Amsterdam's most historic hotel
81 Rooms / 7 Suites
Although renovated in 2015, NH Collection Doelen is the oldest hotel in Amsterdam. The Doelen first became a hotel in 1815, but the building itself dates back to the 15th century, when it formed part of Amsterdam’s city wall and Swych tower, which were used to defend Amsterdam against neighboring city Utrecht.
Because of its historic significance, the hotel earned national monument status, meaning that many of its original features have been retained. Turn the corner in a corridor and you’re likely to come across bare brick, a relic of Amsterdam’s old city wall.
Along with its deep history, the hotel delivers personal service starting weeks before your Amsterdam visit through after your departure. And with just 81 rooms spread over five floors, it’s relatively small, too — the staff will all know you (and vice versa) within a day or so.
Bedrooms look out over the stunning Amstel River, Amsterdam’s canals and the bustling street below. Meanwhile, breakfast is served in a gorgeous conservatory-style room overlooking the river, with excellent coffee and cooked options made to order.
Our Inspector’s Highlights
• Look up in the entrance hall and you’ll see five floors of chandelier-lined staircases rising up above you. It’s a stunning peek inside a historic building.
• In the former Great Hall that’s now occupied by one of hotel’s suites, the original Night Watch painting by Rembrandt was hung on the wall in 1642 for 100 years. Now, there’s a copy of the painting in the suite in the same position the original used to occupy.
• History buffs will love the opportunity to see sections of Amsterdam’s original city wall — now 600 years old.
• Taking the staircase instead of the lifts offers more hidden treasures: original stained-glass windows that are centuries old.
• The hotel’s breakfast room offers gorgeous floor-to-ceiling views over the Amstel River.
Things to Know
• The Amsterdam hotel prides itself on personal service: you’ll receive a personal email before your stay to help you make the most of your trip, and the staff at the guest relations desk stands ready to make recommendations or to arrange tailor-made activities for you.
• Since this is a historical building (its status as a historic monument means that very little can be changed) in a major city, rooms are on the smaller side, and the bathrooms don’t have baths for the same reason. However, the hotel more than makes up for the lack of space with its historical character.
• While NH Collection Doelen doesn’t have its own spa, gym or shops, the concierge is happy to arrange a personal trainer, treatment or personal shopper.
• The luxury hotel’s 81 rooms (seven of which are larger suites) are decorated in white with plenty of natural light and mirrors to give them a more spacious feel.
• Many of the accommodations have balcony views over the Amstel River; others overlook the adjacent canal.
• Excellent mattresses with huge duvets ensure a very comfortable night’s sleep.
• Book the Rembrandt Suite to be in the same space where the artist’s famous Night Watch — his largest work — once hung. A similarly huge reproduction can be found on the same wall that the original adorned. More interested in gazing at the city’s famed canals? Then book the Empress Suite.
• In the white marble bathroom, you will find a rain shower, Black Mambo hairdryers, bathrobes and slippers and quality toiletries (Bulgari in the suites).
• The Gassan Diamonds factory sits about a third of a mile behind the luxury hotel, and is popular with travelers. Ask the Doelen’s concierge to set up a tour of the factory for you.
• For culture vultures, the Dutch National Opera and Ballet are just a short hop over a couple of canals. Performances star the Netherlands’ most accomplished ballet dancers and opera singers, as well as talent from abroad, often in modern-style shows.
• Amsterdam’s Jewish Quarter is also close to the hotel, and the top-notch Jewish Historical Museum is a must for anyone wishing to learn about the mutual influences of Dutch and Jewish culture.