Feb042016

W Amsterdam Fine Dam Views

Last February on a visit to Amsterdam, I was intrigued by the W Amsterdam sign atop the building I always knew as Dam Square Albert Heijn supermarket. I had frequented the Albert Heijn portion of the building for 15 years when staying in Amsterdam.

W Amsterdam opened its Phase 1 hotel development in October 2015, with 172 guest rooms located in the former Telephone Exchange building. The Exchange building has a rooftop lounge-bar, Mr. Porter steak restaurant and an outdoor swimming pool. The Phase 2 development of the hotel is located across the street in a former Bank building. where the fine dining restaurant The Duchess has opened and 66 more guest rooms will open, probably in April or May 2016.

W AMS Fine Dam Views

The W Amsterdam is Starwood Hotels primary Amsterdam location since Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam, a couple of canal blocks away, left Starwood Hotels and now is affiliated with Preferred Hotels & Resorts.

W AMS lobby1

W Amsterdam rooftop lobby

W Amsterdam reception

The entrance to W Amsterdam is on Spuistraat, between Dam Square and Singel canal. The hotel location is the heart of Amsterdam and a central location of the city for tourists. Many of the city trams run along the Neiuwezijds Voorburgwal street located between the hotel and Dam Square. The stop at Dam Square is about a five minute ride from Amsterdam Centraal Station.

(Note for Americans: Spui rhymes with ‘how’. The vowel combination of ‘ui’ in Dutch is easy to remember if you think of the English word ‘out’, which in Dutch is ‘uit’. Both words are pronounced similarly. People will wonder what you mean if you ask directions for ‘Spewey’.)

W AMS sign

Bellmen monitor the front door. The area around Dam Square can be one of the wild spots in the city attracting party people.

W Amsterdam check-in reception desk is on the top floor (sixth floor?).

W AMS pins

W Amsterdam pins on a panel beside the reception desk.

W AMS pins closeup

Past reception is the W Amsterdam hotel lounge and bar.

W AMS lobby-2

W AMS bar

The lobby and bar area have plenty of reading materials, in addition to the views.

W AMS lobby   W XYZ lounge

The view from W Amsterdam bar counter looks out to the Royal Palace, originally built in 1648 as Amsterdam’s Town Hall.

W Amsterdam Rooftop Pool

One of the more interesting features of W Amsterdam is a long and narrow outdoor pool behind the bar area. The outdoor area was closed in February and I could not get a good photo angle of the pool. The W Amsterdam photo gallery has hotel photos and videos.

W Amsterdam pool

W Amsterdam Guest Room 126 – the best room ever

Typical W Hotel trait carries into W Amsterdam with dimly lit guest room floors.

The whimsical nature of the hotel is revealed in its guest room doors.

W AMS 126   W AMS 126 view

The W Amsterdam rooms have high ceilings in the former Telephone Exchange office building. Starwood’s website has guest reviews and one recent complaint was about tram noise outside. Apparently, the room windows are double glazed to reduce noise volume. Being someone who lives in a pretty quiet place in the woods by the sea, most city hotels I visit are noisy to me when I am sleeping.

I did not notice tram noise from inside room 126 facing the tram tracks, but I also was not trying to sleep.

W AMS 126 beds

The room view seen in this photo looks kind of barren, but I did not get that feeling inside.

W ASM 126 tv

One of the outstanding features of the guest rooms are copper tube ceiling lights. To my dismay, I did not snap a photo of the W guest room ceiling light fixture. Here are links I found for two W Amsterdam guest room photos showing the light fixture in W Amsterdam room light 1 and room light 2 as visual examples of the light fixtures.

W AMS bed controls

W Amsterdam bedside room control panel.

W Amsterdam desk

There are different room designs in the hotel. Room 126 has a counter with a pull out sliding desktop. The curved portion protruding through the far end of the counter is the shower stall wall.

W AMS 126 Room-2   W AMS 126 room-3

Faint images of a telephone on the wall are too faint to move me beyond thinking I am looking at barren walls. The splash of color elsewhere in the room contrasts to the neutral walls.

W Amsterdam Bathroom

W AMS bath-1

Open space concept in Room 126 W Amsterdam.

The shower stall offers a rain shower head. One of the subtle features of the shower stall is its frosted glass with etched words, as if a guest had written notes in a steamy shower.

W AMS shower wall

W Amsterdam shower wall “Dancing in the wood shoes with rubber legs.”

W AMS shower-2   W AMS shower-1

W Amsterdam Dining

Mr. Porter is a steakhouse restaurant on the hotel rooftop lobby floor.

