A city tax of approximately 5 percent of the total room cost per night will be collected by the hotel at checkout
Party animals might want a livelier neighborhood
Pale carpeting could use an update
WiFi is free
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Discreet digs with a secluded garden housed in two 18th-century mansions in Amsterdam's Museum Quarter
As befits a hotel that’s smack bang in the middle of Amsterdam’s cultivated Museum Quarter, the JL is named after 17th-century poet Johannes Luiken (the hotel is number 76 on the street named after him, geddit?). Sure, it’s in the swankiest part of town (Chanel, Tiffany, Gucci, et al. are just a rhinestone’s throw away), and there’s a flat-screen TV above the Jacuzzi, but the guestrooms are more stealth wealth, with a soothing color palette and the odd splodge of quirky fun. Case in point: the parade of crash helmet–sporting dog sculptures in the reception area window.
Bed and Bath
Lots of thought has clearly been put into your comfort and convenience. Coffeemaking facilities are courtesy of Nespresso, mattresses are from eco-manufacturer Coco-Mat, and the indulgent “rain dance” showers are perfect after a punishing day on the culture beat. Housed in two 18th-century mansions, the rooms retain architectural details such as quirky window frames and sloping roofs, and some feature graffiti-style walls or artwork by Barbara Broekman.
The culinary options aren’t endless, but the fact that the kitchen serves wraps, salads and the like until 10 p.m. is impressive for a 39-room hotel. Nearby Willemsparkweg offers additional noshes. Fill up on Dutch pancakes with maple syrup at breakfast here and you won’t be requiring much lunch. The honesty bar is hassle-free, and the secluded garden gives a residential feel. In keeping with Amsterdam’s twin traditions of egalitarianism and gezelligheid (which roughly translates as coziness), the JL is the kind of place where fellow guests smile at each other and all seems well in the world.
In the Area
Fast, fun and eco-friendly, the humble bicycle remains the best way to see the city. You can rent one on the nearby Leidseplein from Mac Bike. Saddle up and cycle along nearby PC Hooftstraat, which leads directly into the elegant Vondelpark — the green lungs of the city. For a spot of culture, visit the recently reopened Stedelijk Museum. Nicknamed “the Bathtub” on account of its extraordinary design, it's a world class modern art trove. For dinner Brasserie Keyzer, adjacent to the Concertgebouw recital hall on Van Baerlestraat, is the traditional hangout of Amsterdam’s literary elite.