Amsterdam has a long tradition of tolerance for the LGBTQ community. In fact, The Netherlands was the first country to allow civil marriages between same-sex couples. So, it’s no surprise that this was our first-choice destination for experiencing amazing LGBTQ culture. Moreover, its hot capital Amsterdam is one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world. As a matter of fact, we saw a considerably large gay scene which includes everything from cruise bars and gay-themed events to fetish clubs and even gay saunas. So, it was surprising for us to find so many gay hotels in Amsterdam that we had difficulty in whittling down this list! Besides the price, we also focused on the location of the hotels and how near or far they are from the gay scene. Plus we also focused on their amenities and the gay-friendliness of their staff. Here’s a guide and our top picks.
Table of contents
- Banks Mansion
- Park Plaza Victoria
- The Albus Hotel Amsterdam City Centre
- Hotel V Frederiksplein
- ClinkNOORD Hostel
- Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
- DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station
- W Hotel
- Amistad Hotel Amsterdam
- Inntel Hotels Amsterdam
- Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
- Our Verdict!
- Just So You Know:
Best boutique hotel. While on the hunt for a “non-hotel” hotel in Amsterdam, the Banks Mansion certainly stood out. This stylish Art Deco all-inclusive boutique hotel sits perfectly between the Central Station and Museumplein. It made for a different yet very comfortable stay close to all of Amsterdam’s amazing attractions and sights, including the gay scene.
The rooms and suites here are the epitome of modernity and comfort, complete with luxe bathrooms, Nespresso machines, minibars, free Wi-Fi, snacks, movies, and whatnot. Hence, it gave us the “home away from home” feeling. Besides the flatscreen TVs, the rooms also had free private minibars with luxurious cut-glass decanters of gin, cognac, and whiskey. Talk about exceptional amenities! Plus, we loved the warm décor with stained glass windows and darkwood furniture. Did you know you get a pillow menu, too, here? Yep.
Before we visited, we were even able to pre-book a romantic couples massage at this hotel. Moreover, there are even nibbles, cheese boards, and drinks served in the lobby in the afternoon. So, we were able to eat, drink and chill out as much as we wanted! That actually began right at the international live-cooking breakfast experience every day, with pancakes, bread, eggs, and whatnot. Wrapping up the offerings is the free iPad for use in the lobby, which we used to search for attractions nearby. The staff would be more than happy to direct us about it, and we just had to grab the hotel’s wooden rental bikes and go!
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Park Plaza Victoria
The gay-favorite Park Plaza Victoria sits in a stunning historical building right opposite Amsterdam Centraal. So, staying here made almost the entire city very accessible to us. Plus, we could walk down to the gay scene, which is hardly 10 minutes away, around Warmoesstraat and its gay bars and sauna. We appreciated the classical theme of all 300 rooms and suites at the hotel. Not only were they well-appointed, but they were also spacious and contemporarily furnished with all mod-cons. Since we wanted to splurge a bit, we chose the Executive King Room with the iconic view. Not only was it spacious, but it also came with amazing views of the city.
The amenities at this four-star hotel are excellent, especially when it comes to relaxation and unwinding. Besides the fitness area, the wellness facilities are particularly amazing, like the swimming pool where we’d enjoy a swim and a lounge after a long day. Later, we retreated to the Finnish sauna, and we even had the option of a gay sauna right around the corner from the hotel. And when we were hungry, the bar and restaurant onsite creates a delectably authentic gastronomic experience, along with impressive cocktails.
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The Albus Hotel Amsterdam City Centre
Visiting museums is our thing, which is why we loved staying at The Albus Hotel Amsterdam City Centre. The contemporarily designed hotel has a fantastic Canal Belt location, so many of the city’s amazing museums were within a stone’s throw. Relaxation is considered an art form at this boutique hotel, all while focusing on sustainability.
The 75 digs are nothing less than splendid and come in a variety of styles. We chose the Stunning City Studio – yep, that’s the name – which featured not just regular mod-cons but also a full kitchen, a washing machine, and even soundproof walls and city views. Nevertheless, even the other rooms have comforts like flatscreen TVs, Nespresso machines, heavenly beds, and free Wi-Fi. But it’s the bathrooms that took our breath away, with unique, specially-designed sinks that are in line with Albus’ eco-friendly philosophy.
