Going on a city trip to Amsterdam and scored tickets to a live concert of your favorite band or singer? Besides enjoying his/her/their tunes, beats, vocals and moves at Paradiso, AFAS Live, Ziggodome or the Johan Cruijff Arena, how great would it be, to meet your favorite star at breakfast, during an elevator ride up to your room, or in the hotel gym? These are the six hotels in Amsterdam where chances are high of running into your favorite popstar or celebrity.
InterContinental Amstel Hotel
Next to the fact that Rihanna, Madonna, Ariana Grande, Tina Turner, Justin Timberlake, Jermaine Jackson, Britney Spears, Audrey Hepburn, Steven Spielberg, The Rolling Stones and Lady Gaga are famous, they got at least one other thing in common; they have all spent the night at the InterContinental Amstel Hotel. I am sure they slept like a baby, what a fantastic hotel this is!
Set in a monumental building on the banks of the Amstel River, Intercontinental Amstel offers beautiful rooms and suites with panoramic views over the city and the river. The entrance hall is gorgeous. The hotel has a pool, fitness, brasserie, restaurant, bar, terrace with river view and personally I can highly recommend the Royal Afternoon Tea. Never a punishment to stay at the classy, more than 150 years old Amstel Hotel.
Address: Professor Tulpplein 1
Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
From Michael Jackson to the Backstreet Boys, The Grand attracts numerous famous guests. The Grand offers a true five star hotel experience including butler service, Michelin star restaurant Bridges, spa, indoor pool, etc. The Grand’s chapel is a superb wedding location, in the footsteps of former Queen of the Netherlands Beatrix and (her now deceased husband) Prince Claus who held their wedding ceremony here.
With its fantastic location right in the heart of Amsterdam, places like Dam Square, Royal Palace, Kalverstraat and the Red Light District are only a few minutes away by foot. Amsterdam highlights including Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, P.C Hooftstraat, Anne Frank House and Amsterdam Central Station are all on walking distance as well. Or you step into a canal boat right at the front door. Perfect!
Address: Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197
Stars like Kate Moss, Justin Timberlake, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Mariah Carey apparently prefer a more small scale, intimate type of luxury, boutique style hotel while staying in Amsterdam. The Dylan that is. The staff aims to treat their guests like a King. Very nicely decorated Dutch design rooms.
On-site award-winning Michelin star restaurant Vinkeles is located in an 18th century bakery with garden view. Located at one of the best canals of central Amsterdam, hot spots such as the Nine Streets (‘Negen Straatjes’), Anne Frank House, the Flower market, Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein are all on walking distance from The Dylan.
Address: Keizersgracht 384
The 23 stories high building of Hotel Okura Amsterdam is hard to miss. This five star luxury hotel is valued for its eye for detail and ‘Omotenashi’, Japanese style hospitality. With no less than four restaurants (three with a Michelin star) your stomach will not complain either.
Located in one of the most wanted streets of Amsterdam South, in ‘De Pijp’ district, Hotel Okura Amsterdam is reasonably easy accessible by car or touring car and valet parking is available. Stars like Beyoncé, Jay-z, Tina Turner, the Backstreet Boys and the Real Madrid soccer team have spent the night here, but which out of the 300 rooms, will remain a forever secret.
Address: Ferdinand Bolstraat 333
Conservatorium Hotel has a reputation of being selected by the younger popstars such as Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, One Direction, Rihanna and Miley Cyrus. The attractive, more than a century old building of the Conservatorium Hotel fits well in its environment. The Old South (‘Oud Zuid’) district of Amsterdam is more popular than ever, house prices are sky high. No wonder with the P.C. Hooftstraat shopping street at 100m and the Vondelpark, Museum Square with the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum at 200m from the hotel.
The Conservatorium Hotel is a five star luxury hotel that offers anything guests may need. 129 gorgeous modern yet warm designed, spacious and climate-controlled rooms and suites, a wellness with spa, indoor pool, fitness and holistic wellbeing center, Asian inspired restaurant Taiko with terrace, the Tunes bar with a delicious selection of cocktails, indoor shopping gallery for clothes, jewelry and cigars, and most interesting of all: an underground parking garage that enables famous folks to escape anonymously.
