Housed in a towering testament to the Noord district’s renaissance, glass-and-concrete Amsterdam hotel Sir Adam is as on-trend as boutique stays come. Quirky communal areas and a vinyl library encourage guests to make themselves at home. Just as well, then, that you needn’t stray far for a taste of the city’s buzzy nightlife: the gourmet burger joint in the atrium doubles up as an all-night party pit stop at the weekend, and the building hosts a basement nightclub and viewing platform to boot. Best of all? When you’re all caroused out, seductive city-view rooms are just a quick disco-lift ride away.
Double rooms from £146.80 (€171), including tax at 9 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of 7% per room per night on check-in and an additional local city tax of €3.00 per person per night on check-out.
Rates don’t include the à la carte breakfast of dishes such as poached eggs with smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and pancetta croissants, seasonal fruit salads, home-made granola and smoothies (from €5).
Each of the hotel’s four lifts is themed. With its huge disco ball, funktastic playlist and lit flooring, lift E is perfect if you’re on your way out to hit the town, but perhaps best avoided the morning after the night before.
At the hotel
Lounge, gym, vinyl library, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, Crosley record player, Gibson guitar, minibar, kettle, Illy espresso machine, Dead Clean toiletries. Sir Deluxe rooms and above have bathrobes, slippers and free bottled water.
Our favourite rooms
Sir Adam’s pared-down, warehouse-cool aesthetic carries through into the rooms. Bright rugs, bespoke wood furniture and bold artwork from local artists warm up exposed concrete walls and striking floor-to-ceiling windows; each room is also kitted out with a Crosley record player, Gibson guitar and vinyl selection to tempt guests to stay in for the day. Snug Sir Boutique rooms are best if you’d rather go out exploring. Thrill seekers should splurge on a Sir Deluxe Corner room for superlative views and an exhibitionist-friendly shower (the more demure needn’t worry, a strategically placed piece of opaque glass mostly preserves guests’ modesty).
Bring a pair of binoculars, should Sir Adam’s panoramic views and lashings of glass bring out the voyeur in you.
Fitness fanatics needn’t take a break from their routine here: the gym is kitted out with kettlebells, cardio machines and suspension training equipment, and runs regular classes. If you just want to give your legs a workout, hire a bike from the hotel.
Children over 12 are welcome, but Sir Adam is more of a grown-up bolthole.
The Butcher’s made for casual dining: grab a stool at the bar to keep an admiring eye on the mixologists’ sleight of hand.
Go for understated cool in just-so Levi’s or a one-off vintage find.
An industrial-chic hangout in Sir Adam’s lofty atrium, the Butcher Social Club keeps things on-trend with a tempting menu of towering burgers, slow-cooked ribs and wholesome salads. Polished concrete and floor-to-ceiling glass are livened up with table football, mismatched rugs and rainbow-hued hanging seats. This is a pre- and post-party pit stop for local hedonists: rock up to the kitchen to order your meal and a portable buzzer will let you know when it’s ready to collect.
The Hub’s sprawling bar rustles up fabulous cocktails (the watermelon cooler gets the Smith seal of approval), superfood-packed smoothies and indulgent milkshakes. Take your drinks to the retro arcade machines or ping-pong tables on the ground floor, or head upstairs for a grown-up chat, a bird’s eye view of the room’s goings-on and a go at playing DJ on the public turntable.
Breakfast is served 7am–10.30am (11am on Saturdays and Sundays); the restaurant is open 9am–1am and doesn’t close Friday or Saturday nights.
Breakfast can be served in your room. Savour burgers in bed (messy, but indulgent) from the restaurant’s menu 11am–1am (2.45am on Fridays and Saturdays).
Housed in the unmissable A’dam Toren skyscraper behind Centraal Station, Sir Adam overlooks the IJ river right next to the futuristic Eye Film Museum.
A 30-minute drive away from the hotel, Schiphol Airport is a major international hub. Cabs are plentiful outside the terminal and should set you back around €50. Direct trains to Centraal Station leave every 10 minutes between 6am and 1am; the journey takes less than 20 minutes.
A five-minute ferry crossing away, Centraal Station serves high-speed Thalys trains to Paris and Brussels, as well as other European and Dutch destinations.
Scarce parking and Amsterdam’s efficient network of trams and canal buses make driving around the city an unnecessary nuisance; hire a bicycle on arrival instead. If you are bringing your own wheels, there’s secure public parking (from €3 an hour, €38 for 24 hours) in the building’s basement, though the hotel can’t reserve any spots for its guests.
The Buiksloterweg ferry to Centraal Station is free and runs around the clock.
Worth getting out of bed for
Guests need only head downstairs to sample Amsterdam’s permissive, round-the clock nightlife. Dance the night away in A’dam Toren’s basement club Shelter, a haven for house and techno fiends that also hosts monthly-changing exhibits by avant-garde Dutch artists. Book a visit to the top-floor viewing platform Lookout for unmissable views of the the city’s port, historical centre and Unesco-protected canals, or – if you’re in the market for an adrenaline rush – to have a go on the highest swings in Europe. A leisurely 30-minute stroll away along townhouse-flanked waterways in the city centre, Anne Frank’s House gives a sobering lesson on the country’s not-so-distant history. Neighbouring district Jordaan has come a long way since Rembrandt lived out his last years here. You could easily while away an afternoon gallery-hopping or boutique-browsing; try squat-to-riches institution Gerhard Hofland for bold, soul-stirring work from contemporary masters.
