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“Simply the best option in Amsterdam for any budget.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel The Exchange

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Hotel The Exchange
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Damrak 50, 1012 LL Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Dam Square)   |  
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Ranked #89 of 346 Hotels in Amsterdam
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
“Simply the best option in Amsterdam for any budget.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2012

This really is an excellent concept and shouldn’t really simply be looked at as a hotel. The entire Ground Floor is both the entrance to the hotel part but also a restaurant and a very finely curated department store.

Whether you eat or shop there or not really doesn’t matter, although the shop is very well done, this is a lot more than a reasonable hotel right on Damrak, it is a memorable experience and in my opinion an excellent alternative.

20 Minutes on the train from Schipol (don’t forget to press credit even if you are using a debit card in the machines or it will not work) and then a five minute walk halfway up Damrak. As everybody knows, or should, location is key in Amsterdam, and this is right in the middle of all of it, perfect.

I was early into town, well before check in time but as usual in this situation will always ask if they can hold bags or indeed check me in. The Exchange was able to do so at about ten in the morning, which was nice.

The entrance to the hotel section is but a slim doorway on Damrak, however it is Number 50 so easy to remember. The reception is like a small booth, and every member of staff that was ever on duty there over the stay were very friendly.

Smiley, actively engaging, full of common courtesy and more; good people.

It seemed to be a young Dutch team running the place. The shop next door is full of limited run Dutch Designer products…although I don’t know and it could be owned by some megacorp, it certainly gives the appearance of being a wholly Dutch enterprise, and that is no small thing to consider when visiting Amsterdam. I probably felt that I visited Amsterdam this time more than I have when I have stayed at the big five star chain hotels.

This was a budget conscious trip, so their standard comfort room was what was booked.

There are not many Hotel rooms you can accurately describe in words, this is an exception.

A 7 x 5 meter room, white walls, grey painted concrete floor. Massive King size bed taking up nearly all of it, a few paces to a “wet” bathroom with a shower in it.

Plates are stuck on the wall and are made to look as if they stitched on like buttons. The stitch colour is Dutch Orange.

The bedding is all brilliant white, the bed is extremely comfortable and there was a big window that butted up to the bed, with a view of not much.

There is a large shelf at waist height that serves as a desk, a safe, and a plastic tub chair to sit on.

It is basic.

But it is very very clean, and very well executed. It feels cosy and warm, there is a TV with loads of channels, wifi is free and super fast. Lovely heated tiled bathroom, with really high end tiles, simple but done well.

At first, and even for the price I thought that the room was a bit too small. It was only after a day that I realised that in reality, even if we stay in a suite, we use very little of the room for ourselves, most of it just gets used as a place to strew the contents of your luggage over.

So even though it was a little bit like a cartoon cell with a massive wall to wall bed in it and not much else…it was absolutely great.

I saw some of the more expensive rooms, and I would stay in them over the prices of the SAS RAD, any of the NH, The Victoria, any day of the week. In fact I should imagine I should change my Amsterdam main stay venue to here.

Personally I don’t think there is any trying too hard...I think the place has true cool…it is new…and I hope they can keep the maintenance up…but right now, for location, price and overall experience I think this is probably the best Amsterdam has to offer.

If you want bell boys and room service then this is not the place for you. If you are expecting to turn up to anything like a model for a hotel you have seen before then you will probably be very surprised.

It isn’t a boutique hostel, it isn't a “Yotel”, it is unique in a very Dutch way.

There are elements to it that lend it to my travelling habits. They don't take cash anywhere, and there are no extras to buy in the rooms, the payment is taken as you check in and you hand in your key as you leave.

Personally I am a bit sick of my own laziness with regards to minibars, and always regret the 50 euro bill for some Pringles and M&M’s, so not having one is fine…there is a shop next door, and a newsagent three steps away. I am sure my days of minibars are over, I am just saying that it isn’t so bad…and no wallop at the end…

I am also sick of waiting in a queue to check out. We all know how horrific and sometimes stressful this can be if you have judged time before a flight only to go to reception to find it fifteen deep by ten wide set against a backdrop of suitcases and coaches outside. Five minutes and the same glances at your watch, and you haven’t moved an inch. The clock keeps going though. So for me, chucking the key, saying goodbye to people that had smiled had said hello being a 60 second process at The Exchange is good.

It is an absolute warren of a place that you are guaranteed to get lost in at least once. There are signs on the wall that say “Lost? Get in the lift” and they are there for good reason, read them and heed their advice. When you get in the lift you are on your own.

The place has bags of charm and charisma, I thought I would check it out on one of my many visits to the city and I will most definitely be going back.

I am almost hesitant to post such a glowing review for fear that it will get too busy…

It does deserve to be very successful though so I will sacrifice my own personal potential room availability options to those of my fellow travellers and the hotel itself.

It won’t be for everyone though…it is Boutique in so much as there is nothing else like it…

I wouldn’t say it was suitable for the elderly, and don’t book one of the small rooms if you have a lot of time to spend in your room doing stuff.

Aside from that, even if you are not sure if it is for you or not, give it a go, you won’t forget it.

At the end of the Day, prior to this gem being opened Central Amsterdam had three types of Hotel, 5 Star – Most of which are hit and miss and all are chain hotels of some description and none of them are cheap.

Then you have the Hostels at the other end of the scale.

Then in the middle range, which is where a lot of people want to aim,; clean comfortable and a place to sleep, there are a lot of very tatty three and four star hotels around most of which will disappoint considering they are also central so still fairly pricey.

Now this place seems to sit somewhere else. You can book a room here that will be much better than the 5 star rooms at the chain hotels, although you wont get the service, or you can book a comfort room as I did, which was less pricey than a four star hotel and have a much better experience than I did staying in the five star NH Barbizon etc etc etc for a week.

