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
We had a large and beautiful suite, I believe room 741.
The hotel is centrally located, very convenient.
Good breakfast buffet and selections. Service was good, friendly and attentive staff.
Nice areas for lounging, dining.
A five star hotel.
From the moment we stepped into the main entrance it was like a fairy tale. You totally forget that youre in a busy city. The whole ambiance is super zen. We went especially for Valentines day! The whole hotel was beautiful decorated. We got a very special room with a bottle of champagne to celebrate the weekend. We felt very special. We planned to have dinner at Bridges (the restaurant in the hotel). We decided to take the menu and the wine menu. It was all so delicous and well organised. We dined the whole evening in such a great atmosphere. The service was super great. We highly appreciated it. In the hotel room we had everything we wished for. Especially the bed was so mega comfortable. The next morning we went for breakfast and it was litterally the best breakfast I”ve ever had. Another great experience. We were sad that we didnt book another night. Thank you so much!
We keep coming back to the Grand Hotel, not only because of its history and great location, but, mainly, because of the thoughtfulness and dedication of its staff. During our most recent visit we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. All the staff at the hotel went out of their way to make our stay truly memorable. Their professionalism and dedication sets this hotel apart from other 5 star hotels in Amsterdam, and indeed over the world. It seems wrong to single out people, but we are especially grateful to the Front of House Manager Zsa Zsa Zanolie for her thoughtfulness and kindness. The Head Butler, Mauricio de Aguiar Silva and his team could not be more devoted to making the guest experience as good as possible - they are brilliant. The Head Concierge Niels Essink is simply the best concierge we have ever had the pleasure of meeting, and his team could not be more helpful. We loved having a drink in the Flying Dutchman bar with the very knowledgeable and friendly Dennis and Bart. We had breakfast in the hotel every morning and were so impressed, as always, by the whole hard-working team and especially Lillian, Hester and Luca, who are so friendly even when very busy. It was very good also to meet Michael Jowett, the Guest Relations Manager, and Stefan Melcherts, the Director of Operations, who we hadn't met previously - both are obviously determined to achieve the highest standards. Thank you for going the extra mile we really appreciate it. We can't wait to come back.