Downstairs, the Senses Restaurant is where we ate all our meals. After all, it was ranked the Netherlands’ second-finest dining restaurant! The sensational meals aside, we were in love with the restaurant’s heated terrace, where we enjoyed delicious alfresco lunches when the weather was cool.
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Hotel V Frederiksplein
Since we wanted to stay close to the Rembrandtplein gayborhood, the gay-friendly Hotel V Frederiksplein at the city center’s southern end was perfect for us. In fact, we could easily walk down to hot LGBTQ venues such as Club Yolo and Queer’s Café.
Back at the hotel, we liked that there were just 54 rooms (including 6 loft apartments) to choose from, which made for a very intimate staying experience. While there are choices of room varieties, we loved the large rooms with king-size Auping beds, huge windows with lots of natural light, boutique-style decor, and modern bathrooms. Despite being a not-so-luxe hotel, V Frederiksplein has a stylish bar with earth tones. We especially loved the beer, and organic spirits served here, which we could also enjoy in the lounge with the unique round fireplace. Plus, the hotel is eco-friendly too!
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Best hostel. Staying in a hostel is always fun, but our stay at the ClinkNOORD Hostel was extra special. For one, the location, which is just 10 minutes from downtown Amsterdam, is excellent.
Tucked in a 1920s structure, this hostel has a very lively social atmosphere and gorgeous artwork and murals commissioned by visiting artists. The cathedral-style stained glass windows made for some very pretty pictures for our Instagram. We loved interacting with other travelers in the multileveled public area, complete with armchairs and sofas to flop out in. Plus, the entire hostel is full of privacy nooks, and it has a day café and a lively night-time bar that sometimes has karaoke or live music. We were eleven able to use their kitchen to cook our own meals. Besides these, there’s also a daily free walking tour, a book exchange/library, bike hire, and ample locker space too. We especially loved the good value breakfast buffet with the usual array of cheese, cold meats, cereal, yogurt, fruits, and even hummus, salads, and a hot dog station.
The rooms and dorms might be basic, but boldly-colored Mondrian designs and artworks add pizzazz. What’s more, some dorms are women-only, and all have clean bathrooms. Plus, all beds come with USB ports, private plugs, and pad-lockable lockers.
It’s no wonder that it’s one of the best hostels in Amsterdam.
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Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
Most luxurious. Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, which is owned by the Hyatt group, is one of the most luxurious hotels we’ve ever stayed at. Tucked in the middle of Amsterdam’s business district, this five-star luxury hotel is a very popular venue for gay weddings, anniversaries, and other special occasions. We loved the exquisite rooms that have been decorated by the famous Dutch designer Marcel Wander. Some of them feature extraordinary panoramas of the Prinsengracht canal or the hotel’s pretty courtyard. Our large Garden-View king room was not just spacious but even came with a minibar, a coffee/tea maker, and gorgeous views of the lushly landscaped garden.
We found the amenities at this hotel equally impressive. When the hunger pangs come calling, we’d head to the onsite restaurant Bluespoon. It served not just all three meals but also Sunday brunch with European dishes. Our pre-boozing place was fixed at the bar with amazing views of the Prinsengracht canal. After a long day of exploring the town, we’d hit the spa and enjoy a massage. The more enthusiastic ones among us would hit the 24-hour fitness center. Other than this, we also loved the other amenities that include boat tours and bike rentals too. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the best hotels in Amsterdam.
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DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station
Best value for money. While looking for a budget hotel in Amsterdam’s city center, we chanced upon the DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station. The modern and large hotel is extremely well located in the city center, right next to Amsterdam Centraal. Hence, we weren’t very far from the many gay cruise clubs and bars near Warmoesstraat too.
Equally important is the fact that the rooms and suites at this hotel are soundproof, which was necessary for us for a good night’s sleep. After all, we’d been partying the night before away! Moreover, they all come with floor-to-ceiling windows, free Wi-Fi, flatscreen TV, and very comfortable beds.
Despite being value-for-money, the hotel doesn’t skimp on amenities either. For instance, every evening, we had the best of mixologists making us pre-drinks at the high-vibe sky bar and terrace LuminAir. That too, we had unparalleled views of the river and the city. Besides this, there’s a lobby bar and a restaurant, a swanky gym, and lots of open-air spaces, including a courtyard.
