Hotel Estherea Review – Welcoming, Perfectly Located and Unique

Although our visit to AmsterdamNetherlands was short, it was delightful because we stayed atHotel Estherea. It was a surprise to enter the building.  Outside, facing the canal, it is flush with other buildings along the street.  There is a small sign and a simple display of flowers in front.  BUT walking in, wow!  A large, beautiful fish tank Is placed so that it both greets one entering the hotel and calms one sitting in the lounge area.  Décor is elegant and elaborate throughout. 

The very accurate description on the Hotel Estherea website states:  “We welcome you to the unique four star hotel Estheréa Amsterdam located in the old city center. Four star Hotel Esthérea is housed in a row of beautiful historic buildings on the Singel, Amsterdam's oldest major canal, an official Unesco World heritage site since 2010. Dam square, the central railway station, the main shopping area, museums, theatres and nightlife, are all within walking distance.”

The 17th century façade opens into a 92-room hotel, where all room have been recently renovated and beautifully decorated.  It boasts woolen carpets, crystal chandeliers and sumptuous furniture. Each room has its own unique character. It has been family owned hotel for three generations and its fascinating history can be found at the end of this article.

Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, latte, etc with cookies and cakes all the time

Walking through the hotel on the way to our room, we noticed a lounge, a kind of dining room/library, a bar, a room where only breakfast is served and a small area nearby where coffee, tea and sweets are offered all the time.  This area was a delight for us and other guests. Here was a place where happy guests from everywhere - Italian, French, all kinds of English, Chinese, and Japanese gathered for a drink and a snack anytime. We chatted with visitors from the U.S. and from Canada who were in Amsterdam for the first time and loving it.

Our room was bright and cheery

Taking one of the elevators, we found our room, which was charming.  How cleverly old and new were blended for maximum comfort.  There were individual touches in the furnishings and the use of space that made the room very pleasant.  

The bathroom was just wonderful with the Jacuzzi tub and stall shower and double sinks.  The bed was extremely comfortable.  There was a good location for my computer and the TV offered a full range of channels.

There was a glass-enclosed elevator close to our room which I enjoyed riding because it passed through a small,contained garden with sumptuous plants, as it approached the first floor.  In this garden area, there was also a small pond with multicolored fish. I was captivated by this space.

The Flower Market

We realized what a wonderful location we were in when we started walking.   We could easily walk to many places, like the main square near the New Church and the Palace, shopping, the Flower Market and countless small shops and restaurants and the Anne Frank Huis. It was always pleasant to walk along the canals.  A tram was close by with easy access to the Rijksmuseum. We enjoyed wandering and found beautiful views, a wonderful gallery displaying amazing glass sculptures and a canal museum and observed an unusual birthday celebration and a man painting.

Dinner at Restaurant Haesje Claes

We were interested in a Dutch restaurant and Restaurant Haesje Claes was recommended.  This turned out to be just the perfect place for us that night.  We enjoyed the ambiance, the food, the service and the very best Dutch apple pie we had ever tasted.  It also has a long history (

Dinner in the Medieval Dining Room

On our walks we passed a restaurant several times and thought it would be a great place for dinner our last night in Amsterdam. We were near the entrance studying the menu when someone stepped out of the door, though the restaurant was closed and we were able to reserve one of the last tables.  At dinner we learned the secret of the five flies we kept seeing outside.  This wasRestaurant D’vijff Vlieghen ( The owner had once had an act that involved five flies and he performed it on TV in the U.S.  Eventually, movie and TV stars frequented this restaurant and there are plaques on chairs with the names of the star who sat there.  My husband sat in the Esther Williams chair. There are currently nine individually decorated adjoining dining rooms, including a medieval room and one with four Rembrandt originals.  The food and service was excellent.

Looking out along the canal, the Dam Square

There was so much to enjoy at the hotel.  There were two computers available in the lobby.  It is a non-smoking hotel.  It was family friendly and we observed families with very small children, older children and many couples and groups of adults. I loved the flower arrangements everywhere and the homey feel of the décor and the friendliness of the staff.  I would love to return-soon.

Walking along we happened upon and man painting

Hotel Estheréa
Singel 303-309
1012 WJ Amsterdam
phone: +31 (0)20-6245146
fax: +31 (0)20-6239001
email: [email protected]


Hotel Estherea owes its existence to Maria Flieger-Gruyters. After losing her husband early in the Second World War, she moved with her three daughters from Helmond to Amsterdam in 1942, where she rented an old canal side house. She converted the house into a guesthouse named after her three daughters Esther, Elly and Ria.

Huize Estherea, as the establishment was called, survived the war and by the 1950's Maria had become a talented hotelier. Several neighbouring houses were bought as the guesthouse expanded. As well as tourists and business travellers, they included many artists and musicians.

Together with her second husband, Maria converted the 4 canal side houses into a single hotel. The name was changed to hotel Estherea, ready for the growth in tourism that awaited the city of Amsterdam.

Maria passed away in 1991 and her daughter Elly Flieger took over the family business. The third generation is currently running the hotel. The 12 rooms with which the establishment began are now unrecognisable, but personal care and service are just as important as they were 70 years ago.

Photos:Leon Keer

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