Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
What We Love
- Superb canal-straddling location in the most historic part of town
- Exquisite standards of service and attention to detail
- The ancient Princenhof buildings retain authentic allure despite an award-winning restyling
- Delectable fare at the avant-garde fish restaurant conceived by Dutch celebrity chef Ron Blaauw
- READ MORE: 42 Things to do for Free in Amsterdam
What To Know
- A city tax of 5.5 percent of the room cost, per night, will be collected by the hotel at checkout
- The hotel is one of just six to have been awarded Legend status by Sofitel for its flagship finesse
- This is the kind of place where the staff will learn your name
- The hotel is very near the Red Light District; the fainthearted will want to steer clear of its notorious attractions
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Throughout its six-century history, this illustrious complex of buildings in Amsterdam’s Old Town has served as the Golden Age HQ of the Dutch admiralty, city hall and even a royal wedding venue. Historical details abound, from the carved wood doors and stained glass of the Alderman’s chambers to the stunning, secluded courtyards planted with the hotel’s very own variety of tulip. This is no marbled relic preserved in aspic, however, and the hotel’s imaginative face-lift, by French queen of interiors Sybille de Margerie — think exposed brick and exquisite lighting concepts — has earned the design world’s plaudits. In such a dense capital, where space is at a premium, the Sofitel Legend the Grand’s stately corridors almost beg to be traversed by a regal horse-drawn carriage. Not that we’d recommend doing that.
Bed and Bath
Appropriately, in a hotel that’s no stranger to satisfying the whims of visiting dignitaries, the beds here have something of “The Princess and the Pea” to them. Mattresses are topped with an outrageously plush duck down top layer, which, combined with first-rate blackout blinds, means you may well wish to double up that wake-up call if you’re on a tight schedule. Color schemes — all of them rich yet restful — and bespoke decorative flourishes vary throughout the hotel, but a TV in your serene bathroom is standard, as are top-of-the-line Nespresso facilities, and toiletries from Hermès that even royalty might consider pocketing. The 24-hour personal butler service (ours went by the rather brilliant name of Bart Kool) for occupants of the suites is a first for the Netherlands.
With its hip mantra “fins and vins,” the Grand’s Bridges restaurant is considered by those in the know to be among the very best in Amsterdam, serving a highly inventive seafood menu devised by French-trained executive chef Joris Bijdendijk and his Michelin-magnet mentor Ron Blauuw. It’s in this airy yet secluded space, between canal and courtyard, that the Grand’s unforgettably lavish breakfast — think endless artisanal pastries and a conscience-salving smoothie of the day — is served by an impeccably styled flotilla of able waiters. Take a stab at working it all off in the small but perfectly laid out gym, or just luxuriate in the tranquil indoor pool and spa, a rarity in this city reclaimed from water.
In the Area
The Grand is situated on the hard-to-pronounce Oudezijds Voorburgwal. The very oldest canal in Amsterdam, it’s a source of near-endless eye candy, lined with a picture-perfect succession of 17th-century townhouses and frequented by swans at all hours of the day. A few hundred yards to the north, the Red Light District offers exactly what you’d expect, plus the welcome, latter-day addition of chic bars and dining destinations such as Restaurant Anna. Farther east the Jodenbuurt (Jewish quarter) is home to the Rembrandthuis, where Amsterdam’s foremost Old Master lived and worked, while the Jewish Historical Museum tells the story of Amsterdam’s relationship with Judaism. For fashion magpies, the nearby Waterlooplein flea market is a trove of vintage curios.
How to Get There
It is lovely to visit a hotel where all the staff are cheerful. Great food at Bridges, lovely breakfast - try theDutch pancakes, and a very relaxed place for a cup of tea in the library. Good Spa but the pool is small.
Stayed for a couple of nights
Staff is very welcoming
Denis at the bar is amazing, good cocktails, great skills we had such a good time in his Flying Dutchman!
The breakfast is wonderful
Will definitely be back !
The Hotel is in a good position, five minutes from Dam square, and check in was pleasant. Our suite was comfortable but the bed was huge and no room at one side to walk comfortably. My biggest complaint with the Hotel, unfortunately, is the staff. They make too much fuss, without the sincerity or substance.
Visited for 3 nights to celebrate my daughter’s 21st birthday. Check-in was prompt and easy and happened to mention to the receptionist that we hadn’t managed to get tickets for Anne Frank’s house. Within 5 minutes the manager, who had overheard this conversation, had been online and managed to get 3 tickets! First impressions were fantastic and those high standards were maintained throughout our visit. Everyone was cheerful, friendly, welcoming and could not do more to make us feel comfortable and important.
Breakfast was wonderful with all hot food freshly cooked to order.
The beds live up to their reputation too - haven’t slept as well in a hotel ever!
Yes, it’s expensive but this is a true 5 star hotel. Luxurious surroundings, excellent service and therefore we will always choose Sofitel in future. Can not wait to visit Sofitel again in May in Dubai!
Let me start with the not great: I have to wonder what the people who are writing "great location" are up to. It has a fantastic location if you want to take a wander through the red-light district, and there are plumes of marijuana smoke about a block up the street billowing from pot cafes... but I wouldn't call location its strong-suit.
What does work well, though, is the oasis it creates when one steps off the outside street, through the arch, and into the courtyard it surrounds. It is a different time and place. And it is lovely.
The food and beverage program the The Grand is befitting a hotel of its stature, with a Michelin starred restaurant on the property - Bridges - supported by an excellent cafe and an old-school gem of a bar in The Flying Dutchman. Best old-fashioned ever - even the ice cube was perfect.
The service staff are very good, as well, and my butler was more than willing to head out and pick up a few toiletries that I'd forgotten on my flight.
Very good hotel, and I love the Rembrandt motif throughout.