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
- Handicap Accessible
- 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
Hotel was great. HOWEVER, room was small even though we reserved was not standard one, it was street view on the second floor. We didnt like the bathroom long layout but narrow. We heard conversations, often at night, as people walked by. We were so tired upon arrival from international travel,that we did not ask to change.
This was the MOST disastrous, disappointing and aggravating hotel stay in my entire traveling history: the fact that this was the prelude to our wedding makes it even worse. I tried to contact this hotel thru both the Accor site and directly multiple times before our stay to make special arrangements without success. Not only were they not responsive, it was only after I sent dissatisfied mails that I got any answer at all.
On arrival, we were offered an "I'm sorry drink" which eventually wound up on our bill anyway.
I tried to arrange a bouquet of welcome flowers and even sent a photo of what I wanted for my groom for his arrival, the pathetic arrangement that greeted us was not fit for the guest bathroom, let alone a wedding couple in a $1000 per night suite!
We were absolutely flabbergasted when the welcome letter next to the pathetic arrival flowers was addressed to Mr and Mrs Natale and not Messrs. David & Thierry Natale: which was not only on our reservation, my special request mails to them, but also my Accor member profile.
We imagine the arrival chocolates were nice: they were taken away the next day along with the comb from the bathroom: which I opened twice, only to have it taken away by housekeeping each time. Baffling. Why do you give your guest something and then take it away?
We would have loved to have enjoyed our welcome champagne, but when we went to open the bottle and toast our evening, not a single wine or champagne glass could be found in the suite... and after 25 minutes of waiting for someone to bring some... we lost the mood and the moment of toasting our first wedding night was gone. You went thru the trouble of putting roses on the bed to create a romantic mood, but then forgot the most important parts. Thank you very much.
On check in, our butler Carlos seemed very determined to let us know that his shift was over in 20 minutes which he repeated multiple times, yet did not manage to remember the only direct request we made of him; which was to have our wedding shoes shined. We left them out with the shoe bag, but they were ignored.
The same thing went with trying to pair the Bose system or TV to our iPhoneX. I asked for assistance and got a half explanation. As it was time for the butler to go, he left it in my hands and the result was that I never figured it out nor was able to use the sound system as I wished (and had paid for.)
We were extremely agitated when we got out of the steam room and wanted to put on the 3XL robes that we'd requested, only to find that they'd been taken sometime between our afternoon sauna and our return from dinner and replaced with XL robes that did not fit. We had specifically hung them up on the hooks to indicate that they should be left alone, but nope. Instead of feeling pampered, we felt that we were constantly being "Punked" or that someone was being specifically malicious.
The breakfast was a catastrophe each day with interminably long waits for coffee or any service at all. Never again.
This hotel ruined so many aspects of our wedding stay as each time we'd go to enjoy an amenity in our suite it was either missing, taken or a lazy mistake robbed us of what should have been the special moments. We would be hard pressed to ever stay at this property again after the disrespect and egregiously bad service we experienced: we would certainly warn other couples like us to think twice about entrusting this hotel to anything special.
When someone pays the kind of money we did for a very special occasion they have the right to expect it to be perfect.
This hotel may market to gay couples, but you do not treat them very well at all.
The suite was also very dirty.
The Grande is a gorgeous hotel that is comfortable as soon as you walk in. Bed is one of the comfortable that we have slept in. Service is A-one. Great location gives you walking access to shopping and a 45-minute walk to art museums. Best, however, is The Bridge Restaurant. One of the best dining experiences we had on our vacation. Try the northern sea bass baked in sea salt.
Elegant hotel in the heart of Old Town. Classic appointments, high quality restaurant, very professional staff...outstanding visit.
Highly walkable to all of the Amsterdam historic spots and surroundings...perfect.
Last year I visited Amsterdam for business and I stayed at The Conservatorium. I did not think at the time that another hotel could be better. Sofitel was better and exceptional! All the staff were polite, friendly and professional. From Phillipo at check-in, it began as a great journey. Then it continued to Luca at breakfast - so friendly and makes you want to stay for breakfast all day! Then to Jonathon at the Concierge who went above and beyond to help me on a public holiday when there was no dry cleaning available at the hotel. Overall, an exceptional hotel experience in Amsterdam and I will definately return in the future. What a great memory.