I'M QUICK TO LAMENT AN INCONVENIENCE, so you can imagine my sentiment upon discovering that our flight had been cancelled after packing, checking out, driving to the airport and waiting in line nearly three hours to arrive at a two-desk counter, shared by what felt like two thousand people. On the downside, it was a waste of a day. On the upside, we had an extra night in Amsterdam and there was availability at Canal House where we'd been staying; a row of 17th century merchants' homes on Keizersgracht, re-done to be both "in with the old" and "in with the new."
Canal House is located in Jordaan and is just a stone's throw from Westerkerk, Anne Frank Huis and Nine Streets district's cool shops and cafes. Within the hotel are 23 bedrooms, two of which we've been lucky to sleep in, a small but gorgeous bar, the Summer House, the Garden House, the Great Room that links the hotel's narrow buildings together and a triple-width garden that opens to the public on Amsterdam's open garden days.
My favorite feature, naturally, is the design, which retains the homes' 17th century timber beams, narrow staircases, ornate ceilings and fireplaces, while having the rooms painted a sultry black, accentuated with deep purples, golds, curious books, objects and Dutch art. I didn't even leave the hotel on that extra day, lounging in the Great Room to read a mid-century book about trees.
The only thing I lamented really was having my half-eaten, perfectly soft-boiled breakfast egg taken away before I finished. Perhaps that was my fault. I was too busy taking pictures.
Canal House, Keizersgracht 148-152, Amsterdam. www.canalhouse.nl Photos by Lady San Pedro.