Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A quiet neighborhood near major tram lines for access to the rest of the city
Mercure Hotel Amsterdam Centre Canal District is located on a quiet and safe street on the outer edge of the Canal Ring neighborhood. Though it's not as central as other hotels (and therefore lacking hordes of tourists), guests are still within walking distance of numerous shops, restaurants, museums, and visitor attractions. For point of reference, the museum district is a 10-minute walk away and the old city is a 20-minute walk away. The area is also well connected with trams to the rest of the city.
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.
Although part of a chain, Mercure Hotel Amsterdam Centre Canal District feels more like a boutique hotel thanks to its location in a series of old buildings on the outer edge of the Canal Ring neighborhood. Refurbished in April 2008, the hotel has 93 contemporary rooms, a bar, a breakfast room, and a limited number of private parking spaces available for a fee. Sure, it lacks certain amenities of a big hotel -- such as a full restaurant, meeting facilities, or fitness center -- but the boutique feel is definitely present. Communal areas include modern fixtures that coexist with the property's historical charm. Rooms are decorated in a few different color schemes and contain flat-screen TVs and minibars, though no coffeemakers or tubs. Guests who want a peaceful setting will find this hotel ideal -- far enough away from the main tourist drag and yet still close enough to Canal Ring shops, restaurants, and bars.