With its canals, colourful houses and all-round cosmopolitan air, trendy Amsterdam makes the perfect picture postcard - and a great place to spend the weekend.
The city has steadily expanded its range of restaurants and shops, so if you're looking for vintage chic or high end label, you'll find it here.
Along with the surge in leisure offerings, there has been a significant rise in the number of boutique hotels. These cute venues are a good option for a short break as they are reasonably priced and endow guests with a real flavour of this delightful Dutch city.
Here are three excellent Amsterdam hotels we found on our travels.
- Hotel Orlando - This elegant venue on Prinsengracht was once a 17th century canal house. It has six comfortable rooms, each with its own character and décor. There is a wonderful fusion of styles - imagine 200 year old furniture mixed perfectly with Gispen chairs and Philippe Starck lamps on top of stunning oak floors.
- Hotel Patou - Located on Hooftstraat in the city's must-visit fashion and art district, this hotel has 12 lovely rooms with Carpe Diem beds and Vandyck linen. Flat screen TV and fashion magazines are on hand to keep up with all the latest trends, and there is a brasserie on the ground floor.
- Lloyd Hotel - This self-labelled 'one to five star' hotel is set amid the funky Eastern Docklands area. Each guestroom is a different size, but they all have feather quilt-adorned beds. Local produce is served in the restaurant, while art lovers can take their pick from the library of art books or explore the hotel's Cultural Embassy, a communal space which hosts free exhibitions and presentations.