The Duchess is a fine dining restaurant on the lower level in The Bank building, located across Spuistraat from W Amsterdam Exchange building. There will be 66 rooms in this portion of the hotel when it opens in April or May. The fitness center will also be located in the Bank Building, where there are Singel canal views. The Duchess is open for evening meals.

Duchess-2   Duchess-3

Duchess-1

W Amsterdam has a prime location in the center of the city beside Dam Square with easy public transportation access. Room rates are steep at 280 to 400 EUR per night ($300 to $430 USD) starting rates.

SPG Category 6 = 20,000 point per night; Peak Season: 5/29/2016 – 7/3/2016 and 9/5/2016 – 10/30/2016 = 25,000 points per night.

W Amsterdam google maps

W Amsterdam pin on Google Maps. Amsterdam Centraal Station is upper right corner and about a 15 minute walk or 5 minute tram ride to hotel.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

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Comments

  1. So did you stay here or not? Did you pay with points or cash? How was the food?

    (Somehow this feels like an advertisement for the hotel…)

  2. I rarely write about food since I rarely eat hotel food. That is why I know the building as the site of Albert Heijn supermarket. I did not spend the night.

  3. I’d love to say W Amsterdam paid me 500 EUR to write a post on their hotel. But they didn’t.

    I am doing the same shit I have done for the past ten years writing Loyalty Traveler. I visit some hotels and take photos and get a sense of the hotel layout and neighborhood. Sometimes I even spend the night.

  4. My husband and I stayed at the W over Thanksgiving weekend. It was pretty wonderful. There are some kinks with the room lighting (they are sensor activated under some circumstances, which led to lights turning on in the middle of the night until we figured it all out). We were in room 125 and overlooked the Palace. The motorized shades were very effective against the large windows… Especially since we dodged the NY jetlag by ignoring it and staying out until 6am and sleeping until noon 😉 The noise from the trams was audible for sure, but they don’t run overnight. The W is definitely a trendy hotspot so the bar was packed Friday and Saturday nights, often with a drunk, trendy crowd outside the hotel entrance on Spuistraat. The staff is insanely friendly and helpful. We had a couple service snafus that they were eager to rectify any way they could. The concierge “whatever wherever” was terrific – great recommendations and service over iMessage. Great for on-the-go service when you don’t feel like dealing with phone plans.

    Overall, it is all super modern, trendy and posh. Great central location that is safe, relatively quiet and equidistant to nearly everything, although a little far from the Museumplein and the Hermitage. Take metered taxis and avoid the “flat rate” taxis that hand out in front of the hotel. They can be a ripoff.

  5. @Phil C. – thanks for the hotel review. Trams stop around midnight and start up again around 6am.

    I am planning to take my wife to the W Amsterdam bar on a weeknight to check out the vibe on our trip to Amsterdam this month. There were only a couple of people sitting in the bar at 3:30pm on a Thursday afternoon when I was at the hotel.

  6. Ugh…too bad about tram noise. That’s a deal breaker for me.

    In fact, if I can’t get a perfect night’s sleep, I don’t care how trendy the hotel is or how nice the staff is or how many breakfast choices there are. IF I CAN’T SLEEP WELL (due to the hotel not blocking out noises and sunlight), THEN THEY FAILED. Because, ultimately, what is the reason you are at the hotel for anyways?

    I get why hotel reviews include all the cool, unique, funky, bizarre architectural designs but I travel for the sights (and maybe the food and events) in the city, not for the hotels. A travel goal for me is to spend the minimum amount of money on hotels while still getting a great night’s sleep.

    It’s this reason I love Rick’s posts about all the cheap hotels he stays at. 🙂

  7. (I guess I should skip all hotel posts with “W”, “Andaz”, and “Edwardian” in the titles….)
    🙂

  8. One of the things I remember about staying at the Pulitzer were garbage trucks coming by every morning when facing Keizersgracht canal. The canal area of Amsterdam gets loud.

    W, Andaz and Radisson Edwardian are definitely hotels where I stay on points. What I find interesting about Amsterdam compared to a decade ago are the new hotels like DoubleTree Centraal Station, Waldorf-Astoria, Hyatt Andaz and W Amsterdam. Many of these places are nice to hang out with beautiful lounge areas and interior design.

    I primarily travel for the sights too. That is why I spent $60 per night to stay in Best Western Premier Hotel Couture and bought a 59 EUR museum card and multiple day tram pass to get into and out of city center.

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