While you’re reading this, also check out the best day trips from Amsterdam.
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Best gay-friendly chain hotel. Since we were looking for an LGBTQ-friendly chain hotel in the city, we couldn’t think of a place better than W Amsterdam. This modern and trendy luxury hotel that’s actively marketed towards millennials is part of the Marriott group and strongly supports gay travelers worldwide. Since we’re huge fans of heritage structures, we loved the hotel building’s history as a former telephone exchange and bank from the 1900s. The staff, combined with W’s trademark ‘Whatever/Whenever’ service, made for an amazing stay. Plus, they knew so much about the local scene that we didn’t have to consult any other guides! We loved hanging out at the rooftop pool and bar at Exchange, followed by a couples’ massage session deep in the subterranean bank vaults.
“Nobody does luxury and gay-friendly better together than the W. Add to that great digs, amazing amenities, and we had everything we ever want under one roof.”WOW Travel
Just like the other W outposts, this one also has a slew of rooms and suites with categories ranging from Cozy and fabulous to Wow. Moreover, the rooms in the bank building were more to our taste, and slightly larger too. Nevertheless, they all feature large mirrors, high ceilings, glass outside walls, and wonderfully sexy and open-plan bathrooms. Sound systems and espresso machines made our stay particularly wonderful. If it’s an LGBTQ-friendly chain hotel you want, it’s hard to top the W.
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Amistad Hotel Amsterdam
Best gay-operated. The amazing Amistad Hotel in the city’s downtown is run by a small group of gay men. It lies close to Reguliersdwarsstraat and less than 100 meters from Church, the popular cruise club. Since there’s also a convenient tram stop some steps away, we were easily able to visit the rest of the city too. What’s more, they warmly welcome any type of guest, no matter if they are homosexual, straight, or even sexually fluid. That’s what made this one of the most open-minded places we’ve stayed at.
This affordable hotel offers well-designed blue-themed rooms and suites. We loved the blue doorways to the rooms, too, complete with huge, bold, graphic room numbers in white. On the inside, we found all mod-cons we needed for a comfortable stay. Although they’re accessible only by stairs, they have flatscreen TVs, tea and coffee facilities, and free Wi-Fi too. What we especially loved was that breakfast here runs late, as late as 12 pm. Plus, it’s a typical and delectable Dutch breakfast with pancakes and omelets that are served in the kitchen breakfast room. Rounding up the services here is the laundry service, prepaid mobile phones, and fax service.
Did you know that Amistad has a boutique B&B next door too? Yes!
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Inntel Hotels Amsterdam
The Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Center lies in a traffic-free square in the heart of Old Town, between Amsterdam Centraal and Dam Square. While staying at the hotel, we were able to easily reach the canals, the top things to do in Amsterdam, and the gay scene too. That’s why it’s so popular among gay travelers and why we wanted to stay here. We had the choice of more than 200 stylish guest rooms, as well as suites. To complement its cozy ambiance, all rooms feature free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee makers, satellite TV, a private bathroom, a safe, and even a minibar. Since we wanted to indulge, we went for the Suite with the sauna, which had a hot tub right in the very room.
Even though the hotel itself doesn’t have any restaurants, Humphrey’s Restaurant next door serves all meals right to your room. Plus, the bill for your meal can be charged to your guest’s account, and it’s more than convenient. Even then, the hotel does have an atrium breakfast restaurant and a lobby bar. Within less than a five-minute walk, we found everything from the adult store Gays & Gadgets to the popular Nieuwezijds Gay Sauna. Even the WEB, an exquisite gay cruise & fetish club, is hardly a minute away.
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Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
The Sofitel Legend is located in the Old Center of Amsterdam and is a member of the Accor group. The hotel was formerly a 16th-century royal guesthouse. We loved the ideal location between two scenic canals and the proximity to the Red Light District, where the gay nightlife is particularly rich and interesting. In fact, we were able to walk to bars such as Boysclub 21 and Club NYX while staying at this luxury hotel. Plus, the themed events at Dirty Dicks blew our minds!
