Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
In the Museum Quarter, a quiet, residential neighborhood about a 15-minute drive from the Old Center
The College Hotel is located in the Museum Quarter, within walking distance of the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijkmuseum (which translates to "national museum"). This quiet area has a residential feel, and is a tram or taxi ride away from popular tourist sights in the Old Center and Canal Ring (though it's possible to walk to the outer canals).
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 other 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 College Hotel is a sensuous, intimate four-pearl option in the Museum Quarter. It is appropriately named -- not only because it is housed in a historic school building, but because most of the staff members are hospitality students in training. Features are few -- there's no fitness center or spa on-site -- but there is a popular Bar & Lounge with a fireplace where afternoon tea is served, as well as a fine dining restaurant. Though the public spaces wow with their sultry sophistication, rooms aren't quite as impressive, with cramped layouts, too few electrical outlets, and mood lighting that many find too dim to be practical. Note that third floor rooms have slanted ceilings -- homey to some, a nuisance to others.