We always try to explore new places, also when it comes to cities like Amsterdam, which we have visited many times. We try to find hidden gems and undiscovered spots, to make the trip feel like we have actually visited a new destination. In our search for our most recent Amsterdam trip we were looking for a unique place to stay and came across the Ambassade Hotel. A prime location in the heart of the city, yet a part we had never visited and explored properly.
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About Ambassade Hotel
It has a chic and classy look and feel, competes with large hotel chains for the number 1 hotel spot in the Netherlands, yet is a family-run business, and that is what I love most about the Ambassade Hotel. As I’m writing this blogpost, the Ambassade Hotel is the nr.3 hotel in the Netherlands according to Tripadvisor and for a family business that is a huge achievement!
A four star hotel in the center of Amsterdam situated in sixteen elegant canal-side houses, what more could you wish for? It all started with just one canal-side building back in 1953, but over the years grew to 56 hotel rooms and suites in 16 buildings.
At the Ambassade Hotel they’re very proud to say that the global pandemic has never shut them down, not even for a day. They remained open and had no compulsory redundancies. In fact, they became more and more innovative and started looking for ways to keep their people employed, by starting a beach club in 2020 for example.
Books & Art
From the moment you step in to the hotel, you just can’t miss it. There are books and art everywhere. It’s for a reason that the Ambassade Hotel is also called the Writers Hotel. The hotel is home to over 5000 signed books and a very large private art collection.
They started with the collection of Cobra Art back in 2001. Over the years this collection grew to what is today, over 800 pieces of art. Their goal is to allow the collection to grow even further, into a comprehensive and complete overview of Cobra. Just have a stroll through the many corridors of the hotel, it feels like walking through a museum.
They have a very interesting leaflet of their art collection, it shows the location of the many art pieces throughout the hotel, with more background information.
The Ambassade Hotel owns over 5000 signed books, a unique collection of books by authors who have all stayed at the hotel.
The Library Bar is where these books can be found and is simply impressive. The collection of signed books started back in 1986, however authors have long been staying at the Ambassade Hotel. They owe their interesting collection to the fact that Dutch publishers generally book their foreign authors into the Ambassade Hotel for the launch of the Dutch translation of their books. The hotel has always had close ties with publishers in and around Amsterdam. In fact, many of these publishers, as well as some of the most famous bookshops and writers cafes, are within walking distance of the hotel.
They now have something special going on. For a period of six months, a different author is invited weekly for a stay at the hotel, and describes what being a writer is like for him or her at this time. Dutch newspaper Het Parool publishes the columns weekly.
Location of the Ambassade Hotel
I already mentioned it, the location of the Ambassade Hotel is truly superb! It’s located at the Herengracht, which is the second of four Amsterdam canals that belong to the famous canal belt.
Being situated next to the famous Herengracht means you’ll have endless canal views. Even though it’s a prime location right in the center of the city, it’s actually a relaxed, beautiful and quiet area with the best of both worlds, as the Dam Square, Museum Square with all major attractions and shopping areas are just a stone’s throw away.
I particularly enjoyed the mornings at the Ambassade Hotel, when the city is still waking up, but the sun’s already out, the perfect time of day for a stroll along the canals. Talking about those canals, in 2010 the canal district was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, which makes staying at the Ambassade Hotel even more special!
De Negen Straatjes
Nine picturesque streets in the middle of Amsterdam’s canal belt, filled with quirky and unique shops and charming and delicious eateries, a great ambience. And the best part, it is literally around the corner from the Ambassade Hotel, and therefore a must visit. Just take a walk from the hotel, the 9 Streets are just two minutes away.
The Nine Streets give you that true Amsterdam taste, it’s where the locals hang out and where you will experience the real Amsterdam. A great mixture of designer boutique shops, art galleries, vintage clothing stores gift shops and plenty of places to eat and drink.