Housed in a converted 1880s orphanage, Morgan & Mees’ monochrome dining room is decked out with original parquet flooring and a subway-tiled open kitchen. Book ahead for elegant plates of eclectically sourced produce such as Auvergne cheese, pomegranate molasses and soft-shell crab. Youthful and buzzy, The Pool is all about communal dining around high tables; take your time working your way through a casual menu of Dutch-influenced tapas such as mackerel rillettes and Nord Zee crab cakes. Foodhallen is an excellent specimen of the sort of indoor food-court springing up all around Europe: come early and indulge in a round-the-world sampling of on-trend street snacks such as dim sum, curries and banh mi.
Candlelit Libertine Café Café rustles up refined comfort food (cockle-flecked pasta, wood-fired pizza, wholesome brunches) in stylish surroundings.
There’s no shortage of drinking dens in De Wallen’s red-light district just across the water. Book ahead for creative concoctions in diminutive speakeasy Hiding in Plain Sight. Hipper-than-thou Tales & Spirits is the city’s best spot for theatrical, head-turning cocktails; stock up on supplies at their sister shop L’Atelier de T&S next door to recreate their head-turning tipples at home.
I worry we’re not cool enough for this hotel, and I say this as a modern, worldly-acquainted, meme-referencing millennial.
I’ll skip past the fact the lobby looks like an adults-only play centre – with pool and foosball tables, arcade machines, an open-concept all-night burger bar called the Butcher, a projector screen for movie nights – and start with our post check-in detour to the hotel’s record library. Our host – a musician by night – pulls a couple of old-school LPs from the black lacquered racks and says ‘I think you guys might like these tunes’ before chatting music with Mr Smith all the way to our room.
So far, so good, until I – to my embarrassment – ask: ‘Um, how do we operate the record player?’
He’s nice enough to not give me a you-mean-you-don’t-know scoff, and proceeds to give us helpful instructions on how to operate our own in-room Crosley Cruiser.
There’s a Gibson guitar hanging over our beds too, not that either of us know how to strum a chord, but if I was musically-inclined in any way, Sir Adam would be the hotel of my dreams.
Not that it isn’t, mind. The industrial-meets-nightclub décor is modern, fun, and executed with real class, deftly straddling the line between warehouse cool and home comfort with lashings of glass and concrete softened by tactile rugs, bold art and lighthearted touches. Flushed with floor-to-ceiling windows, our room has stunning panoramic views of the IJ river, which you have to cross by ferry to get to the city centre.
As well as its curated selection of records, trust Sir Adam to have a curated selection of in-room reads, too. I’m a sucker for new-age non-Lonely Planet travel guides like Cereal Magazine and Citix60’s series, so finding a copy of Lost in Amsterdam by my bedside was a welcome touch. (In fact, I later buy a copy from the hotel.)
Other winning details to note: a nice touch of brown leather (no less) on the pillowcases, and light-up messages engraved in the bathroom mirrors that differ from room to room (ours says ‘I got you babe’).
There’s plenty to do at Sir Adam, too. Mr Smith and I squeeze in a couple of pool sessions (I would have won, of course, but I magnanimously let him…) and, post-dinner, we grab drinks from the Butcher and catch the second half of Sweeney Todd playing on the projector. Given we’re in the A’dam Tower, there’s a 360-degree rooftop skydeck up top, and the Swing Over The Edge ride for daredevils. Not bad for a hotel on the ‘other’ side of the city.
Even if you’re not keen to take the ferry across the river, there’s plenty to do nearby. When in Amsterdam, you have to commute like the locals do: by bike. There’s a rental shop less than a minute away from the hotel’s entrance if you’re keen to cycle the city.
Besides biking, Mr Smith and I explore the arts and fashion district, De 9 Straatjes (the nine streets), and the tulip fields at Keukenhof before we have to bid farewell to Sir Adam.
Shortly after after checking out, though, I get a call, telling me I’ve left my passport behind – I’m never this forgetful!
I turn to Mr Smith and, instead of getting peeved, he looks at me with a smile and says, ‘I guess we’re heading back…’
Hand in his coat pocket to stave off the nasty wind, we board the ferry at Amsterdam Centraal once again and walk towards Sir Adam.
When we get to the hotel, of course we’re the first to arrive uninvited at their King’s Night (the national holiday to mark the birth of King Willem-Alexander) party. At reception I scream over the music ‘I’M HERE TO COLLECT MY PASSPORT’ (I mean, who screams that at a party?). We feel like kids at their first high-school social.
We wait patiently and watch the lobby fill up with party goers whose night is just beginning. We get the passport, which the lovely staff had placed in a safe for us, and leave the party.
Like I said: we’re not cool enough for this hotel. But it feels like home anyway.