Hotel JL No76

Museumplein, Amsterdam, Holland Book from

Reviewed by Sarah Gilbert
Cool but casual boutique hotel in a pair of converted 18th-century mansions, set in the heart of Amsterdam’s museum and fashion district
From the outside, the elegant townhouses which form Hotel JL No76 (the name is an abbreviation of the address - Jan Luijkenstraat 76) look like every other building on this leafy residential street. But step inside and you enter a stylish and contemporary haven, created in May 2011. Upstairs the guest rooms have cutting-edge touches - vibrant wallpaper created by Dutch artist Barbara Broekman, super-sleek bathrooms, plenty of technology. This cool design continues downstairs, where funky modern art abounds. Yet the ambiance is distinctly laid-back: the serve-yourself cappuccino machine and honesty bar in the lounge are perfect for a post-sightseeing slump, and the restaurant buzzes with conversation. Relax in a comfy armchair, flick through the selection of newspapers, or take a drink out to the little courtyard garden.

Bicycles and Vespa scooters are available to rent, but the hotel is only a short walk from the city’s top museums, the designer boutiques of P.C. Hooftstraat and the buzzy nightlife of Leidseplein, as well as world-class concert hall Concertgebouw and the green expanse of Vondelpark. All in all, a hip, homely and highly convenient base for exploring Amsterdam.

Highs

  • The imaginative design amuses the eye: oriental rugs sit under contemporary paintings, Buddha statues next to quirky animal sculptures
  • Central location that's ideal for style-seekers and culture vultures, but families are welcome too
  • We loved the bathrooms; all have rain showers, and Executive Rooms and above come with Jacuzzi bathtubs and TVs to watch while you soak
  • Our 2012 revisit was largely spent in the pretty garden, which provided a lovely sanctuary from the city - if weather permits, start your day with breakfast in the sun
  • Friendly, helpful staff who will advise on what to see and how to get there

Lows

  • Rooms near reception and the lifts can be noisy
  • The restaurant’s lunch and dinner menu is quite limited, but there are plenty of eateries nearby
  • Some rooms are located in the basement and have small windows with views of passing feet
  • The showers can be slow to drain
  • We’ve heard mixed reports about breakfast, but we enjoyed it

Best time to go

Weather-wise, spring and autumn are the best times to visit Amsterdam. Summer can get hot and humid, but there are plenty of festivals, including the annual Grachtenfestival, a celebration of classical music performed on and around the city’s canals in the third week of August.

Our top tips

Explore the Albert Cuyp street market in the trendy district of De Pijp near the hotel. The mile-long stretch of colourful stalls sells everything from cheap vintage clothing to farm-fresh produce. Stop for coffee and a delicious cake at delightfully kitsch patisserie De Taart van m’n Tante.

Great for...

City Style
Family
Foodie
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 38
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Bicycles Available
  • Scooter hire
Room: Executive Deluxe

Rooms

The bedrooms are clean-lined and contemporary. Plain walls - teal in my spacious Executive Deluxe Room, soft purple or muted grey in others - are offset by feature wallpaper from Dutch artist Barbara Broekman, who based the colourful and intricate designs on her embroidery work.

All rooms come with ample storage space, Nespresso coffee machines, flatscreen TVs, iPod docks and DVD players (there’s a complimentary DVD library at reception). Comfy kingsize or twin beds with padded headboards, all-natural COCO-MAT mattresses and soft linens ensure a good night’s sleep. Standard and slightly larger Executive Rooms look out onto the quiet street or the garden, though some are located in the basement and have a restricted view. Executive Deluxe Rooms overlook the street, with a pair of chic armchairs nestling in the floor-to-ceiling bay window. There’s also a Family Room with a kingsize bed and a separate sleeping area with bunk beds for 2 children.

Bathrooms come with powerful rain showers, The Spa Collection toiletries, and sleek fittings. It’s worth upgrading to an Executive Room or above for the luxurious Jacuzzi tubs (big enough for 2) and the in-bathroom TVs. Note that in all rooms the twin sinks are set in the bedroom rather than the bathroom - not to everyone’s taste.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Coffee maker
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Hairdryer
  • Ipod dock
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

JL No76’s convivial restaurant, JAN Eat & Drink, looks rather like an upscale diner, with leather banquettes, glossy white tables and low-hanging chrome lighting. Unlike most diners, however, it’s filled with contemporary paintings and quirky animal sculptures (a trio of meerkats, a large china bull).

It’s here that the daily buffet breakfast is served from 7am to a leisurely 11am (extra cost). There’s a wide selection of fruit, cheeses, cold meats, cereals and pastries, as well as hot dishes - omelettes, pancakes, French toast - from the à la carte menu. If the weather’s good, you can take your breakfast out to the garden (also the perfect spot for a drink or snack from the hotel's well-stocked honesty bar).

The lunch and dinner menu (available in the restaurant or via room service until 10pm) is international in flavour, with pasta dishes and steak sandwiches alongside Dutch staples such as fish croquettes. We found the selection rather limited, but as you’re in the city centre there’s no shortage of places to eat out.

Amsterdam is famed for its Indonesian restaurants, and Sama Sebo on nearby P.C. Hooftstraat is one of the oldest and best. Sample the famous rijsttafel (‘rice table’), an extravaganza of meat, fish and vegetables served in small but mouth-watering portions. For more typical Dutch fare in a contemporary setting, try De Blauwe Hollander at Leidsekruisstraat 28.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee maker
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating: Restaurant
Activity:

Activities

  • Explore the cultural highlights of Museumplein. Within a few minutes’ walk of the hotel is the unparalleled collection of Golden Age art at the Rijksmuseum, and the excellent Van Gogh Museum

  • Visit Anne Frank’s house, the 17th-century canalside house where the young Jewish girl and her family hid for 2 years during World War II. Arrive early or book in advance to avoid the long queues

  • Shop in the international designer boutiques that line Amsterdam’s haute-couture shopping street, P. C. Hooftstraat, just a short stroll from the hotel, then browse the chic boutiques of Jordaan’s Nine Streets. If your budget's limited, rummage at the Waterlooplein flea market

  • Join a hop-on, hop-off canal tour, starting from the Rijksmuseum mooring, or try the canal bus for a cheaper option

  • Chill out in Vondelpark, the city’s largest and most central green space. It holds a festival of free open-air performances in summer, and its lakes, lawns and meandering paths are ideal for cycling, strolling and picnics

  • Stop for a coffee or beer and watch the world go by from one of the many cafés and bars lining the city’s most historical canals (the Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizergracht), or in picturesque Jordaan

  • Take in a concert at Concertgebouw, which is said to have some of the best acoustics in the world, or at Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ, a state-of-the-art music complex in Amsterdam’s trendy eastern docklands

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Historical sites
  • Live music
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome, and baby cots can be added to the Executive and Executive Deluxe Rooms, free of charge. No extra beds are available, but there is a Family Room with bunk beds for 2 children.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Family Rooms

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available on request.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
8/
Food
9/
Service
8/
Value
8/
Overall

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