As a travel agent, it's my job to find the perfect fit for each client. I work with vacationers ranging from budget-conscious college students to discerning luxury travelers; families, couples, and groups of friends; oh, and everything in between.
But it's always fun to find a hotel that can appeal to a number of different types of travelers.
My personal travel style is embarrassingly "millennial." Call something a "boutique" or "design" hotel, and I'm there. I want to be centrally located, but not in the "touristy" part of town. I love Barcelona's Gracia neighborhood. I prefer Brooklyn to Manhattan. In Paris, you'll find me in Opera (though, in a rare exception, I do love the popular St. Germain area, as well!)
I want my hotel rooms to look like something out of a cutting-edge interior design magazine. If it's on Gwyneth Paltrow's "Goop" blog, as the saying goes, "shut up and take my money." I don't need a ton of luxury amenities (the concept of personal butlers, for example, weirds me out a little bit, actually), but I appreciate the little extra touches that you don't find elsewhere.
So I was thrilled with my stay at The Hoxton, in Amsterdam, as it basically checks all of those boxes. (Yes, it's even Gwyneth-approved!)
The Hoxton sits on the posh Herengracht canal, in a house where a former Amsterdam mayor once lived. It's so close to everything - blocks from the Anne Frank house and the Jordaan neighborhood; just a short walk away from the Dam Square; easy access to the Museumplein and the famous Rijksmuseum. In its home neighborhood, the Negen Stratjes (9 Streets), you'll find fashionable boutiques and trendy cafes. Oh, and the canal itself is gorgeous.
When you walk in the lobby, you'll most likely find a buzzing scene - business travelers tapping away on laptop keyboards, locals eating or grabbing a drink at the (very popular) restaurant or bar, and guests mingling with each other. You can stock up on snacks, beer and wine right at the front desk, and nothing is marked up - it's all 'supermarket pricing.' The staff members at The Hoxton are cheery and helpful. And they'll email you the receipt for your stay if you'd like to go "paperless." (Yay for an environmentally-friendly attitude!)
The room categories are surprisingly honest. The "Shoebox" is the smallest option, and really, it's an apt description. It's perfect for single travelers or someone who won't spend much time in their room. My husband and I stayed in a "Cozy" room, which is also not huge, but there's room for a big, comfy, queen-sized bed, a desk, and a bathroom and shower. Under-bed storage makes up for the lack of closet space. The "Cozy" rooms overlook either an interior courtyard or the canal. The canal view is pretty, but the rooms are also slightly noisier than the interior ones. "Roomy" rooms are the largest of the standard rooms, and if you'd really like to travel in style, request one of the unique "Concept" rooms. Each one is different from the other. Check out the "Tubby," which comes with, you guessed it, a roll-top bathtub.
The rooms include reading material (a great book collection and some magazines), a coffee maker, an old-school radio, and a complimentary mini-bar filled with water and milk (a good place to stash the snacks and drinks you purchase in the lobby). If you don't have time for a sit-down breakfast in the restaurant, fill out a card with a delivery time, and hotel staff will hang a breakfast bag on your door. The fruit and yogurt are perfect for starting your morning on the go.
You get the sense that The Hoxton is the place to be for locals and visitors, alike. We overheard some British travelers mentioning wanting to stop at the Hoxton's hip bar, and it's really a neighborhood hotspot. The lobby always has something going on, and there are all kinds of events on the hotel's calendar to keep everyone entertained. But no need to worry about privacy. You'll need to swipe your keycard to use the elevator to get to the rooms upstairs.
For travelers looking for Instagram-worthy decor, a perfect location, and a social atmosphere, The Hoxton is the perfect fit for your next visit to Amsterdam. If it sounds like your type of hotel, let me know, and I'll help you book a room!
Stay tuned for more of these "Where She Stayed" blog entries. I'm excited to share some of my favorite hotels from across the globe with you!