Great Affordable City Hotels
Banks Mansion, Amsterdam
The Hotel: This relatively new hotel (it opened in 2004) occupies an impressive old building (a former bank dating to 1923). Its 51 rooms—most of which overlook the Herengracht Canal—are outfitted in Art Deco finery, with inlaid-wood consoles and headboards, leaded-glass windows, arched floor lamps, and upholstery in colors of mahogany, black, and gold. Welcome perks include rainforest showers and complimentary decanters of whiskey and other spirits—although it’s nicer to take cocktail hour in one of the deep armchairs of the common lounge.
The Locale: The hotel’s exclusive, canal-ring neighborhood is known as the Golden Bend. The name is a nod to the high concentration of wealth here—as evidenced by the opulent waterfront mansions (including the official residence of Amsterdam’s mayor). The surrounding streets are lined with charming cafés, and the shops of the Kalverstraat, PC Hooftstraat, and Albert Cuyp market are an easy walk from the hotel.
The Bottom Line: Deluxe King rooms start at about $200 per night; those with canal views are around $240 (and worth the price difference).