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Unusual hotels

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

Hotel Not Hotel interior lobby
Image from 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

Hotel de Windketel

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

Those with a head for heights should certainly consider staying a night in this one-of-a-kind hotel located at Amsterdam’s NDSM Wharf. A lasting icon of Amsterdam's industrial shipbuilding heritage, this exclusive hotel is situated 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 


Spending a night or two on one of Amsterdam's floating homes is definitely an original way to experience the city and its canals. After World War II, old metal ships formerly used to transport goods were transformed into houseboats to help curb the city’s housing shortage. Then, in the 1960s and 1970s, houses were built on a floating concrete pontoon to accommodate the city's growing population. Now, there are around 2,500 of these modern arks, which are often luxuriously furnished with adjoining terraces, gardens and every mod con you can possibly think of.

SWEETS hotel

This hotel is perfect for any visitor wanting to stay somewhere that is both one-of-a-kind and typically Amsterdam. SWEETS transformed 28 of the city's iconic canal houses into a one unique hotel experience. For a century, these bridge houses were occupied by the city's bridge keepers, who were 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 are suitable for two people, and the views are absolutely 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 known as the Scheepvaarthuis (Shipping House). This architectural treasure is steeped in history and the 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

Botel Amsterdam

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