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Interiors of Outside Inn indoor campsite hotel
Image from Zo Alfeqar

Unusual hotels in Amsterdam

Your accommodation in the Dutch capital can be just as memorable as your sightseeing. In Amsterdam, you can choose from several truly unusual hotels. What about sleeping in the middle of the River IJ, a former prison, on a houseboat, or on your own private tower? There are plenty of options for a remarkable stay, each with their own fascinating story to tell.

Hotel Not Hotel

If you chose to stay at Hotel Not Hotel, you could end up sleeping in an antique Amsterdam tram carriage. Or a room behind a secret door in the library, a Spanish villa or an abstract motel. Every room here is a work of art, each with its own story and personality, dreamed up by the young designers of the Eindhoven-based collective Collaboration-O and the duo Arno Coenen/IRIS. However, all rooms are equipped with luxurious beds, bed linen and towels, sufficient storage space for luggage and power sockets for charging all your electric devices.

Hotel Not Hotel | Piri Reisplein 34

Spending a night or two on one of Amsterdam's floating homes is definitely an original way to experience the city and its canals. Dive into a world of floating charm with a diverse range of houseboats on offer across the city courtesy of Rest your head on a peaceful stretch of the Amstel River, waking up to views of the passing boats, or book a stay in the centre of the Jordaan - some with private roof terraces included. There are locations across the city and further afield into the Amsterdam Area. From authentic barges with characteristic wheelhouses to sleek, modern arks - your perfect water home awaits. | citywide locations

Outside Inn

Love the experience of camping but don't fancy braving the Dutch elements? Outside Inn is the only indoor campsite in the Netherlands, offering a variety of unique overnight stays for the weather-sensitive traveller. Sleep in a vintage caravan, a retro camper van, a beach house or a charming camping pod, with each room equipped with a plush bed and cosy interior - so you never need to grapple with tent poles. All of the rooms are situated inside a 1000 m² hall surrounded by grass, indoor terraces, swings and all the camping facilities you need. 

Outside Inn | Ellermanstraat 31

Hotel de Windketel

Hotel De Windketel at Watertorenplein.
Image from Lesia Joukova

What could be more romantic than an overnight stay in your own private tower? Hotel de Windketel is a free-standing tower in the middle of the Watertorenplein. In the 20th century, this house was part of the municipal waterworks. The waterworks complex included five buildings, with the tower being the smallest. Today, this historic building serves as a hotel. Hotel de Windketel consists of three floors and is equipped with all the latest conveniences. After spending a long day in Amsterdam, you can relax in the garden surrounding the hotel.

Hotel de Windketel | Watertorenplein 8-C

Faralda NDSM Crane Hotel

View of on the Crane Hotel
Image from Jan de Ridder

Those with a head for heights should undoubtedly consider staying a night in this one-of-a-kind hotel at Amsterdam’s NDSM Wharf. A lasting icon of Amsterdam's industrial shipbuilding heritage, this exclusive hotel is atop a monumental harbour crane beside the River IJ. With three luxury suites overlooking not only the river but offering a fantastic panoramic view of Amsterdam's city centre, the Faralda NDSM Crane Hotel has become one of the world's most publicised hotel experiences. And at the crane's highest point you'll discover the Faralda Spa, where guests can enjoy both the jacuzzi and city vista.

Faralda NDSM Crane Hotel | NDSM-plein 78 


SWEETS Hotel bridge house hotel room
Image from SWEETS

This hotel is perfect for any visitor who wants to stay somewhere that is both unique and typically Amsterdam. SWEETS transformed 28 of the city's iconic canal houses into one unique hotel experience. For a century, these bridge houses were occupied by the city's bridge keepers, responsible for controlling boat traffic throughout the Canal Ring. Of course, when the centralised bridge-control system was implemented across the city, the bridge houses were no longer in use. Until SWEETS came along, that is. The small, one-bedroom suites suit two people, and the views are breathtaking. There are boat houses in Amsterdam's busiest canals and most serene neighbourhoods, meaning there's a SWEETS hotel experience for everyone.

SWEETS | various locations

Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam

The five-star Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam is housed in a national monument called the Scheepvaarthuis (Shipping House). This architectural treasure is steeped in history and was essential to Amsterdam's 17th-century beginnings. The building marks the starting point of the first Dutch voyage to the East Indies in 1595. The decadent hotel is also considered the first example of the Amsterdam School style of architecture. Its quirky ornamentation (yes, those are stained glass mermaids and lobsters), complex masonry and wrought iron detailing ignited a new direction in Dutch architecture.

Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam | Prins Hendrikkade 108-114

Read more about luxury hotels in Amsterdam.

Hotel The Exchange

Fashion lovers will feel right at home at Hotel The Exchange on the Damrak in which every room is a work of art. Founders and designers Otto Nan and Suzanne Oxenaar collaborated with graduates and alumni from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute on the hotel. That’s why each of the 61 rooms, ranging from 1 to 5 stars, looks completely different. There are even rooms inspired by former French queen Marie Antoinette and Grimm’s fairy tales. On the ground floor, you’ll find restaurant Stock.

Hotel The Exchange | Damrak 50

Read more about art and design hotels in Amsterdam.

Botel Amsterdam

The NDSM wharf in Amsterdam Noord is a rugged, adventurous, and iconic area on the IJ. The free character, the post-industrial buildings, and the creative atmosphere form the backdrop where culture, self-organization, and urban development come together
Image from Koen Smilde

Nothing is more unusual than sleeping in a floating hotel. Botel Amsterdam lies in the middle of the IJ River next to the NDSM Wharf – a former shipyard which is now becoming one of the city’s artistic and cultural hotspots. The Botel has 175 rooms in three different categories. When you make your reservation, you can let them know whether you’d prefer a land or water view. But be warned: with life on the open waves, sea legs are a must!

Botel Amsterdam | NDSM-Pier 3

Read more about trendy hostels in Amsterdam.