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Hotel Highlights

  • Fantastic location near the boutique-lined Nine Streets quarter
  • Moody, glamorous decor, period features and courtyard garden
  • Characterful rooms with canal or garden views

Overview

The rich textiles and signature light of the Dutch Old Masters' paintings inspired décor at the Canal House hotel, a bundle of 17th-century merchant houses overlooking – you guessed it – a canal in central Amsterdam. The entryway's historic canvases give way to sultry rooms, whose walls are lined with contemporary artwork, dramatic curtains and plush fabrics in deep purple hues. After a day out biking and museum-hopping, unwind in the courtyard garden, refined restaurant or over your room's marvellous canal views.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Canal House with us:

A pampering full-size bath product by Green & Spring

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Canal House

15% off two-night stays or more

Facilities

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Canal House Hotel - Amsterdam - Netherlands

Need To Know

Rooms

23, including one suite (the Best Room).

Check–out

A generous 12 noon – late check-outs are subject to a fee, though. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $275.59 (€208), excluding tax at 6 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of 5.5% per room per night on check-out.

More details

Rates usually include buffet breakfast.

Also

If you're feeling sociable, an extra bed for an adult guest can be added to larger rooms for €75 a night.

At the hotel

Courtyard garden, DVD/BluRay library, free WiFi throughout, private dining rooms. In rooms: LCD TV, Blu-ray/DVD player, Bose iPod dock, minibar, free bottled water, full-size Green & Spring bath products, hairdryer, slippers and robes.

Our favourite rooms

Good Rooms make up in style for what they lack in size, with the same luxury trappings, twin sinks and contemporary photography as the higher room categories – 18 overlooks the garden. Exceptional Room 12 has an ingenious sink/entertainment island and our favourite photography, including two Kevin Best showstoppers. The aptly named Best Room is an enormous top-floor suite with a freestanding bath, shower for two, two seating areas and canal views. If invisible ablutions are a non-negotiable for you, Great Room 3 and Exceptional Room 15 both have entirely separate bathrooms (the rest have in-room baths and sexy glazed shower stalls).

Packing tips

Pack light, and hit the boutiques in the nearby Nine Streets to pad out your wardrobe with cutting-edge designer or upcycled vintage pieces. Save stilettos for the bedroom: the Dam is all about Converse, cobbles and canalside walks.

Also

In-room spa and beauty treatments can be arranged, and personal trainers can be booked via reception, where you'll also find jogging maps, tram tickets and other helpful extras. From late summer 2011, the Summer Room and Garden Room offer private dining.

Children

Welcome, although this is a getaway for grown-ups. Cribs or extra beds are free for children 12 or under and €50 a night for teens; a highchair is available in the breakfast room. Babysitting can be provided with a local nanny.

Food & Drink

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Canal House Hotel - Amsterdam - Netherlands

Hotel Restaurant

Bridging the two merchant's houses is the Great Room, a decadent but intimate space looking out across the garden behind the hotel. A generous buffet breakfast is served here, along with a light menu of snacks (local meats and cheeses, croquettes, smoked salmon, pâté and some sweet nibbles, too) to accompany drinks. 

Hotel Bar

With brushed steel stools lined up around theatrically lit counters and a separate lounge area, the Bar at Canal House is atmospheric and attractive. Multiple mirrors, matt black walls and gilded Napoleonic plasterwork set the scene for seduction. Don't miss the signature martini: cinnamon- and mint-infused vodka topped up with cloudy apple juice.

Last orders

The cocktail bar-slash-reception desk serves until the last guest has headed to bed. Breakfast is served in the Great Room between 7am and 11am.

Room service

Have breakfast brought to your room, or order light snacks after 11am.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Fashion-savvy APC, Opening Ceremony, Dagmar and Rodebjer.

Top table

Get comfortable on a leather banquette in the lounge for cocktails or a coffee with the Sunday papers. In the Great Room, get a window table for two; when the frescoed, four-seat Summer House is open, it will be an über-romantic spot for private dining.

