Set by Amsterdam’s flower-filled Vondelpark, boutique hotel Pillows Anna van den Vondel takes the satisfyingly soft ‘flump’ you feel on bounding into the best hotel beds as its inspiration. Life is unhurried within: the hotel eatery does away with set dining times; staff are smartly dressed sandmen making guests’ holiday dreams come true (if you dream of sipping a fine Dutch brew, acquiring a bike or booking a canal tour, that is…); and soothingly pastel-hued rooms are both tech-y and tranquil. The ‘Dam’s buzzy neighbourhoods are within walking distance; but if you’d rather stay in bed, snoozers are by no means losers here.
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $217.34 (€194), excluding tax at 9 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of 7% per booking on check-out.
Rates include Continental breakfast; for €26 more, you can upgrade to cooked eggs and the like.
Some of the hotel’s rooms benefit from a French balcony (overlooking either the hotel garden or the city) or a big-enough-for-two terrace.
At the hotel
Terrace, concierge, free WiFi throughout, laundry service. In rooms: 32” flatscreen TV; Tivoli sound system with Bluetooth streaming; Smart control panel for the lights, locks and air-conditioning; kettle and Nespresso coffee machine; gourmet minibar; bespoke bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Rooms are a living lullaby of pastel hues, fragrant eucalyptus plants and soft lighting. Bathrooms can be bijou, so opt for a Deluxe Room if you’d like a little more elbow room. The Pillows Suite is worth the extra euros for restful garden views, and it’s the only room in the hotel fitted with both a shower and bath tub. The Small Luxury Rooms, set in the attic, may appeal to garret-craving poetic souls, but their diminutive size could prove a little too intimate for some.
To really set the mood in your oh-so comfy bed, download some chilled-out tunes, and bring an eye mask and lavender oil – why, did you think you’d be using it for something other than sleeping?
Hotel staff are happy to hand out free daily newspapers for fireside reading.
You’re unlikely to hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet in this serene, grown-up stay.
Pull up a stool to watch the action in the open kitchen or laze around on a banquette like you’re at home.
‘Dam girl in brights and cobble-friendly clogs. For boys: biker with bespoke tailoring.
The hotel’s ‘clockless’ dining concept is excellent news for those who crave a rib-eye steak at 4am. The Living dining room’s menu has Mediterranean-inspired dishes (slices of pata negra ham, melanzane alla parmigiana) and comfort food (mini burgers, dim-sum, croque-monsieur bites). The space is impeccably dressed with walls of windows, parquet flooring and seafoam-green seating; a bank of banquettes give a little more privacy for alone time-seeking twosomes.
The drinks list is mainly compiled of Dutch beers (Amstel, Affligem Dubbel…) and French wines; there’s no set bar area, guests are free to drink wherever they wish.
All dishes are available round-the-clock.
Selections from the all-day dining card can be enjoyed in your suite at any time, day or night.
Pillows Amsterdam is in the Oud-Ouest quarter of the city, within tulip-sniffing distance of gloriously green Vondelpark, and a leisurely 15-minute stroll from the Canal District.
The hotel is a 30-minute taxi ride from Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport. Flights arrive here direct from cities throughout Europe; from the US, you’ll need to stop over in Iceland’s Keflavik Airport or Istanbul. The Smith24 Team can arrange flights on request, and a one-way airport transfer booked through the hotel is €37 (€45 if you fancy your name on a sign).
Centraal Station is a 20-minute drive from Pillows; the hotel can arrange transfers for €25 each way. Trains arrive here from major destinations in France, Germany and Belgium, and throughout the Netherlands.
With narrow mediaeval streets – and waterways – to navigate, plus the disapproving scowls you’ll get from eco-conscious cyclists, hiring a car in Amsterdam is more hassle than it’s worth. If you do arrive by car, public parking is a five-minute walk from the hotel (€30 a day).
Make like the locals and hop on yer bike… The network of cycle lanes and biker-aware motorists ensure no bent spokes or scraped knees.
Worth getting out of bed for
From your regal front door, Vondelpark is less than a 10-minute walk away. Swing by deli Renzo’s first to assemble a picnic of spicy, duck breast-stuffed rolls and manchego-and-rocket baguettes. In summer, the park hosts open-air concerts and plays, and if you ask the concierge to help you hire a bike, its cycle lanes are some of the prettiest. Amsterdam’s buzzy Canal District is a 15- to 20-minute walk away. Its narrow, gabled buildings house restaurants, bars and cafés, catering for more niche tastes than Amsterdam’s most infamous district… Catch a film at Tuschinski cinema a confection with both Art Deco and Art Nouveau touches, or wander around the area’s cool concept stores and Scandi design shops (Geitenwollenwinkel, Hope or Samsøe & Samsøe). Here, behind a bookshelf on the top floor of a nondescript building on Prinsengracht, history’s darkest hour is given a human face at the Anne Frank House. A tour of the Frank family’s attic hiding place is sombre – yet phenomenally important – but it’s buoyed a little by Anne’s hope-filled words and enduring spirit.
