During my last trip to Amsterdam I searched for a place to stay near CS that was not a dopey backpackers' hangout and affordable considering the budget of around EUR 70 /night.
Tulip Inn Dam Square met all these requirements. The price was EUR 82 / night but note that this was a low season special offer with a minimum booking of two nights, you have to call to find out or check out the offers on various websites available for online hotel reservations (Google a bit around and you'll find them)...Also be aware that a single bed can sleep two people, it is just 1 bed but big enough....a double room means two beds inside.
Had a good feel over it after I left, very secure and quiet (at least the rooms at te back - the street side rooms have great views but also some streetnoise) despite being located very near the Dam Square! Friendly and helpful staff who know the town, and the -included- breakfast buffet was just reasonable.
The rooms are well furnished but rather darkish and a bit cramped. The air refresher in the bathroom didn't work too well so that toilet smell may spread into the bedroom.
On the other hand, the bathtube fills up more quickly than average and is a nice treat as well as the complimentary coffee/tea making facilities in the room. A good selection of high quality TV channels available, local Dutch and international.
Unique Quality: The location is outstanding!
3 minutes from Dam Square, 3 minutes to tram stop (1 stop to CS), and the exciting and authentic Jordaan region with its great day- and nightlife options that attracts mostly locals, is just around the corner.
Tulip Inn Dam Square has one of the better locations in the city.
You are in the middle of everything, yet on a fairly quiet little street (Gravenstraat, one of my favorites) behind the new church.
Rooms are clean and good-sized for Amsterdam, staff is very helpful, friendly and professional. There is a lift/elevator. Small bar in lobby is open effectively 24/7 as desk clerk(s) double as "bartender."
Breakfast is nothing special. Maybe skip it and go 1 block over to Nieuwendijk/Dam shops or better still, walk west down Gravenstraat across Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and Singel to a cafe on Oude Leliegracht.
A little higher priced these days but the xtra Euros you pay/night are for the amazing location. If you're planning on walking a lot in Amsterdam center from Jordaan to Red Light, this is a good choice. Three-star hotel... maybe a little pricey, but worth it.
Bottom line: not cheap (a little expensive with current dollar-to-euro rate), but I liked it, great location, I liked the staff, and I would stay there again.
Unique Quality: A good hotel, clean comfortable, with a location just a block off Dam Square and Nieuwendijk. Close to everything.
Lots of info at Tulip in Dam Square WEBSITE
Directions: Behind the New Church on Gravenstraat between Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and Nieuwendijk / Damrak. Tell the cab driver it's behind the Nieuwkerk or (like mine) he won't find it quickly.
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Address: Gravenstraat 23-26, Amsterdam