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Hotel Highlights

  • Affordable chic
  • Award-winning design in a renovated school building
  • Hospitality-school student staff novelty

Overview

A former schoolhouse turned stylish urban stay, the College Hotel in the heart of Amsterdam is appropriately staffed in its entirety by hospitality industry students. Easy on the wallet and the eye, this historic building's high ceilings, elegant rooms, popular restaurant and a laid-back bar combine to form an atmospheric stay in one of Europe's most picturesque cities.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking College Hotel with us:

A welcome drink and a College Hotel pastry box

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at College Hotel

Non-refundable rate Advance purchase offer: 10% off Stay 5 nights, and get the last night free

Facilities

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Need To Know

Rooms

40, including two suites.

Check–out

12 noon, but flexible during the week. Check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $158.74 (€118), 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 exclude the full Continental breakfast with hot dishes (€19.50 each).

Also

It is important to note that the staff is comprised of hospitality-industry students, so you may have to find yourself 'bearing with them'; service is not always the slickest.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar and Illy coffee machine.

Our favourite rooms

Room 123 is a double with a cute bay window looking onto the interior courtyard, with the bedroom on another level. Room 116 is a very spacious double room. Our favourite suite is room 101, with a freestanding bath in the middle of the bathroom.

Also

In-room massages are available on request. Parking, €45 a day. Bike rental, €21 a day.

Children

Cribs provided at no extra charge. Roll-away bed (€65) and a babysitter are available on request.

Food & Drink

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Hotel Restaurant

Located in the former school gymnasium, with food inspired by the golden age of Dutch cuisine and given a contemporary twist.

Hotel Bar

The lounge bar specialises in Dutch cocktails with ingredients such as cinnamon and apple. It officially closes at 1am, but there’s always someone on hand.

Last orders

Lunch, 2pm. Dinner, 10pm.

Room service

24 hours: restaurant menu, with snack menu from 11pm.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Understated, easy.

Top table

Any near the big windows.

Local Guide

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College Hotel - Amsterdam - Netherlands
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

The hotel is a 10-minute walk from Museum Square and the trendy De Pijp district. Start your day going dotty for elaborate Delftware and lingering over luminous Vermeer and Van Gogh paintings in the Rijksmuseum (+31 20 674 7000, www.rijksmuseum.nl). If you can't get enough of the Netherlands' most noted artist, the Van Gogh Museum (+31 20 570 5200, www.vangoghmuseum.nl) is a 10-minute walk away on Paulus Potterstraat; his sophisticated 'selfies', tortured florals and lesser-known studies of peasant life are included in this fascinating collection. Then fast forward in time with a visit to the Stedelijk Museum (+31 20 573 2911, www.stedelijk.nl), which showcases intriguing modern art from the Netherlands and beyond. After cramming in centuyries of Dutch culture, head to the De Pijp district for chic boutiques and designer dining.

Local restaurants

Le Garage on Ruysdaelstraat (+31 20 679 7176) is a cross between a Paris brasserie, with mirrors and red banquettes, and an Italian trattoria, with culinary touches from Asia, too. It is run by restaurateur and TV celebrity Joop Braakhekke, and big with a starry Dutch crowd, so book ahead to get a table. The Mansion (+31 20 616 6664) on Hobbemastraat is the new restaurant-lounge of the moment, with ostrich leather on the walls, and paintings on the seasons. It serves Cantonese and Peking cuisine upstairs, with four cocktail bars downstairs; the basement has private rooms with butlers. Look out for the ostrich leather on the walls and ceiling paintings.

+ Enlarge
Lofty ex-schoolhouse

College Hotel

Roelof Hartstraat 1, Amsterdam, 1071VE

Perched in Amsterdam's fashionable Zuid district, the hotel is a 10-minute walk from Museum Square, ideal for a cultured jaunt through the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum.

Planes

The main international airport is Schiphol (www.schiphol.com). 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.

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). If you are arriving on four wheels, the main roads that lead to the College Hotel are the A4 and the A10.

Reviews

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Anonymous review

by Rory Keegan , Club creator

It pays to remember one important fact when visiting the College Hotel in Amsterdam: each member of staff, rather appropriately, is a student. (When we checked in, all five of the youngsters on reception were trying to look busy, seemingly praying we didn’t ask anything too testing of them.) This singular point will either make your day, or explain how such a designer hangout is so affordabl…
Read more

College Hotel

Anonymous review by Rory Keegan, Club creator

It pays to remember one important fact when visiting the College Hotel in Amsterdam: each member of staff, rather appropriately, is a student. (When we checked in, all five of the youngsters on reception were trying to look busy, seemingly praying we didn’t ask anything too testing of them.) This singular point will either make your day, or explain how such a designer hangout is so affordable.

