Unique Sleeps: The College Hotel, Amsterdam | Expedia Australia Travel Blog

Unique Sleeps: The College Hotel, Amsterdam

Unique Sleeps: The College Hotel, Amsterdam

Unique Sleeps: Amazing hotels hand picked by Expedia Experts. The College Hotel, Amsterdam

The College Hotel in Amsterdam is, as the name and the building’s facade suggests, a former school. This makes for one of the most interesting and quirky hotels I’ve stayed at.

I love a bit of hotel luxury but I’m more interested in boutique and unique accommodation than the sometimes same-same of international hotel chains. The College offers everything I prioritise: interesting interiors, a very large and comfortable bed, friendly and attentive (but not over the top) staff, coffee-making facilities (don’t roll your eyes, caffeine is important!), free wifi and a bath!

With just 40 rooms, the four-star College Hotel feels intimate, warm and cosy. I can’t fault the location, no more than 15 minutes door to door by tram from Centraal Station in the leafy, quiet and fashionable Zuid (south) area.

It’s just a stroll from Amsterdam’s many impressive museums and there is a good choice of restaurants within 15 minutes’ walk. We didn’t want to stay anywhere near Amsterdam’s more seedy central areas, but we still wanted to be conveniently close to the action. This location was perfect for us and we really enjoyed our daily tram rides. There’s a stop literally a stone’s throw from the front door. You can also hire bikes or scooters from the hotel, but it’s not cheap.

What I’ve not mentioned too early, because I don’t want it to put you off, is that The College is a teaching hotel. All of the staff, under the guidance of experienced managers, are hospitality students. You’d hardly know though, other than most of them are young. They’re on the ball, helpful, professional and friendly. When our TV remote went missing after housekeeping had been in one day, this was swiftly sorted out and it replaced. The only time we saw anything other than a very slick operation was when there were large groups checking out and they seemed a little overwhelmed. But otherwise, top marks to the staff too.

Being a renovated heritage building, you won’t find rooms which are perfectly rectangular but this adds to its charm. Ours was full of nooks and crannies but we liked that. It was charming. One slight negative was that our en suite mirror was on an angled wall. Imagine having to tilt your head back 45 degrees and look up every time you want to do your makeup or dry your hair (I’m sure this wouldn’t be the case in every room so might be worth asking when booking). Also, due to the en suite being in an alcove, the corner shower was a little tricky to move around in for my broad shouldered and almost-6ft husband. No such issues for me…

Plus points included a great coffee machine, a useful writing desk (I’m always working!), plenty of wardrobe space, a toilet separate to the bathroom (which as well as the shower featured an excellent full-size tub), a newspaper delivered every morning, twice-daily housekeeping and a fantastically comfortable king size bed.


We didn’t get to sample the food or drinks, but a local told me the bar there is very good and it certainly looked nice. The communal areas and various meeting rooms were extremely stylish and inviting. I’m not surprised that, a few years ago, The College won the Prix Villegiature for the best interior design in a hotel in Europe. I love the way you can still very much tell it’s an old school, with every comfort and luxury worked tastefully around the building’s 1895 skeleton.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at this unusual and charming hotel.

Check out Jen’s blog here.

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Jen Bishop

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