For most visitors, its weak point - on the south-east side of the city, too far out for most guests to want to walk in to the centre. However, trams will take you in to the centre in a matter of minutes - their stops are short walks away, as is the metro stop for very speedy journeys to the Centraal Station. Also, the Arena has its own parking: 25 euros for 24 hours - expensive, but cheaper than parking options near more central hotels.
Monumental wrought-iron staircases (and lifts) lead to stark white rooms, with white sofas, bare boarded floors, and black-and-white tiled bathrooms. Standard rooms are a good size, while studios are definitively big and in many instances on split levels, with tall windows. I stayed in an attic studio recently - a gorgeous white-on-white space, with a fancy swivel TV at the end of the bed (so you can watch it in bed or on the sofa), and a slick bathroom with a freestanding bath. Tea/coffee-making things are standard in rooms - far from universal in Amsterdam.
The hotel's focal point is its industrial-look café/bar/restaurant, with an open kitchen to one side, and a big, and much used, suntrap lounging/drinking/dining terrace to the front, with potted palms and black wicker furniture. Clubbers hang out in the bar and on the terrace on weekend evenings.
Eating and drinking
My buffet breakfast - pastries, lots of fresh fruit, eggs, bacon, sausages - was well above average. The short dinner menu might include sashimi, chicken Ceasar salad, burgers, steaks, apple pie.
A former chapel serves as one of the city's longest-established nightclubs at the weekends - with themes ranging from gay to techno, and salsa to 80s. The club is run separately from the hotel, so hotel guests normally do not get any special entry privileges. The Arena also rents out bikes.
Who stays there
Twenty- and thirty-something party-going types at weekends, when the club is open. But also guests not interested in the club at all any night of the week.
Breakfast is 18.5 euros extra per person. For two-night stays or longer, there are better-value, breakfast-inclusive rates.
Pros & Cons
- Pleasant eating and drinking terrace
- The on-site nightclub
- Stylish bedrooms
- WiFi is a hefty extra charge
- On weekend summer evenings, some bedrooms can be disturbed by noise from the nightclub
- The out-of-the-way location