This is our review of the W Amsterdam hotel, just round the corner from Dam Square.
The W Amsterdam opened in 2015 as the new flagship of the trendy W Hotels brand, so it has a lot to live up to. If you’re not familiar with the W brand then I suggest you start with our guide to W Hotels, which gives a bit of history and background to the hotel chain.
Fundamentally, however, W Hotels are supposed to be a design-led luxury brand targetting a younger audience than you might find at, say, a St Regis or Ritz Carlton.
Marriott offered us a stay at the W to support our Eurostar review trip. We were also offered a stay at the Andaz by Hyatt, which we will look at tomorrow.
Uniquely, the W Amsterdam actually comprises of two completely separate buildings divided by a (very small) road: the 1903-era Telephone ‘Exchange’ building and the 1930 KAS ‘Bank’ building.
238 guest rooms are spread between the two and there are no connecting bridges or tunnels, which means you need to exit one building and cross to the other externally. This does mean you have two hotels in one, with the Exchange featuring more industrial chic whilst the Bank has a more traditional art deco aesthetic. By all accounts the Exchange is the livelier of the two whilst the Bank side is more laid back and (dare I say it) sophisticated.
Here is the Bank side:
Whilst this is the Exchange:
My room was in the exchange building. The hotel website is here.
W Amsterdam location
The W Amsterdam is very centrally located, in the Western part of the Binnenstad and just on the borders of the Canal District.
That means it’s just a fifteen minute walk from the central station (where Eurostar arrives) or a seven minute tram journey. The closest station is Dam Square. It is very handy for the De Bijenkorf department store.
Inside the W Amsterdam
Your arrival experience will vary greatly depending on whether you are in the Bank or Exchange building. In the former, you are greeted by an art deco staircase leading up to the lobby:
…. whilst at the Exchange the lobby is on the top (6th) floor and accessible via the lifts:
The Exchange building has a bit of a weird lift system. Whilst there are four, they don’t all seem to be connected to sometimes you need to check all of them to see which one is already on your floor (or not). The lifts are quite slow and are one of the very few annoyances I had about the W Amsterdam.
I got a warm welcome at reception however and was offered a drink on arrival. I was quickly checked into my room at 11pm, despite the hotel being completely sold out.
Rooms at the W Amsterdam
I had an entry level room, which W calls a ‘Cozy Exchange’ room. It’s an open plan design, which I know doesn’t appeal to everyone, but I thought it was well executed here:
On the right is the bathroom, which a long concrete island featuring the wash basin and mirror:
To the right of the island is the shower, enclosed in semicircular frosted glass cubicle:
The toilet is discreetly tucked away in the mirror wall and features a bright orange interior. I particularly liked the motion sensor lighting, which was convenient:
Toiletries are the standard W MOMO mini bottles, which I’m always a fan of.
On the other side of the island you also have a small pull-out desk:
Opposite the shower is a large wardrobe, with luggage rack, iron and ironing board, safe etc:
You then have the bedroom part of the space, with a fully stocked mini bar on the left, including some larger bottles, as is standard for W Hotels:
Most Cozy rooms feature a King bed but this one had two twins:
…. and, I have to admit, were extremely comfortable with very nice linens too. There are plugs next to both beds, whilst one also has a phone:
This is also where you’ll find the room controls, including the electric blinds. The other bed doesn’t have a ‘proper’ night stand but rather a lower ledge – I’m not sure why.
Opposite the beds is a sort of integrated sofa:
…. plus a Bluetooth speaker, and a wall-mounted TV that I thought was oddly placed and off-kilter.
Due to the heritage nature of the building a lot of the rooms face an internal courtyard, which doesn’t exactly give the best views:
Whilst the textured coating on the windows helps to obscure the view a bit you can still see quite clearly into other rooms!
In terms of decor, the room is fairly standard for a W and features a lot of similar elements you can find at other W Hotels. This generally means fewer luxury materials such as marble and more bold splashes of colour, in this case anchored by the concrete island. It’s not my favourite W design – that award goes to the W Ibiza, review here – but it’s pretty standard.
Restaurants and bars at the W Amsterdam
There are two main restaurants at the W Amsterdam – Mr Porter, in the Exchange, and The Duchess, a Michelin-starred option in the Bank.