Amsterdam’s Unesco-protected canals have given it a fairy-tale look since the 17th century. Take a boat tour to wend your way through the city, or amorous types can stroll by them after dark when they’re romantically lit. The gentrified Jordaan district is worth a wander, too – galleries such as KochxBos and Tertius keep it edgy and its boozers retain their vintage charm; pause for a pint in higgledy-piggledy, delft-tiled Café Papeneiland.
Amsterdam slakes thirst and provides sustenance, whatever you crave. Sushi enthusiasts should grab some chopsticks at Izakaya or Kagetsu; ‘my body is a temple’ types can dine guilt-free at Lavinia Good Food or raw, vegan joint Alchemist Garden; the less-virtuous can build a towering snack at Burgerlijk or munch their way through the Old McDonald song at French diner Guts & Glory.
Pancakes aren’t relegated to the dessert section of the menu in Amsterdam. Have your expectations flipped at The Pancake Bakery in Jordaan, where these stovetop treats are loaded with Thai red curry, Nutella and cream, and every sweet-savoury combo in between. If you’ve overindulged on batter-based treats, take lunch at SLA, where every possible topping is added to a bowl of green leaves instead.
With Holland’s centuries-old reputation for sippable suds, Amsterdam’s craft-beer game is strong at Proeflokaal Arendsnest, whose copper taps keep more than 50 Dutch beers flowing, or microbrewery Brouwerij 't IJ, who hold an annual beer festival come May. Alternatively, the cocktail is king at award-winning bars such as Door 74, whose bartender is impressively intuitive, or The Butcher in the hip De Pijp district, where a now less-than-secret drinking den is hidden behind a freezer door at the back of a decent burger joint.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this bijou boutique hotel in Amsterdam and unpacked their most flattering bike helmet and wheel of aged gouda, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, let’s cosy up to Pillows Anna van den Vondel hotel in the Netherlands…
A little Pillows talk: tucked into laid-back-and-liberal Amsterdam’s historic streets is a hotel with soft, yielding beds, a vivacious wining and dining spot, and a ravishing sense of style. Decorated in soothing oceanic greens and blues, and issuing an unspoken encouragement to ‘make yourself at home’ – even to the point of raiding the kitchen larders – Pillows hotel is as snug and dreamy as its name implies. Within, time takes it easy as guests drowse by the dining room’s fireplace or linger over a blonde beer on the klein terrace, as staff scuttle to and fro bearing croque-monsieur bites and mini burgers.
The riotously hued blooms of Vondelpark and canal bridges that each end in a new adventure are close by, but wherever you roam it’s reassuring to know there’s somewhere cosy and cool to rest your head on your return.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Pillows Anna van den Vondel’s Guestbook below.
We loved pretty much everything about the hotel. The staff were super friendly, knowledgeable and attentive without being overly so. The hotel itself was quiet, light and airy and was perfect for evening drinks in the garden after a long day in Amsterdam. The rooms aren't massive but we weren't expecting that - they are however, really well done and are kept beautifully. Again, a sense of peace and light is present throughout. The iPad control is a good touch as is the connected light panel. Outside the hotel, Vondelpark is perfect in the sun to just chill out in. For an excellent Michelin-starred meal just a 20-minute stroll across the park, visit Ron Gastrobar. The nearby (25 minutes walk) De Pijp district is very cool these days - think hipster chic - with the Albertscuyp Market a big attraction in the middle of it - great for that 11am stroopwaffle sugar hit!
Stags and hens all over the hotel or the streets around it. This is quite a quiet little boutique - much better for relaxing and unwinding than partying. It's a solid 30 min walk into the main centre but there are some great areas around it.
Stayed on 20 Jul 2018
Great location next to the main park. Very friendly welcome and the free cake! Lots of great places to see in Amsterdam and the hotel make a point of showing you where they all are on arrival. We went to a local restaurant called Lion Noir which was fantastic.
It's not far from the centre of Amsterdam but it would be about a 15 minute walk to any of the major tourist attractions.
Stayed on 20 Apr 2018
The whole experience. Check in was exceptional and everyone at the hotel made you feel welcome.
To be ignored or to find anything wrong with the hotel.
Stayed on 8 Oct 2017
The location was perfect to explore Amsterdam. The staff were friendly and able to help with all our queries. The hotel was well maintained and offered a twist of modern against a traditional feel. Moeders Restaurant for traditional Dutch food. THT cafe/restaurant for great views and fabulous food.
A full length mirror in your room. The rooms to be big. Much storage space.