Local Guide

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Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

You're just a short stroll from one of Amsterdam's biggest tourist attractions: the Ann Frank House at 263–267 Prinsengracht (www.annefrank.org). Hop on tram 2 or 5 from Dam Square, 10 minutes' walk away, to the Museum District, for the Rembrandt and Vermeer-packed Rijksmuseum (www.rijksmuseum.nl) and Van Gogh Museum (www.vangoghmuseum.nl). Book a private guide through the hotel for an insider tour of the sights (from €35 an hour). Tour the city on the water: the nearest canal bus stop is steps from the Anne Frank House on Keizersgracht. Tickets for 24, 48 or 72 hours (from €12) allow you to hop on or off at more than 20 stops around Amsterdam. Alternatively, with 24 hours' notice, Canal House can arrange a private boat from a fleet of restored sloops, complete with captain, full bar and food if you wish. Prices start at €400 for two hours; additional hours cost €160. On yer bike: see the city the way the Dutch do, from the saddle of a push bike. Canal House has plans to provide a fleet of smart cycles – until then, MacBike rents two-wheelers, from €13 a day (www.macbike.nl); you'll need photo ID and a credit card. The neighbouring Nine Streets district is chock-full of quirky shops and designer stores. We're sure you'll find your own, but our favourites include fashion-forward womenswear boutiques Nummer 9 at 226 Prinsengracht (www.nummer-9.nl), and Laundry Industry at 10 Huidenstraat (www.laundryind.com); vintage-style stores Spiegelbeeld at 24b Huidenstraat (+31 20 638 5364) and ‎ De Maagt & De Leeuw at 32 Hartenstraat (+31 (0)20 428 0047); and the inspiring creative-industry bookshop Mendo at 11 Berenstraat (www.mendo.nl).

 

 

Local restaurants

A 10-minute amble along Keizersgracht will get you to the Michelin-starred Vinkeles restaurant at the Dylan hotel, 384 Keizersgracht (+31 (0)20 530 2010). Set in the 18th-century bakery of a Catholic hospice, the elegant room has original brickwork, floors and ovens. Chef Dennis Kuipers dazzles with signature dishes incuding roasted Anjou pigeon with five spices. At 11 Reestraat, smart little Nooch (+31 (0)20 622 2105; www.nooch.nl) has a menu of Tepanyaki, sushi, Vietnamese noodle soup (pho bo), and other Asian delights. Restaurant Keizersgracht 238 (guess where it is) is the Pulitzer Hotel's classic brasserie grill and is ideal for grown-up lunch or dinner (+31 (0)20 523 5235).

Local cafés

Koffehuis de Hoek is a laid-back neighbourhood café that's great for brunch and people-watching. Find it at 341 Prinsengracht (+31 (0)20 6253872; www.koffiehuisamsterdam.nl). Kadijk de Winkel at 26 Huidenstraat is the little-sister outpost of Kadijk Café (www.cafekadijk.nl), with tasty twists on Indonesian snacks (like Nasi Goreng), and drinks on offer from noon till 8pm. For laid-back  lunching, try unassuming but wonderful Raïneraï at 252 Prinsengracht (+31 (0)20 6249791; www.rainarai.nl), an Algerian deli-traiteur-café on a quiet canal crossing. Try couscous, tagines and baklava to take away or wash it down with mint tea while perched on a bench outside.

+ Enlarge
Cobbled canalside Jordaan

Canal House

Keizersgracht 148, Amsterdam, Noord Holland, 1015 CX

Planes

Schiphol airport is 12km – less than 30 minutes by taxi – from Canal House (allow 45 minutes if there's heavy traffic); the ride will set you back around €50 and you can jump in a cab outside the terminal. Direct trains leave Schiphol for Amsterdams Centraal Station every 10 minutes between 6am and 1am; the journey takes 15–20 minutes.

Trains

Centraal Station has high-speed links with Paris (in four hours), Brussels (in three hours) and further afield, as well as national connections to cities like the Hague and Rotterdam. A taxi from Canal House to the station is about €15.

Automobiles

Parking in Amsterdam is a headache, so driving is best avoided; do as the locals do and rent a bicycle once you're there. Public transport is also very efficient, with trams and canal buses linking up all over town: visit GVB for timetables and tickets (www.gvb.nl).

