This winter, enjoy the charms of Amsterdam’s canal district without the crowds; soak up the village-like atmosphere of de Jordaan; and experience this unique part of the city like a local, writes Andrew Forbes.
As one of Europe’s most popular cities, Amsterdam has no shortage of impressive addresses that you can call your home-away-from home. Yet for a real flavour of the city, nothing can beat a stay in an authentic, historic canal house.
We recently stayed at Mr. Jordaan Hotel, a cosy, friendly and stylish hotel in the UNESCO world heritage canal district. This renovated 17th century canal house offers on-trend accommodation with cosy rooms, some in the loft, others with canal views. The hotel is fashionably off the main tourist trail, and found on Bloemgracht, a peaceful, historic canal just off the Prinsengracht.
The property has a family feel; and I guess that’s unsurprising as Mr. Jordaan has a history of hospitality that goes back to when the owner used to offer his sofa for travelling friends. Mr. Jordaan’s sofa ‘turned into a room, which turned into two, which expanded into a full floor, then into more floors until even the house next door gave in to the hospitable spirit of our Mr. Jordaan.’
And now, decades after Mr. Jordaan welcomed travellers to the area, we can now enjoy the same spirit of relaxed hospitality at the Mr. Jordaan Hotel. This personal history to the hotel is captured by the icon of a vintage key, the identity of the hotel, and one that remembers how Mr. Jordaan used to offer his own house key to travellers.
The property is decorated with a warm palette of copper and earth tones which together offers a relaxed vibe. Lighting in the downstairs lobby bar café is from stylish glass pendant lights. Vintage furniture and paraphernalia add personality and a sense of history and place.
This hotel isn’t about luxury or excess – it’s about homey, authenticity. Think shelves laded with books and quirky collectables.
Although at The Luxury Editor we adore a touch of glamour, we also love to experience destinations as a local, and a stay at Hotel Mr. Jordaan really makes you feel part of the village community of the de Jordaan district.
The surrounding area is a pleasure to explore – it’s full of independent stores, galleries as well as some excellent cafés and bars – de Jordaan as retained much of its charm, unlike some of the more crowded, touristy parts of the canal district.
Check-in & Welcome
Mr. Jordaan brings the village-style neighbourhood inside with its coffee bar style lobby. With exposed brickwork, vintage armchairs and muted aesthetic it’s a millennial’s Instagram dream.
Together with your room key you get Mr. Jordaan’s book of ‘rules’, which explain everything you need to know about the hotel from the Wi-Fi code, to when breakfast starts. Also, you can enjoy an insider guide to Amsterdam; a cool little book with all you want to know about the hotel as well as lots of tips to help accelerate your immersion into the neighbourhood.
I was lucky enough to have the attic room, number 71. This is set within the pitched roof loft of the canal house, with windows on three sides offering views out over the next-door church and rooftops of the neighbourhood.
There are plenty of nice touches, including the branded enamel coffee cups. Mr Jordaan provides new, refillable water bottles too, so you can fill up on the local tap water that’s said to be high quality. It’s also an eco-way to keep hydrated when exploring.
The room has a small ensuite shower room with vintage, artisan style amenities.
Oh, and in my experience, the Wi-Fi was great.
On the ground floor is the hotel’s café restaurant decorated with a chalk on blackboard mural, (including one of the hotel’s mantras ‘Don’t be a Tourist, Be a Traveller’) – here you’ll find a gourmet coffee machine and a wide selection of teas too. Just grab one of the mugs and help yourself.
There are take-out cups too if you want to prepare a warming drink to take with you to explore the canal district.
This is also where the generous, home-style buffet breakfast is served. Head to the kitchen to help yourself to eggs, cold cuts, cheeses, cereals and more.
Although it was only for a night, I really enjoyed my short stay. It offered the amenities and convenience of a hotel, but the place also had a cool, homey, neighbourhood feel that you just can’t get with the bigger hotels.
Address: Mr. Jordaan Hotel, Bloemgracht 102 1015 TN Amsterdam
Use the promotional code ‘mrjordaansocial’ when booking to receive a 10% discount.