For his second visit to Amsterdam, Fancy Oli opted to get out of the city center a little to leave his suitcase at the Sir Albert Hotel, a designer hotel that opened in Spring 2013. Located in the De Pijp neighborhood, home to many yuppies, immigrants and students. It’s near the Stedelijk, Van Gogh museums, as well as the recently renovated Rijksmuseum.

With its looks of a disaffected bank or train station, this 1895 red brick industrial building once housed a diamond factory.

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Named the best boutique hotel in the Netherlands in 2013, it became all the rage in the space of a few months.

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The four-star hotel welcomes you in a luxurious, relaxed atmosphere. The lounge area in the lobby is very enjoyable, a good place to take a break around the chimney, take a seat on the hair-on banquettes or on the leather armchairs to read a book from the library, play chess, read international press, borrow an iPad from the hotel or do some great people-watching. Lady Gaga has been spotted here.

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Designed by the Belgian architecture firm BK, the 90 bedrooms and suites of the Sir Albert Hotel are spacious and elegant. Each room’s decor is inspired by different art movements. The tall ceilings and monochrome palette exude a stylish and contemporary atmosphere. Persian carpets and vintage furniture from the 1940s and 50s are combined with high-tech accessories.

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The hotel restaurant, IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar, is a sophisticated izakaya (Japanese pub) with a nice terrasse. At night, Amsterdam’s hipsters gather for drinks or a fancy dinner with staple grilled meat dishes known as “robatas,” while watching the cooks at work. It’s a great option, even if you are not staying at the hotel.

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Breakfast is a little disappointing, and expensive. There is a classic buffet with room for improvement. But the freshly squeezed juices are unique, and very good.

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In order to help you get around the city quickly, the Sir Albert offers a bicycle rental service, but make sure to reserve in advance. It’s key to travel along the canals.

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It’s a cosmopolitan hotel with a warm atmosphere located in a hybrid neighborhood between the old and new Amsterdam. It would be a shame to miss this hotspot of the Dutch capital… except when the hot water stops working on a Sunday morning when it’s time to take a shower.