Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
On the outskirts of the city center, public transport is necessary to reach popular sights
Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy is located on the outskirts of the city's center, close to public transportation and a handful of restaurants -- but far enough from Amsterdam's main areas that transportation is a necessity.
Marked by cobblestone roads, street-level canals and an abundance of coffee shops (which are most often known for something other than coffee), Amsterdam is both a quiet and lively city without the pretention of European metropolises.
In the summer, visitors can enjoy live music at the Openluchttheater, an open-air venue at the Vondelpark, or the Roots Music Festival. The Gay Pride parade also takes place in the summer, and the city's many museums -- including the Van Gogh Museum or the Anne Frank House, where Frank and her family hid from the Nazis during World War 2 -- are popular year-round. Visitors in April can experience Queen's Day, which celebrates the queen's birthday and includes a massive flea market, parties, and outdoor concerts.
Noordermarkt is known for its antiques, and Brouwerij de Prael is a recommended stop for beer enthusiasts. Fun dining spots include the famous sandwich spot Van Dobben, as well as Pancake Bakery, which offers more than 70 types of pancakes and a slew of other breakfast goods.
The Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy is an almost ominous presence on the waterfront of the Upmarket Eastern Docklands -- a slightly foreboding building with a quirky interior. The hotel itself has an unusual history -- built in 1921, it was first used as an emigrant hotel and then as a prison before being converted into art studios, and finally refurbished into a hotel in 2004. The 117 rooms have their own classification system; one-star rooms, for example, are bunker-like cells with no bathroom or amenities. Guests who stay in these rooms must share a communal bathroom, which unfortunately has limited facilities. Two-, three-, four- and five-star rooms are significantly bigger, but have older tube TVs and basic furniture. The larger rooms have their own bathrooms, though their layout lacks privacy. Amenities include a trendy bright-red bar, a ceiling-high gift shop, and meeting and exhibition spaces. Outside, visitors can walk to a handful of transportation options, which will be necessary to get to the heart of the city.