Address: Van Baerlestraat 27
The Soho House is an internationally known concept with 20 other locations around the world, from London to Istanbul to Toronto. Finally a Soho House opened in Amsterdam in the second half of 2018. Work spots, a pool, a gym, a bar, firm security… all is present to enjoy the day in various ways, without business suits and photo cameras. As Vogue described the style of this hotel spot on: Great Gatsby.
I would not be surprised if this will be the next new star location. The downstairs Restaurant Cecconi’s is publicly accessible, however the upstairs hotel requires a membership pass (EUR 125 locally, EUR 150 globally, with selection board). It is not allowed to take photos inside the hotel, where boundaries between work and private life should blur. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had one of their first dates at the London location of Soho House.
Shawn Mendes stayed at Soho House Amsterdam in March 2019. And we cannot blame him; located in a stylish former university building, the Soho House is stunning! The Soho House Amsterdam is right at the corner of W Hotel Amsterdam, which is another beautiful luxury hotel opened in 2015 – but W Hotel was NOT the hotel where Shawn slept!
Address: Spuistraat 210
Oh and yes there are:
- American Hotel right next to Leidse Square, where back in 1996 the Backstreet Boys started their boat tour through the canals, but nowadays seems to be ignored by the stars, said to be converted to a Hard Rock Hotel in 2020.
- Schiller Hotel, a national monument at Rembrandt Square, where Robbie Williams stayed in 2016 and Ed Sheeran gave an intimate performance in 2017;
- Hilton Hotel Amsterdam, a well-known, five-star hotel in Amsterdam Old South, where John Lennon and Yoko Ono lay in bed for 7 days during their honeymoon in 1969.
Besides five star hotels and concert venues, where else can you try to spot your favorite star while in Amsterdam?
- Hip clubs like Air, Jimmy Woo and The Sand
- Tattoo shop of Henk Schiffmacher
- Michelin star restaurants such as those of chef Ron Blaauw
- If the star brought his/her small kids: try the local zoo for example
OK with no less than 500 euro a night, these luxury hotels may appeal to your savings, but how cool would it be?! As you may expect from a five star hotel, reception staff will be super friendly and accommodating, you will sleep like a baby underneath the Egyptian cotton sheets, breakfast will be mouthwatering delicious, hotel bars are rarely overcrowded and well-serviced, etc. Potentially meeting your idol would be the cherry on top.
Treat yourself like a Queen or King for a night or two, you deserve it!
You may wonder why boys, men, women and (well mostly) girls go to these hotels. Obviously because they want to see their idol in real-life, get close to them, to see how they really are and ideally: score a photograph of/with them. Singers and bands may perform on stage that night, but that’s different with models and actors for example; their hotel may be the only way to spot them.
Nowadays, many singers and bands organize meet & greet opportunities prior to their concert, however those M&G’s are often quickly sold out and pretty pricey (averagely around 500 euro). Not everyone can afford that, as I do realize not everyone can afford or wants to spend 500 euro per night on a luxury hotel room either. Fanatic fans will make an attempt to get a photo with their favorite star for free at their hotel, or in exchange for a drink at the lobby or hotel bar. If the fan is smart, lucky and the plan works out well, the waiting gets rewarded by an adrenaline rush and a selfie with their favorite star.
Wondering how you know where the stars are staying at? This is a matter of networking, lots of calls, chatting, investing time, social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (especially Stories), respond to suggestions of informants, check the hotels mentioned in this blog, know the star’s staff members, and most of all: lots of patience, perseverance, determination and willpower. Basically these fans behave like friendly, unpaid paparazzi.
Years of experience helps to more or less learn, understand and predict the star’s behavior and preferences. Although the star’s security is also smart and is likely to chance patterns to confuse followers. Famous singers and (boy)bands usually have an inner crowd of fanatic, long-term fans who follow them around the continent or even the world. Following a tour bus is less easy than it may sound.
Sources: YouTube, Vogue, RTL, De Gelderlander, AD, SBS6, Time Magazine
Should you happen to have only one day to visit Amsterdam, then you may want to check out Kate’s article about How to enjoy Amsterdam in a day.
Check out my other articles about The Netherlands in the Netherlands Blog Archives.
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