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The Craftsmen
Amsterdam, Netherlands

9/10 Telegraph expert rating

A beautiful 17th-century building in a prime canal-side location is now a boutique hotel, done up with the historical tools and trappings of artisans. The design is ingenious, and the rooms fun to be in. Nearly all have a canal view. It’s a gem of a small hotel, with a family-run ambience.

Services and Facilities (9/10)

The small group of young staff are genuinely friendly and helpful, and get on well with each other, helping to create a homely atmosphere and give a personal touch to your stay.

The one public area – a breakfast room that is also open in the evenings for drinks and snacks – has large windows facing directly onto the canal, a couple of leather armchairs and workbench tables, and has a cosy pub ambience.

Rooms 9/10

It all happens in the rooms: just 14 of them, with all but two having a full-on canal view. They’re of very different shapes and sizes (with a couple of lofts under the high rafters), and each has a theme: Airplane Builder, Cartographer, Shoemaker, and so on. It’s all wildly different, and great fun. Expect bootmakers’ wooden lasts turned into bedside tables, paint splattered Jackson Pollock-style over floors and armchairs, a wardrobe made from a plane’s emergency exit. The ideas seem never-ending, some ingenious (an historical fireplace turned wardrobe by folding glass doors), some gloriously batty: a folding canoe as a lamp. Along the way are some beautiful period pieces such as a 17th-century trunk, an ancient wall map.

Some rooms are fairly small (there are a couple of delightful singles, with canal-view work desks under the windows) and not all have easy chairs, though some have a small bar. Many have bathtubs in the room, with a separate bathroom with shower. All have espresso and tea-making facilities, and USB sockets (in retro-style cases). Beds are comfy, and there are big, soft white towels and bathrobes.

Food and Drink 8/10

A modest breakfast buffet in the Gallery has good-quality produce: freshly squeezed fruit juice and fresh fruit salad, granola and yogurt, mini muffins and pastries, crusty rolls and buttery croissants, with cheeses, cold-cuts and smoked salmon, even a little avocado and roast peppers. In addition to boiled eggs available at the buffet, you can order eggs of choice. There is no restaurant or bar, but the Gallery breakfast room is also open in the evenings for drinks and snacks.

Value for Money 9/10

Double rooms from €160 (£137) in low season; and from €250 (£214) in high. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi.

Acces for guests with disabilities

Not suitable.

Family-friendly?

Because of the stairways, the hotel specifies no children under 12, but if you contact them and talk through the idiosyncrasies of available rooms, it might be possible to bring a younger child. That said, the Blacksmith room, with its spiral staircase to a smaller second bedroom under low roof beams is the stuff childhood dreams are made of.

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