Reviews

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Canal House Hotel - Amsterdam - Netherlands

Anonymous review

by Tom Morton , Critic and curator

As Mrs Smith and I approach the huge and age-blackened oak doors of Canal House on Amsterdam’s pretty waterway the Keizersgracht, we’re not sure what to expect. After all, the things that usually lurk behind such forbidding portals are liable to go bump in the night. Bracing ourselves for an encounter with one of Dr Frankenstein’s shuffling henchmen, we are relieved when welcomed…
Read more

Canal House

Anonymous review by Tom Morton, Critic and curator

As Mrs Smith and I approach the huge and age-blackened oak doors of Canal House on Amsterdam’s pretty waterway the Keizersgracht, we’re not sure what to expect. After all, the things that usually lurk behind such forbidding portals are liable to go bump in the night. Bracing ourselves for an encounter with one of Dr Frankenstein’s shuffling henchmen, we are relieved when welcomed by the altogether friendlier figure of the hotel’s concierge. After checking us into the hip 23-room hideaway, he leads us through the former 17th-century merchant’s house – all high ceilings, tastefully faded repros of Dutch Golden Age paintings, swathes of silk and velvet, and Gothic-luxe design touches – and up to our suite.

On the way, we glimpse a man who I will describe here as only an Incredibly Famous Rock Star (I'm not a writer given to, um, careless whispers). He sits contentedly sipping coffee the Great Room, a majestic space that functions as Canal House’s all-day restaurant and chill-out spot for guests, who can while away the hours leafing through an impressive range of kooky, and occasionally kinky, art, photography and design books, or simply staring (as the IFRS did) out of the windows into the large, beautifully tended back garden – a rarity in built-up central Amsterdam. Mrs Smith shoots me a look that seems to say ‘Well, if he is staying here this place must be pretty good’. She’s right: with its air of discreet decadence, Canal House is the kind of hotel that can make anybody feel like a rock star for a night or two.

As we enter our room on the hotel’s top floor, we almost have to squint to see the bed. Not, of course, because of its Lilliputian dimensions (it is vast and deeply comfortable), but because the room is so very long that it takes a moment to determine quite where it ends. Before we finally flop down on marshmallow-soft duvet, we pass a lounge area with a sofa and large LCD screen, a purple-tiled ‘wet space’ with a freestanding bathtub big enough for two and a shower cubicle that could take easily twice that number, a dressing table set with all manner of Green & Spring products (approving murmurs, here, from Mrs S.), and an entertainment station complete with board games, copies of GQ, Vogue, and Wallpaper*, and another even bigger LCD screen and Blu-ray player, on which we later watch one of the comfortingly trashy Hollywood movies available to hire, free of charge, at the front desk.

When we finally slot an iPod into the bedside dock and crank up – who could resist? – the IFRS's biggest hit, we feel pleasantly exhausted. Time to pour a glass of something great from the minibar, see just how bubbly a bath we can run using the complimentary unguents, and marvel at the huge and glossy Nicole Marnati photograph above the bed, in which a Nicki Minaj look-a-like poses in a gold Marcel Wanders gown, a cross between an 18th-century princess and a dayglo hip-hop queen. When the Canal House's design team said that their aim is to combine influences from the building's past with a 21st-century aesthetic, they weren't messing around.

Toes and fingers wrinkled from a long soak, and having watched dusk settle over the city’s gabled rooftops from our canal side window, we repair to the hotel’s bar. It’s a space that marries mercantile grandeur and darkly romantic styling with an atmosphere that a Dutch person might describe as gezellig – an untranslatable word that connotes something close to cosiness. Mrs Smith orders an excellent cucumber martini, while I plump for a ‘Green and Spring’ – not a cocktail of the Canal House’s excellent bath products but rather an enticing mixture of Grey Goose vodka, orgeat syrup, lemon juice and muddled pear. Mrs Smith takes a sip from my glass, and pronounces that it tastes like ‘a really delicious pond’. Our tipples are just what we need to put us in the mood for a night out with friends in Amsterdam’s hip de Pijp district, home to the city’s thriving young art scene. We return late, all too glad to sink into the great cloud of our bed and await another crisply beautiful Amsterdam winter morning.

