Hampshire Hotel, Amsterdam American
Monumental in both size and geographic importance, the American Hotel sits aloofly, and a little to the side, apart from the touristic pandemonium and themed Irish bars of Leidseplein. Its lobby, restaurant and bar areas are fine examples of art- nouveau grandeur, all subtly lit, and immediately giving a sense of sophistication. By comparison, the rooms themselves feel a little uninspired, and more like a chain hotel experience (albeit a very nice chain), and can feel a little tight for space. Service comes with similar chain efficiency, and the guest experience is perfectly pleasant and functional. Even if you don’t happen to be staying, Bar Americain is certainly worth a drink, as much for the surroundings as the nimble-fingered cocktail waiters. And the hotel’s main restaurant, Café Americain, is similarly, though less ostentatiously glam. Leidseplein sits on the doorstep, which is a blessing or a curse, depending on the time and your mood.