It makes wonderful use of the building and it is so fitting with being right on Damrak.

Personally I hope that this lot open up a second Exchange in Amsterdam, if this model is profitable for them, then the offering for travellers is just too good to pass up not to mention the benefits to the city in general.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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711 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (118)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2012

We booked our stay at The Exchange for 2 nights as part of their 50% off opening promotion. We were in a '2 Star Comfort' room which was covered entirely in a mauve fabric, ruffled down the walls. The lighting for the room came from 4 beaded chandeliers, which gave a warm feeling to the room.The bed was huge and comfortable and took up most of the room. The bathroom had an open shower, and always had clean towels and shampoo.
The common areas were interesting as well, with a sewing machine set up for use, and winding staircases that linked to each floor, making every level feel like a maze.
The staff were friendly and helpful, providing a map of Amsterdam when we arrived. The cafe and store located next door were also interesting, stocked with a variety of design items.
The location is fantastic, right on the Damrak. It was easy to find from Amsterdam-Centraal train station, and made getting around the city very simple. It was also handy to have the hotel located so centrally, as we could come back for a break from the cold throughout the day.
Overall really enjoyed our 3 nights at The Exchange. A great place, great location and would stay here again, but probably not worth more than we paid with the 50% discount.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2012

We booked this hotel back in November and were slightly put off after reading the reviews from when it opened in December. However, after our 4 night stay we couldn't have been more happy with the hotel and their staff. .

The hotel's central location on Damrak made it very easy to find and also handy if you wanted to nip back for an hour or 2 after sightseeing all day. The hotel's communal areas were clean, quirky and warm (in January Amsterdam is freezing!). Although there's no breakfast available with the hotel there is the juice bar below, however if its not your thing or if you prefer to use your cash (they only accept cards in the Exchange Hotel/Shop/Cafe) then there are lots of places nearby to grab a pastry and a coffee.

We stayed in a 3 star room designed with the theme "Living in a cardboard box". Although the design made the room feel quite dark, we found it very cosy and quirky. The room itself was a fair size with a large, very comfortable bed. As the room was lined with fabric it took us a few moments to find the wardrobe which was concealed behind the door but included a stool, a safe and a few coat hangers.

The bathroom was a wet room which always had hot water and clean towels. Both the bedroom and bathroom were spotless and were cleaned daily. Hair dryers are available, you just have to ask reception and they'll bring you one up straight away.

The staff were extremely helpful, I lost the room key on the second night which they replaced straight away at 3.30am. A girl from reception actually let me and boyfriend look at some of the other rooms as we were really curious to see the designs.
Tea and coffee facilities would be a nice extra to have in the rooms but not essential as there are hundreds of lovely cafe's around.

All in all, we had a fantastic stay and would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2012

We really enjoyed this hotel as it is brand new. Therefore, the bed is great, and lovely areas in the hotel. However, there is no cafe/restaurant (the one downstairs is an expensive juice bar). Note also the whole place (cafe and hotel) only excepts debit card, or credit card with pin only so be aware (NO cash)! There are also very steep stairs, or a very small lift only so access for some people could be an issue. Lastly, no coffee/tea facilities- but the reception staff were happy to give us hot water. Overall, good place and location, but I wouldnt pay full price (we had a 50%opening discount).

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kilkenny, Ireland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2012

This hotel was brilliant. We literally stepped right off the train and into the hotel which was right in the middle of the main street. The hotel receptionist was extremely friendly and, when we were checking in, we were informed that we had been upgraded from a one star to a two star room. Upon making our way through to our room, we couldnt help but notice how stylish and sleek everything was. Most of the walls were made from glass, and the elevators had a really funky design. Our bedroom was really stylish, and exceptionally clean too. We had a flat screen tv, a superblt comfortable bed, and a safe. The bathroom was a really nice wet room.
The cleaners came an changed beds etc. every day and although there is not a lot of storage space, we were provided with hangers etc for our coats.
The cafe downstairs didnt accept cash, however the breakfast there was lovely as crossants and other pastries and smoothies were provided.
There's nothing really bad that I could say about staying here. Perhaps the room could have been a bit more cosy with a rug (the floor was covered in linoleum), but nothing big apart from that.

Room Tip: We were charged a travellers tax of 7.50 upon arrival so be prepared.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2012

I was really worried about staying in this hotel because of all the bad reviews I nearly cancelled our stay in The Exchange but really glad I didnt. The hotel is lovely it is right in the centre of Amsterdam and a 2 minutes walk from central station. Our room was ready and we were allowed to go in at 10 o'clock rather than the 3 o'clock check in time. The beds are really comfy and the rooms are really modern and spotlessly clean. I don't know what everyone was moaning about we couldn't pick one fault with the place.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed there last weekend. We were already very pleased with the interior design, its originality and how everything felt easy and comfortable thanks to an efficient and highly amiable staff. Mostly we are grateful for the extra help they provided on securing our parking discount. The receptionist came all the way to the parking with us, in order to resolve the problems we'd encountered. Most places would have just made a call. That is priceless.

Room Tip: What's cool is each room is different and unique, making for an exceptional experience
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel The Exchange

Address: Damrak 50, 1012 LL Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Phone Number:
Location: The Netherlands > North Holland Province > Amsterdam > Dam Square
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #89 of 346 Hotels in Amsterdam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel The Exchange 3*
Number of rooms: 61
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel The Exchange is a hotel with a special love of fashion. The result: a hotel where architecture meets fashion. Hotel The Exchange has 62 rooms, ranging from 1 to 5 stars. Each room has been designed and dressed by graduates and alumni of the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI). The rooms are as diverse and inspiring as the neighbourhood the hotel lies in. ... more   less 
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