After breakfasting in the Great Room on perfectly poached eggs, fresh fruit, and creamy jong kaas (young cheese), we hire bicycles from the nearby Bike City, and set out to explore the surrounding streets. Cruising along the canals of the Jordaan neighbourhood, home to everything from traditional brown cafes to world-beating design store Moooi, we get to wondering whether the IFRS is doing the same. Amsterdam, after all, is one of the world’s most famously relaxed cities, where even the spectacle of a pedaling music idol would do little to faze its easygoing inhabitants. Perhaps, though, he was still holed up in the splendid Golden Age meets Third Millennium fantasia of the Canal House. As Mrs Smith points out, when a hotel is this beguiling, why bother stepping out of the door?

The Guestbook

Reviews of Canal House from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The hotel has comfortable rooms, a beautiful garden, in a central location, and with brilliant staff.

Don’t expect

I think they should have a safety rail by the large windows.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

On our arrival at Canal House Amsterdam, after our long flight from Perth in Western Australia, the weather was what you could call a bit off. It was raining. But on arrival at Canal House, soaking wet, we were greeted by Nils and his crew. Not only were we greeted by our names (we had not warned them of our early arrival) but he also took us in served us with a beautiful pot of lovely tea and towels to dry us off while they got our room ready. Chaz and I could not recommend the Canal House Hotel enough, they were polite, friendly, kind and accommodating to us.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the location, canal-view rooms, decor, and friendliness and local knowledge of staff. It was perfect.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the character of the rooms and the location.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Wonderful service from the front desk staff; they couldn't have been more helpful or accommodating, giving us maps and recommendations as well as booking tickets and dinners for us. The room was gorgeous, comfortable and a real haven. The garden was the perfect place to sit and relax with a cocktail and enjoy the afternoon sun.

Don’t expect

It would be great if there had been more on offer on the room service menu.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The room was welcoming and smart, the bed was very comfortable, and the location and staff were excellent.

Don’t expect

The breakfast selection could be a bit better.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The staff were excellent at this hotel; they couldn't have been friendlier or more helpful. They gave excellent restaurant recommendations and made bookings for us. The room was beautiful with gorgeous linen and lovely pampering products.

Don’t expect

This was an absolutely wonderful stay; if I were being really picky, two things could have been better. It was the Open Gardens weekend in Amsterdam, and we weren't warned that the garden would be busy and unuseable each day we were there (the lovely garden was a real draw for me so this was a real shame). It also made the hotel very noisy and disruptive – the communal areas were full of people tramping through. I support the open gardens idea, so I just would have been liked to been informed by this and notified of the disruption. Secondly, Mr & Mrs Smith kindly gave us a full-size Green & Spring product, but it was unpracticable to take back to the UK in hand luggage. The reception staff kindly swapped it for a travel-size bottle. It's a really tiny thing, but I felt a little cheated by it, which was a shame amid an otherwise lovely weekend.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The hotel and the room were lovely and well decorated and had plentiful supplies of toiletries and towels. The staff members were friendly, polite, very helpful and knowledgeable about what to see and where to eat! It was a lovely exerience and one we hope to repeat! I can't recommend it enough! Fabulous!

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Staff very helpful and friendly. Style of rooms; very comfy beds. We had a room at the back with access to the pretty garden. Church bells continue to ring through the night, but after the first night we didn't really notice them.

Don’t expect

Nothing springs to mind, and we are quite fussy people who appreciate quality.

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on Yes - 5 month old baby.

We loved

What seemed like a chic, romantic hotel for a couples' break actually turned out to be an equally brilliant hotel for a small family. We took a five-month old and the hotel couldn't have been more welcoming or helpful. We had the gorgeous old kitchen, with the original fireplace and copper pans in situ, and enjoyed a view of the fantastic secluded garden. Breakfast was a delight, and it was easy to drag little Miss Smith along for drinks in their dark and sexy bar area after dark.

 

Don’t expect

I honestly couldn't fault the service, the welcome or the hotel generally.

Rating: 10/10 stars