Another part of Amsterdam where you can experience the real and local Amsterdam vibes is the Jordaan, a neighbourhood in the capital city. Originally the Jordaan is a working-class neighbourhood, but nowadays has become one of the most expensive, upscale locations in the Netherlands.
Famous Dutch painter Rembrandt spent the last years of his life in the Jordaan, and the Anne Frank House, where Anne Frank went into hiding during World War II is located on the edge of the Jordaan. The Jordaan is located at just a 5 minute walk from the hotel.
As you can read, the Ambassade Hotel is located in a lovely and bustling neighbourhood of Amsterdam.
Local tip: Van Stapele cookies. They’re located just around the corner from the hotel and sell delicious and famous cookies. They open at 10am every day and are open till they’re sold out. There’s usually a line outside with people waiting to buy their own cookie.
Amsterdam is of course also a great base to explore the surrounding areas and visit for example the mind blowing tulip fields of The Netherlands, but there is more. Check out my blog about the best places to visit in Netherlands and find some really interesting tourist destinations near Amsterdam.
Breakfast, lunch or a 3-course dinner, Brasserie Ambassade is your place to go. The hotel’s restaurant offers delicious French cuisine with a modern twist, including canal views from the restaurant and the terrace.
Breakfast is served right to your table and warm dishes like pancakes or eggs can be ordered. Is there a better way to start your day than having breakfast while overlooking the Herengracht?
Dinner at Brasserie Ambassade is a real experience, as you’re surrounded by colourful paintings from famous Cobra artists.
I have to admit, before staying at the Ambassade Hotel I had never heard of Koan Float. But it is one of the most special and relaxing things I have ever done. Koan Float is the hotel’s wellness centre right next door and your place if you’re after some floating or massages.
Koan Float is floating weightlessly on a layer of very salty water, like the Dead Sea. In the floating tank the water is heated and has 500 kilograms of medicinal Epsom Salt. Studies have shown that Epsom Salt has many health benefits, among other things it eases stress, improves oxygen use and improves sleep and concentration.
The tank is specially designed to block out all external stimuli, so your mind and body are no longer distracted. Inside the tank you can keep the light on, and listen to music, or you can switch it all off, make it completely dark, and with the absence of gravity it makes you feel like you’re floating in space. Total and complete relaxation.
One hour of floating is as beneficial as four hours of sleep. Some other positive effects of floating include that it boosts the immune system, pure relaxation for mind and body, helps prevents injuries and aids speedy recovery.
Koan Float also offers you a wide range of massages. The ultimate combination after a relaxing floating session. Want to know more about Koan Float or the massages? Make sure to check their website and book your own floating session, I guarantee you won’t regret!
Books & Art Store Samsara
With a hotel full of books, it can’t be a surprise that the Ambassade Hotel has its very own bookstore. It’s located just around the corner from the hotel. They offer special books with a message, works of art of the CoBrA-movement and gifts. It’s the kind of store that fits exactly in to the Nine Streets of Amsterdam.
Superior Deluxe Canal view Room
When staying at the Ambassade hotel, I would highly recommend booking a room with canal views. You might pay a bit more, but it is absolutely worth the extra money. The views on the Herengracht are just amazing. The room has two extremely relaxed seats right in front of the window, so just sit and enjoy the views I would say.
The room has a large bed and television and a spacious bathroom with separate shower and bathtub. Bulgari soaps and shampoo are the perfect finishing touch. There’s free WiFi and two bottles of Earth Water. Something I really liked, and never seen anywhere else, wireless chargers on the nightstand on both sides of the bed. Smart thinking with all those international travelers!
The Ambassade Hotel is unique in so many ways. A family-owned hotel with outstanding and personal service to perfection. From the moment you walk in to this hotel, it actually feels like walking into a museum, with art and books everywhere, fantastic. Staying at this hotel means pure luxury and indulgence, absolutely recommended. A unique experience is guaranteed.
This blog was written by travel writer and Traveltomtom team member Ashley. She stayed at the lovely Ambassade Hotel, on behalf of Traveltomtom, and wrote this blog about her experiences.