small -- some tiny --  and vary wildly in quality
  • No fitness center
  • Fee for parking 

Bottom Line

The Exchange is a boutique concept hotel, where all 61 rooms have been decorated by different young fashion designers from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. As such, the rooms at this mid-range property vary widely in decor. Tiny spaces reminiscent of dorm rooms at an art school offer travelers a place to sleep at budget rates, while pricier top-tier rooms provide a more transformative design experience that includes Nespresso machines and better views. The public spaces double as art galleries, and the quirky Cafe Stock, where breakfast is served all day, is a place to unwind.

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Scene

Individually designed spaces "dressed like art models"

From the outside, guests could easily miss the entrance, as The Exchange is tucked between a cafe and a pizza joint. A sign proclaims that the hotel "Has Rooms Dressed Like Models. There's a narrow hallway that leads to a red booth housing the front desk. Vibrant colors, strung lights, original artwork, and floral bouquets add interest and a slightly chaotic look to the public areas. Opposite walls of glass look into Cafe Stock, where art students, tourists, and hotel guests mingle at lunchroom-style tables. 

Location

Centrally located on the Damrak

Surrounded by shops, restaurants, and cafes on the Damrak -- a busy road connecting Centraal Station to Dam Square -- Hotel The Exchange is set amid the bustle of central Amsterdam. It's a good location for tourists who want to stay in the midst of the city's activity  (with accompanying noise levels), as most attractions are no more than a five-minute walk from the hotel. Nearby transportation options give easy access to other parts of the city, and the Schiphol Amsterdam Airport is about 30 minutes away by car.

Rooms

Wide variety of student designer fantasies

The 61 rooms range in size and design on a scale measured by one to five stars, with individual designers applying their own themes. Many are bright and airy with a minimalist modern decor, whereas others have antique furnishings and the exposed wooden beams of the original building; others mix several elements together. One room is built around the structure of a skirt, with a fabric installation enveloping the bed. Another room has zippers over the windows. Some of the upper-floor rooms are stunning, with great natural light and a view over Amsterdam on three sides, but other rooms are dark, almost oppressive (cage-like installations appear in more than one). Nespresso machines come in the higher-rated rooms but none have mini-fridges. White-tiled bathrooms are basic, with shower/tub combos.

Features

Cafe with all-day breakfast, lounges, and Options! web store

There are three lounges that double as galleries, all of which have been styled by different artists -- one features a sprawling light installation reminiscent of a necklace (echoing the rooms dressed like models theme). The hotel operates a web store called Options! --it sells clothes and handmade goods, some of which can be seen displayed in the lounges and other public spaces. Cafe Stock embraces Amsterdam's late night party vibe, with strong coffee and an all-day breakfast. The kitchen uses locally sourced produce, and jams, and local beers (and wine) are available alongside sandwiches, salads, and apple pie. 

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Address

Damrak 50, Amsterdam, North Holland Province 1012 LL, The Netherlands

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