Amsterdam: The Best Budget Theme Hotels

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Amsterdam theme hotel

Maybe it’s Van Gogh’s trippy sunflowers or that wacky, tacky Red Light District. But there’s something about Amsterdam’s love of the unusual that pops up in its hotel offerings. We’ve weeded out the ho-hum hotel experiences to bring you a few of our favorite joints (so many puns, so little space!):

Hotel de Filosoof
What: Three-star hotel near the Vondelpark
Doubles: From € 80
Theme: Enlightenment

Each room here is dedicated to a philosopher. You could stay in “Clouds” and pay homage to Aristophanes and Socrates, drifting to sleep in a bed with a blue, velveteen comforter. Or, opt for Confucius, which lifts up the ideals of Taoism and showcases an array of strong, ancient-looking (intentionally) purple décor. Neitche’s room just plain scared us. (Not surprising, considering the whole “God is dead” thing. Sweet dreams!) Thankfully, the hotel has 38 rooms to choose from, a spacious outdoor garden, and an art gallery.

Hemp Hotel
What: One-star hotel in the southern canal ring
Doubles: € 65 – 70
Theme: Baked not fried

Proclaiming itself “a unique specialty hotel for the hemp-aware traveler,” the Hemp Hotel is on our top ten list of favorite hotel visits (for purely professional reasons, natch). We were awed and amused and became one of the hotel’s managers!)

Winston Hotel
What: Two-star hotel in the Red Light District
Doubles: € 60-105
Theme: Artist madhouse

After spending a couple nights at the Winston, we labeled it “The Winston Museum of Contemporary Art,” as each room was designed by a different artist. Décors range from simple opaque canvases to large-format paintings that resemble Spirograph creations. Many rooms also have their own distinct genres. For instance, the Heineken room enjoys a green, bottled-up effect (Note: See also Smirnoff Button room.).  Maria’s Room is furnished entirely in white, producing an immaculate, yet oddly Clockwork Orange feel. We bunked in a dominatrix-themed space. And liked it.

The Greenhouse Effect
What: Two-star hotel in the Red Light District
Doubles: € 95-130
Theme: Out of this world

At this diamond in the snuff (it’s situated in the heart of the red-light district), themed rooms run the gamut from the plain and proper (“City Oasis” suite) to the downright surreal (“Turkish Delight” and “1001 Arabian Nights”).  A trance-inducing club downstairs features live music each weekend and looks sure to provide oodles of Kerouac-ky observations for postcards and personal diaries.

Lloyd Hotel
What: One-star to five-star hotel in the Eastern Docklands
Doubles: From €90 (see Website for special offers)
Theme: Pick a star (rating)

Offering its guests a range of rooms from a one-star to a five-star rating, the Lloyd really knows how to shake up hotel classification systems! This sophisticated and chic hotel, located in a fashionable area, displays architectural majesty—1920’s art deco mixed with modern flair, and lets you pick a room, any room, via various star ratings. However all rooms provide the same amenities (free WiFi and satellite television) and all guests (even the Cheapos) enjoy the same 24-hour service. Furthermore, all have access to the fancy “Cultural Embassy,” a space that serves as an art gallery, entertainment space, and lounge.

A 1-star room offers less space and shared bathrooms, while a 3-star, for example, has noteworthy 1920s furniture designed by De Bazel. We’d likely opt for a 2-star, deemed “surprising” by the hotel on its Website, as you get your own bathroom with “plenty of room to take a shower” (insert joke here), and some even provide water views. On a search we did for February, we found double rooms from €90 (one star) to €210 (five stars). What a range!

We’d say all of these hotels are worth the trip.

Did we miss a themed hotel in Amsterdam that you know about or would recommend? Tell us below!

Check out more great hotels in our Amsterdam guide!

About the author

Meredith Franco Meyers

About the author: Meredith earned an MFA in fiction writing at The New School in New York City. Her feature stories and articles have appeared in Ladies' Home Journal, American Baby, Self, Bridal Guide, Time Out New York, Fitness and more. She joined EuroCheapo in summer 2007.

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