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Gay Amsterdam Amsterdam City Guide

Amsterdam always delivers, packed as it is with romantic cobblestone streets and canal waterways lined with lilting merchant houses, eyebrow-raising museums and independent design studios crafting everything from art to fixie bikes. This Dutch capital is one of Europe’s most popular city breaks, receiving 4.5 million tourists annually, for very good reason. Its progressive history and watery whereabouts have lot to do with Amsterdam’s global stardom, established in the 12th century as a fishing village and since becoming a firm multicultural metropolis where antiquated and modern architecture align and over a thousand bridges connect locals to countless coffee shops and a renowned Red Light District. While the Amstel is Amsterdam’s traditional LGBT hub, no one can contain this city’s gay pride, which outflows into the historic areas of Kerkstraat, Regulierdwarsstraat, Zeedijk and Warmoesstraat, as well as around the entire city, particularly during Pride in August. Famously free-spirited, laid back and liveable, Amsterdam is the perfect gaycation. But how exactly do you choose what to see in Amsterdam? Here’s where Mr Hudson’s Amsterdam gay city guide can help you out.

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The best hotels in Amsterdam

Let’s start our Amsterdam gay travel guide with a roundup of the best hotels in Amsterdam. There are over 600 hotels in greater Amsterdam, but it doesn’t get much more majestic than the neo-gothic Conservatorium Hotel. Part 19th century landmark, part 21st century architectural showcase, this Museumplein-based luxury lodging is a former music conservatory where the seductive suites are beautifully complemented by the basement holistic spa with neon-lit pool and top-tier restaurant. Conservatorium’s translucent Tunes Bar is also a lure, serving up continent-inspired cocktails and a grand selection of gins. Meanwhile, on Prinsengracht, Amsterdam’s most beautiful canal lies Hotel Seven One Seven. Inside this stunning, formerly residential townhouse, guests will find a homely space, lined with bookshelves, hanging art and cabinet drinks, making for a serene, picture-perfect stay.

Conservatorium Hotel

Conservatorium Hotel

Next is the blissful boutique known as Pillows Anna van den Vondel, spread across a trio of elegant 19th-century mansions beside Vondelpark on a canal-veined section of the city. As relaxing as it gets with subtle yet flawless service, Pillows provides luxury bedding in pastel-hued rooms of soft lighting filled with fragrant eucalyptus. While the poetic attic rooms are small and intimate, if cosy doesn’t cut it, opt for the Deluxe Room or Pillows Suite for a bigger bathroom and the best garden views. Well located in a 17th-century merchant’s house near the museum district and since redesigned in contemporary styles while retaining the rustic textures and rich fabrics of the Dutch Old Masters, is 4-star offering Canal House. Here guests will find seductive rooms overlooking the romantic courtyard garden as well as antique ceiling art and curiosity cabinets all contrasted by modern art and luxury amenities including a full breakfast service.

One more of our favourites is the Sir Adam Hotel, a bang-on-trend glass and concrete affair towering over the buzzing Noord district. The pared-down, warehouse-cool aesthetic at Sir Adam is maintained across the quirky communal areas, complete with vinyl library, acting as the perfect hub to socialise ahead of a night out at Noord’s lively bars, restaurants and clubs. Expect bold artwork, bespoke wood furniture and bright accents, as well as their unique selling point of in-room Crosley record players and Gibson guitars for that amateur jam session you’ve always wanted.

Photo: Bruno van der Kraan

Photo: Bruno van der Kraan

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