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
Perfectly situated hotel with historic pedigree but modern and funky decor. Rooms are of good size and mine had a lovely view over the canal.
Restaurant options are excellent.
Especially noteworthy was the excellent service. A rare combination of formally efficient whilst friendly.
A great choice in Amsterdam
On Sunday, November 10, 2019 at around 10:30 am, I went to the Sofitel Hotel in Amsterdam with my wife. We wanted to have breakfast in the hotel's restaurant, we are regular customers of Sofitel hotels and particularly like the quality of their service. We were dressed neatly, worthy of consideration, in my opinion. We told the lady at the reception that we wanted to have breakfast at the hotel, the lady replied that the restaurant was full but that she would still ask. She was particularly embarrassed. She had trouble concealing her lie. She picked up her phone as if to call the restaurant and then without even calling it, she put the phone down and told us "no it's not possible it's full". My wife and I left humiliated. We knew that was not true. Is this a facial offence? Aren't we respectable enough for a place like this? A contempt for class? Am I too black? Or maybe I didn't look rich enough?
I am a black man and my wife is a white woman. The question is asked...even if I have my answer.
Disgusting and unacceptable...even more so in 2019.
Amazing decor inside hotel with a fascinating history tour available. The Chapel was something else to see and art work fabulous. Very comfortable foyer and lovely bedrooms with quirky pictures. Our room was on 2 levels, quiet and lovely Hermes toiletries. Breakfast was a buffet as we were with a group about to go on a cruise. Staff very helpful.