travel | amsterdam & the hox10.27.2015
earlier this month james and I took off to explore amsterdam!
it's been well over a decade since my first visit so I only had vague memories of the city when I visited as a teen. it's sooooo much prettier than I remembered and I was able to really get a taste of what it has to offer as a grown up.
we stayed at the newly opened hoxton and it was superb... so much so I wouldn't stay anywhere else if I was to head back (and as a firm advocate of airbnb I don't say that lightly!) I've stayed at a lot of hotels but I've never been inclined to write a post about one before.
a couple of months back we stayed in the hoxton shoreditch when we were in london, I really liked the ethos of the hotel and it's cool slightly industrial vibe really suited the location so I was excited about their european venture.
the hoxton amsterdam is just as hipster but the vibe is slightly different- it's softer around the edges. the styling is eclectic with awesome retro touches and the staff are pretty ace (they give all the best shopping rec's)
the atmosphere of the hotel is what really got us though, it's so damn chilled. we struggled to get out each day as the lure of cooked breakfasts (you must try them) and leisurely chats over coffee had us hanging around longer than normal.
at night the hox becomes the place to be. usually we're looking for places to go out to at night to eat and drink but the hox is a destination where people head to socialise. the restaurant is really nice, I had my first ever mac & cheese (I know I'm so late to that party) and the bar has the BEST cocktails. on saturday night the place was humming with conversation and cool cats. despite having only 2 hours sleep from our crazy early flight we got sucked into drinking most of the night. however all we had to do was crawl to the lift to get up to bed- that's the dream right there.
the rooms are super snazzy from copper pipe radiators and rainfall showers to the comfiest bed. one of the things I liked about our stay in the london hox was the complementary breakfast bags with fruit, granola and oj- bed picnics are the greatest.
free calls home are nice touch and the quick wifi is essential for instagram addicts like moi. the location is the other huge positive, the hox sits overlooking a beautiful canal and you walk straight into the coolest hipster-ville area bustling with independent, quirky shops. I was in heaven, errr james not so much (but luckily there was plenty of opportunities to stop for pancakes.)
the main shopping area with all the big high street brands is a short walk away but it I was happier muddling my way through the side streets discovering the smaller boutiques and interior shops. I did eventually indulge in the crazy tourist area and managed not to get taken down by any cars/bikes/boats- win.
we also ventured out to the usual destinations- the galleries. amsterdam has a really good selection but my total favourite was the stedelijk museum with it's modern art collection. it has a couple of really nice cafes so was a perfect place to stop and grab a bite after walking all morning. if you're there for a few days I'd also recommend grabbing a bike so you can venture around like the locals, the hotel help you out with hiring one!
I'm so happy that we went back to rediscover this beautiful city. it's the perfect city break destination-brimming with art, culture and oodles of shopping.
if you're thinking of taking a trip I couldn't recommend the hoxton hotel more, a big thank you to the staff for looking after us, we had a wicked time!
have you been away recently- do you have any recommendations for a city break?