The building, an elegant conversion of a 19th-century school building, dramatically lit throughout, it gives the whole experiment a good deal of authenticity. As for the stylings: imagine if an interior decorator from the East-meets-West school of design had been let loose at a prep school. The building has wonderfully high ceilings that reinforce the college credentials, a surprisingly relaxed elegant bar, and a hugely popular restaurant, which must have been the assembly hall. Giant black doors line the corridors on the first floor, each leading to rooms that have been created from the classrooms.

The bedrooms are tasteful and of a minimalist persuasion, with high ceilings and everything one would expect of a first-class hotel. While my roommate sprawled on the kingsize bed surfing the web wirelessly, I clocked up how big a party I could get started based on the contents of the minibar. (Hedonists will appreciate the black-slated bathroom and glass wall shower, which confirmed earlier suspicions that the interior designers must have been fans of Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut – not a bad thing, we agreed.)

Full marks awarded for design. However, as a stickler for polished service, I did find the set-up here had me wanting to issue a few detentions. But I wasn’t able to keep up the schoolmasterish front for long – it’s quite disarming when someone grins at you, then laughs when it’s all going wrong. Despite a few bumblings on reception we managed to arrange a table at the Supperclub, an institution in Amsterdam for some years now. I hadn’t visited the city since the Seventies, and my American companion never had, so we decided to take a little time and explore before the communal dinner at nine.

I dialled down to another new and helpful teenybopper on reception and asked for a cab, ‘Be here in three minutes,’ she confidently chirped. 20 minutes later we decided to wait in the bar, to chivvy them along. The doormen announced our cab’s arrival five minutes later. Signing the bill and sweeping confidently out of the bar, we reached the end of the hotel’s long path to be greeted by an empty street. Back to the bar, drinks all round and another ride called. The doormen thought it hilarious when the taxi didn’t turn up the third time either, and our fellow drinkers were equally amused. We finally arrived at the Supperclub, moments after it had swung into action.

Halfway through dinner my friend twigged that you can smoke in restaurants over here, and her big brown sad eyes forced me across the alleyway to procure cigarettes. That’s when the trip changed completely; I had heard all about coffeeshops, but the red-light district had been the extent of my schoolboy adventures. I returned bearing gifts. With the active encouragement of the management, we reclined on the huge white bed that is the Supperclub, where we were dripfed dinner, entertained by what appeared to be a Balinese dancer in a white catsuit, lit up in Christmas lights. Then again I can’t really be sure, because the purveyors of exotic substances from across the road had charmed their evil spell on us both.

When breakfast arrived late the following morning, only half there, the lovely girl from room service giggled and agreed that ‘bacon and egg’ usually shows some sign of an egg somewhere. As you can imagine, by now I was worrying about this review and its integrity. I also thought it might be prudent to check on our reservation for dinner. It turned out that the time of our booking was a little blurry. That evening, when they couldn’t find our allocated table, I asked to speak to the manager. The next thing, I heard the little voice in my ear telling me they were all students, yes, all students – even the manager. Things were bound to be, well, inconsistent. We all started laughing.

Still, they managed to squeeze us into a dining room that was two-thirds full, and served a really interesting supper from the deliberately tiny menu. So gregarious was the atmosphere that I think our waiter must have got lucky with at least two of the waitresses during his shift. I encountered a font of wisdom in the establishment's wonderful in-house Brazilian masseuse, who informed me that the whole crew changes here every three months. We had got them on day two – chaos! She assured me that by their last week they are all really slick.

So, you know what? We didn’t even mind that they constantly forgot things because they were all just so nice. Maybe if what you need is a super-efficient base, there are better places to stay, but if you want somewhere elegant, where the staff is having as much fun as you are, you’ll be happy to know the College is half the price it should be.

The Guestbook

Reviews of College Hotel 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…

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The design, look and feel has a distinct character, and the gardens are lovely. I liked the size of the room and its décor, the separate toilet, the comfy bed, and the competent staff. The location is good too, with museums nearby.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The overall look of the hotel was nice and the location was practical.

Don’t expect

The staff needs a bit more confidence, but they'll still learning.

Rating: 8/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The high ceilings and separate sitting area made our room feel spacious. The large shower was one of the best I have ever come across – almost enough to convert me from my love of baths. The staff is eager and charming, if a little green. Be patient and you'll see how helpful they can be.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Very close to the main museums and the shopping areas; an original setting, interesting decor, excellent service! The place is popular - the bar and restaurant are packed with locals. The food is good and available at anytime and the rooms are very quiet... We'll come back on our next stay in Amsterdam.

Don’t expect

More light in the bathroom! The lack of light must be a trend in continental Europe....

Rating: 9/10 stars