Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Lavishly extravagant decor with traditional flavor
The Hotel Estherea is a family-run, boutique-style hotel occupying a row of 17th-century buildings, set along Amsterdam's oldest major canal. When entering the hotel, it's hard not to be impressed with the sheer sumptuousness of its lobby -- vibrant colors jostle with plush furnishings, crystal chandeliers, and mahogany paneling. Intricately patterned wallpaper mirrors equally elaborate carpeting and lavish fabrics, combining to create an ambience of unbridled extravagance. Low lighting throughout makes the mood warm and inviting, while antique furnishings and a liberal use of floral print ensures the ambience remains firmly rooted in Old World.
Tranquil and picturesque canal-front setting
The hotel is situated on the typically picturesque and peaceful Singel waterway in the Canal Ring, an area given UNESCO World Heritage status. It's just to the west of Amsterdam's historical center and within easy walking distance of Dam Square (six minutes by foot) and the Red Light District; The Nine Streets boutique shopping area is just round the corner. It is also convenient for transport connections, with trams and buses available from the street behind the hotel.
Floral print and tasseled lampshades
The Estherea has 93 rooms and two suites, all of which share the hotel's interior design philosophy of lavish decor coupled with plush furnishings. Floral-print wallpaper is de rigueur and lighting takes the form of tasseled lampshades or elaborate chandeliers. Furniture is largely antique in style and includes desks and small seating areas. Bathrooms have a traditional old-world feel and come with hairdryers and L'Occitane toiletries. In-room technology includes free Wi-Fi and wall-mounted, flat-screen TVs. DVDs and iPads are also available on request.
Breakfast and cocktails in flamboyant surrounds
Named after the founder of the hotel, Maria’s Bar offers drinks around the clock and draws from a vibrant pallet of colors and extravagant lighting -- expect multicolored-striped seating and chandeliers dripping with crystals and clusters of tasseled lampshades. An almost equally lavish dining room serves breakfast (for a fee); alternatively room service is available from morning 'til night. A small gym is also open to guests, and underground parking is available for those arriving by car.
Hotel Estherea takes a maximalist approach to its interior design, and treads the fine line between plush extravagance and gaudiness with aplomb. The location on the Singel canal is picturesque, and well positioned for exploring Amsterdam's attractions. Rooms couple elaborate decor with old-world tradition, while providing free Wi-Fi and high-end toiletries. A flamboyantly decorated bar is open 24 hours a day, and breakfast is served in a similarly adorned dining room. Hotels this opulent don't come cheap, but prices are competitive for this luxury category. Those looking for more understated luxury should consider the nearby Hotel Pulitzer.