The W Lounge is the lobby cafe/bar at the W Amsterdam, on the top floor of the Exchange building. It’s a lovely light and airy space and a good spot for working, too:
The entire Exchange building has an almost 360-degree wrap-around terrace. Here is the balcony joined to the W Lounge:
Mr Porter Amsterdam
Mr Porter is the main restaurant at the Exchange and is also where breakfast is served. It occupies a significant portion of the rooftop, including a large wrap-around terrace.
Mr Porter specialises in steaks and appears to be a big draw for locals too. It was certainly very lively on Friday night and very good fun. It has a sharing concept so you order from the menu which are then delivered as and when ready.
Freshly made flatbread and hummus is brought out whilst you wait:
We shared the spicy yellow tail sashimi and beef tartar to begin:
The sashimi was incredible, almost like a ceviche and one of the highlights of my night.
For the main course we opted for the Wagyu steak and lobster to create a DIY surf and turf. Fortunately the lobster flesh has already been extricated from the shell, making it much easier:
As this is The Netherlands you also have a choice of 10+ mustards on the mustard menu!
Sides included some brocolli and a frankly humongous mac and cheese which was totally delicious but massively oversized:
For dessert we went for something lighter – an inventive coconut sorbet:
We also treated ourselves to a couple of cocktails at the bar with the fabulous mixologists:
The food was excellent but the service was even better, with a stellar team – friendly but slick and extremely attentive. This meal wouldn’t have been half as good if it hadn’t been for the staff – it makes a huge difference.
Breakfast at the W Amsterdam
I believe breakfast is served at both Mr Porter and The Duchess – and you can probably go to either. I stayed at Mr Porter because, to be honest, it was a lot more convenient than crossing the road.
You can choose from two options. You either go for an a la carte menu or you opt in to the breakfast buffet, which includes one a la carte option per person for 30 euros.
Because the buffet is supported by a la carte options it is fairly small:
Mezze is well represented:
As well as smoked salmon and a fairy basic selection of ham and cheese:
Pastries and yogurts are also on offer, as well as a couple of cereals. A range of juices and smoothies are also available at the bar:
…. plus prosecco:
It’s obviously not a massive spread like you would find in Dubai but, to be honest, I prefer having food made to order and then supplementing it with a few items from the buffet. I went for the egg royale (just one egg, note):
Pool, spa and gym at the W Amsterdam
By far the jewel in the crown is the pool and spa. Like at the Park Hyatt Vienna, which is also a converted bank building, the architects have put the pool and spa into the vaults of the building and have retained several of the vault doors which add a touch of flare:
In many ways the W’s spa is the yin to the Park Hyatt Vienna’s yang. Whilst the Park Hyatt went for bright, art nouveau-inspired interiors the W opts for a dimly lit cave-like experience with basalt tiles and brass fittings. It’s pretty incredible, and certainly less blinding after a heavy night!
The spa is very well equipped. In addition to the main pool you have two hot tubs of varying temperatures (one is 45 degrees C) plus a steam room, sauna and various showers and day beds. Despite the hotel operating at full capacity it was never crowded, either.
There is also a fairly small gym in the Bank building:
So, how was my stay at the W Amsterdam? All things considered I was very impressed.
Whilst the rooms are bog standard for a W – and not particularly inspired by the local heritage or history – the W Amsterdam really shines thanks to its public spaces, restaurants, pool and spa. I was really impressed with dinner at Mr Porter and the spa became one of my favourite hotel spas ever.
With both the Bank and Exchange buildings the W Amsterdam offers two different hotel experiences in one, so you can really tailor your stay to your preferences. Want to enjoy the nightlife Amsterdam has to offer? Stay at the Exchange. If you’re looking for something more laid back and upscale then the Bank is probably more up your street.
Rates at the W Amsterdam start from €600 per night in June or 70,000 Bonvoy points. You can find out more, and book, on the hotel website here.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (June 2022)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.
You can apply here.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:
- American Express Gold (30,000 bonus Amex points – SPECIAL OFFER TO 19TH JULY)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus Amex points)
and for small business owners:
- American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Business Platinum (40,000 bonus Amex points)
The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)