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A Taste of Amsterdam's Top Two Hotel Bars

September 28, 2012 at 5:05 PM | by | ()

Hotel de l'Europe

Amsterdam has many fine hotels with many fine hotel bars inside and with the Andaz Amsterdam coming online soon, there’ll be yet another one to check out. Until then, here are the top two hotel bars that you should visit on your next trip to Amsterdam.

First up, Freddy’s Bar at the recently-renovated Hotel de l’Europe in the heart of the city’s old town. This comfy and tasteful bar is a modern version of Amsterdam’s traditional brown cafe – a relaxed watering hole where one can linger for hours. The original brown cafes -- many still exist -- got their names because of their dark wood interiors (we hear that that may have something to do with years of nicotine staining but we prefer not to think about that). Freddy’s Bar models the same dark wood interior, albeit without the nicotine stains.

Hotel de l'Europe

The namesake of Alfred Heineken a.k.a. Freddy, the bar is classically styled, with dark forest green leather club chairs, brown marble tabletops, walnut wood floors, copper-colored window coverings and burnished gold touches. While you’re admiring the interior, you can get a mellow groove on as you listen to the live jazz pianist. Be sure to keep your eyes open for local celebrities and high-society types, just as it was in Freddy Heineken’s day.

Because Hotel de l’Europe is still owned by the Heineken family, yes, you are able to get some Heineken brews here that can’t be found in North America, but you can also ask one of the barmen to make you one of their original concoctions. We can recommend the yummy and complex A Ginger Tale, made up of fresh basil, fresh ginger, vodka, Hypnotiq, fresh lime juice, basil syrup and ginger syrup. Delish!

Rates at the Hotel de l'Europe in October come in at 419 EUR ($540) for a Deluxe room.

DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station

For something completely different, check out the DoubleTree by Hilton Centraal Station's Sky Lounge.

This is one sweet lounge! Modern in design, waiters who double as DJs, and views to die for. When did DoubleTree by Hilton get to be so cool??

To top it off, the barkeeps are also very expert at what they do. There is a drinks menu of course, but here all of the mixologists have their own repertoire of cocktail concoctions that they'll make on the spot for you based on whether you want sweet, sour, bitter or fruity. We asked for sour on the day we were there, and the passionfruit beverage was on the money.

DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station [Photo: Janice Tober/HotelChatter

Eight bartenders in total work this busy lounge and, of the top 20 bartenders in Amsterdam, five of them are here at the Sky Lounge. The lead bartender, Tarik (who used to work at the Four Seasons London before setting up shop here) took us on a tour behind the bar, and there we saw nothing but the top brands of spirits, loads of fresh herbs and juices (that's a lot of lemons and limes to squeeze in a day), and house-made infused syrups.

And if that weren't enough, this lounge has not only floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over old Amsterdam and the River IJ, it has a huge terrace and balcony to take it all in when the weather's fine.

The hotel, in the Ooseredok neighborhood, has rates around the 309 EUR ($398) in October.

Archived Comments:

Family vacation here I come!

Janice Tober,

Thank you very much for this helpful advice on Amsterdam's top two hotel bars. I am traveling this summer with my family to the Netherlands and this information is very insightful on where I want to visit when I arrive. I enjoyed how you not only described the appeal and ambiance of the hotel bars but you also included visuals and types of drinks on the menu. I found that the information that the top bartenders in Netherlands's work at the Sky Lounge and the variety of rare drinks at Freddy's bar were very interesting. I am sure that my family and I will hopefully check these places out due to you're insight and knowledge of these fine establishments.

Re: Family vacation here I come!

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your kind words!

I've written a few articles on Amsterdam lately, so you might like to check them out on both HotelChatter.com and on Jaunted.com. Just search my name and they'll come up.

Amsterdam's a great city, so I'm sure you and your family will have a great time!