Grand and palace-like and set on the edge of Amsterdam’s heart, the Amstel goes beyond “the city’s most luxurious hotel.” It’s a landmark building; it’s a society-wedding stalwart; and it’s home to La Rive, considered to be among the country’s two or three finest restaurants. It’s grand in the old way, with toile de jouy in the notably spacious rooms and high tea in the triple-height lounge. Its views of the Amstel River and the city’s church steeples and museums can’t be beat, and you can walk from the hotel to pretty much all of them (it’s 15 very scenic, canal-lined minutes to the Rijksmuseum, for instance).
Rooms to book: Request a room on the north side of the top floor, facing the river, for panoramic views of the Carre theater and the Old Center.
Insider Tip: Book a dinner cruise around the city on one of the Amstel’s antique mohagany boats; you’ll have a guided tour, and will stop in at some of the city’s best restaurants—a different one for each course.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.