What we were most impressed by is that Sofitel Legend’s staff is always pleased to welcome LGBTQ travelers as it is a member of IGLTA. Everything at this iconic hotel made us feel like a royal. Whether it was the spa that provided private couple treatments or the in-house Michelin-star restaurant, everything was top-notch. We loved dining at the Bridges Dining, which served delicious seafood. Heck, we even ordered traditional Dutch fare at The Flying Dutchman. After a long day of exploring the city, swimming in the indoor swimming pool felt very relaxing. The highlight is the “Float your boat” concept that the hotel began during the Covid-19 pandemic. The socially-distanced F&B effort allowed us to pre-order lunch, afternoon tea, or dinner while floating along the city’s (in)famous canals.
The rooms and suites at this hotel were no less impressive. In fact, the luxury suites even have dressing gowns and butler service! However, even regular rooms are excellent and come with plush beds, luxe bathrooms, and free Wi-Fi.
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While we loved each and every one of Amsterdam’s LGBTQ+ hotels, the ones below are special for their specific features:
- Best gay-operated: Amistad Hotel Amsterdam
- Best gay-friendly chain hotel: W Hotel
- Best value for money: DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station
- Most luxurious: Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
- Best hostel: ClinkNOORD Hostel
- Best boutique hotel: Banks Mansion
Just So You Know:
- Amsterdam is one of the world’s most gay-friendly cities and one of the overall best gay-friendly places to live. That’s ironic, considering that the city did not have its own parade until 1996!
- In 2001, Job Cohen, former Amsterdam Mayor, officiated 4 same-sex couples’ vows legally.
- The Quentin Golden Bear Hotel, which is open since 1948, is proud to be Amsterdam’s first gay hotel. In 1970, Taboo was the first lesbian bar that opened in Amsterdam, and it’s around even today.
- We also saw the iconic Amsterdam Rainbow Dress, a dress made from the flags of more than 70 nations where homosexuality is illegal. It commemorates LGBTQ+ victims of persecution.
Get Some Culture:
- Amsterdam Private Bike Tour: What’s the point of going to Amsterdam and not riding bikes, right? We grabbed our chance and went on this amazing private biking tour, discovering some of the hidden gems and picturesque neighborhoods of this ‘Venice of the North.’
- Amsterdam Red Light District & Coffee Shop Tour: Since we’d never been to Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District before, we took this tour. This 2-hour walking tour allowed us to plunge deep into the history of this wild neighborhood. In fact, we ended our tour at a wonderful coffee shop.
- Amsterdam Pride: The Netherlands’ biggest gay pride festival is Amsterdam Pride, which boasts a variety of events over a week of epic fun. The main event is the famous Canal Parade, which takes place on a Saturday afternoon along Prinsengracht on the Amstel River. All kinds, shapes, and sizes of floating barges are decked out in OTT flamboyance. If you’re visiting the city during Pride, make sure you book your hotels in advance!
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Amsterdam:
- Soho Amsterdam: We’d long wanted to go to this famed English-style gay pub that always has something going on. An international party-animal crowd, a wonderfully friendly staff that keeps the booze-fuelled fun going, and a chilled terrace to mingle are just some of the amazing things here.
- Spijker Bar: This is perhaps the friendliest and most attitude-free gay bar on the planet, and not just in Amsterdam. This 1978-founded Amsterdam LGBTQ+ community staple has both locals and tourists, TVs showing gay action movies, a fireplace, a pool table, a pinball machine, and alternative music. Oh, and there’s even a small dark room upstairs.
- Church Club: Amsterdam is famed for its fetish clubs, and Church Club is by far the wildest and kinkiest. This absolutely wild gay sex club isn’t for the faint-hearted and is an uninhibited, non-judgemental place where all fantasies and fetishes unite. Not only is there a dance floor with DJ and a large bar, but there are also showers, kinky dark rooms, and private cabins – and free and secure condoms everywhere.
Best Gay Saunas in Amsterdam:
- Sauna Nieuwezijds: This cruisy, fun, and fabulously modern gay sauna in Amsterdam is open throughout the year. It boasts not only a Finnish sauna but also a Turkish bath, a cozy 8-man whirlpool, a bar with a relaxing lounge, male masseurs, private cabins, and lots of cruising space. Please note: This sauna is open exclusively to men and transmen, and one needs to show their passport or ID.