Lack of double-glazing in rooms means some are noisy
Some bathrooms are in need of a refresh
The Die Port van Cleve is a 122-room hotel with a Dutch neo-classical facade and marvelously maintained Old Amsterdam bar. Situated a stone's throw from Dam Square, it's popular with tourists who enjoy stepping out right into the city's buzzing center. Rooms are nothing special, and some are a little noisy during the day, but are clean and modern with mini-fridges, flat-screen TVs, and electric kettles. The similarly priced and centrally located Convent Hotel might also appeal to those looking for a historic hotel.
Built in 1864, the Die Port van Cleve was the original location of the famous Heineken brewery and experienced several incarnations through the years, much of which can still be seen in the architecture and decor. The ornate Dutch style neo-classical facade is an arresting blend of high-windows, sculpted arches, and wrought-iron balconies, while the charming bar maintains a real flavor of Old Amsterdam with heavy dark wood furniture, Delft blue taps, and a beautiful Delft blue-tile fresco dating back to 1887. The lobby, however, returns to this century, with smart leather banquettes and contemporary flourishes. Modernity continues to encroach through the hotel into corridors sadly lacking the Old World promise of the hotel's attractive frontage.
Positioned right in the city center directly behind Dam Square, the hotel is perfectly located for those who love to have the buzzing center on their doorstep. Most of the city's attractions are walkable from the hotel, such as the Anne Frank House a few blocks to the west, and the infamous Red Light District to the east. The hotel is also just five minutes walk from the Centraal Station, and there are plenty of public transport options to the rest of the city.
Room decor echoes the hotel's heritage, with scenes from the Delft frieze printed on the sheets and above the bed. Beyond this nod to Dutch tradition, the rooms are simply decorated with plain modern furnishings and blue carpeting. Standard amenities include free Wi-Fi, mini-fridges, tea and coffee facilities, and flat-screen TVs with satellite channels. White-tiled bathrooms all come with wall-mounted hairdryers, but some could use updating.
Beautifully maintained traditional bar and restaurant with signature steaks
Dating back to 1887, the hotel's De Blauwe Parade Bar-Bodega is an superbly maintained slice of Old Amsterdam, with its unique Delft blue tile fresco circling the wall, heavy dark-wood furnishings, and old copper gin still perched on the bar. Drinkers can sample a range of Jenevers (Dutch gins) from a tasting menu accompanied by Dutch snacks. The De Poort Brasserie also offers classic Dutch cooking (their signature steak comes certified and numbered) in authentic 19th-century surrounds. Meeting rooms are also available, traditionally decorated with carved wooden panels and oil paintings.
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