Hotel Estherea, located in the heart of Amsterdam, is by far one of the coolest hotels I’ve ever stayed in. From the design to the history to the amazing staff, staying here felt like I was living a dream out of Alice and Wonderland. If you’re planning on heading to the Netherlands anytime soon (and if not, you should be!) Hotel Estherea needs to be at the top of your list of places to see.
The History of Estherea
This hotel has been family-owned and operated since it opened in the 1940s following WWII. The hotel, which was originally a guest house made up of only 12 rooms, got its start when founder Maria Flieger-Gruyters decided to move to Amsterdam after the death of her husband in the war. She looked after what was then the guest house after its current owner was forced to hide, and then she was given the opportunity to purchase the house after the war when it was clear the original owner didn’t survive.
Over time, Maria began to expand the guest house by buying the adjoining properties, and after a total renovation it’s now a 91-room boutique hotel run by Maria’s granddaughter, Esther, and her team. Each room is unique and the decor is constantly changing, but the eclectic feel coupled with the family-friendly atmosphere remains the same.
The hotel is truly an “empire, founded and run by strong women and a fantastic team with a vision.” I was honored to have the chance to stay here and soak in the history, and I couldn’t help but be inspired by Maria’s legacy and everything her family has done to make the hotel what it is today.
The whimsical decor is truly stunning; it was like nothing I’d ever seen before. The lobby is full of plush, velvet couches and they have an amazing tea set-up for guests to enjoy. Tables with teas, cakes, cookies, espresso and hot chocolate surround a gorgeous indoor fire-pit: the perfect place for guests to relax after a day of exploring Amsterdam.
Rooms and Amenities
Despite its age, Hotel Estherea has a wide variety of amenities that you would find at a larger hotel chain. You’ll find a gym, a library, and 3 different meeting rooms equipped with WIFI and and LCD charts. With the lavish decor, round tables and huge windows, the meeting rooms certainly don’t look or feel like a typical office, and can also double as the perfect place to host a small party or gathering like a rehearsal dinner. Maria’s Bar, named after the hotel’s founder, is open 24 hours a day and has an extensive menu of both wine and cocktails. They also offer some locally-inspired small plates like Dutch cheese and bitterbals; it’s a great place to unwind and spend some quality time with your traveling partner(s).
Hotel Estherea offers 5 different types of rooms, each which comes with its own design and amenities. The Canal rooms feature a stunning view of the famous Amsterdam canals, the Family rooms can house up to 3 people and can also be joined with other Luxury rooms to fit even larger groups, and the 2 suites take luxury to another level. Named after the theme of their decor, the ‘Pink Suite’ and the ‘van Oranje’ suite are located on the ground floor and have all the space you could ever need, plus stunning chandeliers, jacuzzi tubs, and a separate lounge area. PERFECT for honeymooning couples or anyone looking to splurge a little.
It wouldn’t be an SDD travel feature if I didn’t spend some time gushing about the staff, and thankfully Hotel Estherea gave me a ton to talk about! They are incredibly helpful and friendly and were always available to give us advice about where to go, what to eat and what to see. They offered to hold our bags so we could walk around and enjoy the city, and they were there to greet us with a friendly smile whenever we returned.
They also give the guests an option to add some little “extras” to their room, if they’re so inclined. You can ask for champagne, flowers, chocolate or balloons to be placed in your room upon check-in, or after a day out exploring the town. It’s a great way to surprise your travel partner, and just another way the staff at Hotel Estherea ensures that you feel pampered when you stay with them.
Ya’ll I can’t recommend this hotel enough...go to their website and check out all Hotel Estherea has to offer, and make sure you include them in your plans the next time you travel to Amsterdam!