So, long time no travel post… It’s been a good 8 months since Bali, so Alix and I were itching to get on the plane earlier this month. Genuinely, we woke up at 4am to make it to our 7am flight from Heathrow. It was a very long day, but my god have I missed travelling!
If you’ve been following my travels on the ‘gram, you’ll know how excited I was to visit the first stop on our two week Europe trip: Amsterdam. If you haven’t been following along, have a peek at my Instagram for the story content covering my adventures. (All of the locations of my travels have been saved as Highlights so you can go back and rewatch them whenever you fancy it)
Anyway, you guys are here for a little boutique hotel inspo from Hotel The Exchange – Let’s do this!
We arrived at around 9ish at Schipol Airport, which was a great time to arrive. The airport was still pretty empty and we managed to grab our bags and find our train platform in quick time It was really easy to jump on a fast train from Schipol to Centraal in around 15 minutes. You can either get the Sprinter or the Intercity Direct – I didn’t find there was much of a difference in duration or price, as far as I can remember.
If you’re looking for a boutique hotel that’s perfectly located for exploring Amsterdam, this is it. Hotel The Exchange is located on the main road that runs through Amsterdam and up to Centraal station. It’s actually situated a few doors down from the famous Amsterdam Sex Museum and the must-try chips at Manneken Pis. We really did have the easiest time finding the hotel, which is walking distance from Centraal.
We were a good few hours too early for the 2pm check-in time, but the staff offered to store our bags til then. I quickly changed and spruced up in the loo before heading out for a big first day in ‘dam. Our first stop was getting our 72 hour passes for public transport at Centraal, which is only a 5 minute walk away from Hotel The Exchange. We opted for the Amsterdam Travel Ticket which costs 28 euros for 72 hours of public transport travel.
After we started using our 72 hour passes around the city, we soon realised how *ideally* located Hotel The Exchange really is. In Amsterdam, Tram is king! We trammed-it pretty much everywhere in Amsterdam so the ticket was well worth the money. Plus, every tram we got on had a stop near to the hotel which is a plus.
The only thing I would say about the area is that if you’re looking for good food or drink, jump on a tram and get out of the Centraal area. The area itself is the tourist hub of Amsterdam and isn’t really of much interest. The Sex Museum is a must visit though, even if it’s on an evening after a few cocktails. Do it!
Hotel The Exchange is set in three 17th century traditional Amsterdam houses. So, as you can imagine, it’s very tall and very narrow. The only way up is a small lift that fits maybe 2/3 people at most, which is worth keeping in mind if you’re not a fan of enclosed spaces. The stairs are very steep at all points, so if you’re not very mobile you might find the hotel hard to navigate.
The hotel has two lounges, which can be reached via the lift or via the stairs. These are little communal rooms which we didn’t use, but we enjoyed the lights display which was almost like an art instalment within the hotel. We were both stunned at the attention to detail in the hotel, the design aspect is *so* there and they’re clearly very proud of it.
At 2pm, we finally checked into our room at Hotel The Exchange. The receptionist handed over our two key cards and I hurried myself into lift with anticipation. I had previously selected room #519 (Mosa Room), and I couldn’t wait to see it in real life. Mosa is a dutch ceramic company who created the beautiful tiles that adorn the walls of the entire room and bathroom, hence the name.
I opted for this room mostly due to how minimal the room looked and felt (totally up my street). If it’s a spacious, bright, crisp room that you’re seeking, you may have found it here. Both of us are big fans of less is more, especially after our trip to Stockholm, where we became scandi-minimalism advocates. So this room was perfect for us to spend our first night in Amsterdam in.
The room comes with a flat screen tv, a safe, toiletries, a hanging rail for clothes, and a desk. The usual hotel-y stuff really! The 5 star rooms at Hotel The Exchange also have Nespresso machines, which would be a welcome afternoon pick me up I’m sure. In terms of amenities, everything is covered and we had zero problems with our stay. Even though it’s such a basic thing, it meant we could just relax and enjoy our stay to max.
The bed was two singles pushed into a double, which didn’t bother us really. We’ve stayed in so many hotels / hotels that merge singles that Al & I have mastered the art of spooning without falling through the middle. The bed itself was so comfortable guys, we didn’t want to leave it in the morning. They nailed the whole white, crispy sheet thing, which is a must for me. I’m also a pretty fussy pillow person (2 pillows – medium to firm plz) and these were spot on. Like sleeping on a dream, well done Hotel The Exchange!
There isn’t a room rate with brekkie option at Hotel The Exchange, because their sister cafe is right next door! Cafe STOCK is accessed by coming out of the front of the hotel, and directly back into the cafe. This was slightly confusing as you can’t get to breakfast from inside the hotel, it did have us quizzed for a bit early in the morning. The cafe is open to the public and serves all types of coffee, tea, juices and breakfast / lunch options from 7am – 5pm.
Prior to heading down for breakfast I had a scroll on the website menu to choose my meal (it’s such a bad habit). I was so stoked to order pancakes for brekkie but to no avail. They didn’t have them on the menu in the cafe! Just to be warned, the online menu isn’t necessarily what they have available.
We both went for the “Breakfast” menu option which consists of a coffee of your choice and orange juice to complement your brekkie. I decided on the yogurt menu, whilst Alix went for the toastie option. I have to be honest, I was filled with food envy after giving Alix’s toastie a cheeky bite. His toastie was full of filling and flavour, which my yogurt was a little pedestrian on comparison. If I could go back, I would 100% order a toastie option instead.
Cafe STOCK itself has a definite nod to it’s sister hotel, and the design is very on-brand with lots of red running though the cafe. The front of the cafe opens up to a small outdoor seating area which would be perfect to enjoy your breakfast or coffee in the sunshine.
Our first night in Amsterdam at Hotel The Exchange was just the thing we needed to kick-start our Europe trip. I can genuinely say that I don’t think you could find a better design/boutique hotel in the heart of Amsterdam that is better located than this one. Plus, if you’re only staying for a night our two, make the most of your trip by staying bang in the centre of the city by staying at Hotel the Exchange. If you have a browse on their website and Instagram page you’ll have a peek at the many unique design rooms on offer. The staff were really friendly & helpful, plus the ability to store our luggage all day before check in / after check out was an absolute. Hotel The Exchange, we will certainly be back.
Have you been to Amsterdam before?
Or is this beautiful city on your bucket list?
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