Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam
What We Love
- The magical setting in six 17th-century palaces on the Herengracht canal
- Chef Sidney Schutte’s two-Michelin-starred Librije’s Zusje Amsterdam restaurant
- Posh daily afternoon tea at the opulent lobby bar, Peacock Alley
What To Know
- Free WiFi
- Spacious guestrooms start at 431 square feet
- The Guerlain spa is open to the public, so book ahead
- READ MORE: 42 Things to do for Free in Amsterdam
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
This 93-room jewel occupies six 17th-century canalside palaces and has one of the city’s most captivating settings, beside the UNESCO-protected Herengracht (Gentlemen’s canal). Show-stopping features include an original grand staircase built by Daniel Marot (architect to Louis XIV) and impressive 18th-century artworks in the private Maurer dining room. The light-flooded guestrooms, suites and lofts walk the elegant-traditional line you’d expect from a Waldorf Astoria property and are done in tasteful shades of cream, blue and gray. Each overlooks either the bustling canal or the tranquil private courtyard garden. The Guerlain spa opens onto the same gardens and offers results-oriented treatments as well as extravagances like the six-hour “Amsterdam Cures.” Post-treatment amenities include an indoor pool, a steam room and a sauna. The dining scene is as regal as the rest of the property. Spiff up for a seat in any of the three dining rooms: the newly minted Goldfinch Brasserie, the see-and-be-seen Peacock Alley, and the acclaimed Librije’s Zusje Amsterdam, all under the watchful eye of feted chef Sidney Schutte. If it all gets too much, retreat to the clubby-cozy Vault Bar, where your bartender will mix you a martini at a bar lined with lockers belonging to the original bank vault from which the bar takes its name.
In the Area
Amsterdam’s best museums are within a mile or so of the hotel. Purchase an I Amsterdam City Card, which gives unlimited access for two, three or four days to museums and attractions, along with free public transport and bicycle rental, then head to the wonderful Rijksmuseum, where you can get an invaluable primer on Dutch art, in particular gorgeous paintings by masters like Rembrandt and Vermeer. Next, visit the Hermitage Museum, a satellite of the St. Petersburg landmark that celebrates 17th- and 18th-century European masterworks and also hosts classical concerts. Don’t miss the harrowing but worthwhile Anne Frank Museum, which is housed in the hiding place of the young diarist whose story touched the world. Finally, take in the world’s largest collection of Vincent van Gogh’s works at the Van Gogh Museum, and then treat yourself to some modern Dutch flavors in swoon-worthy 17th-century surroundings at De Silveren Spiegel, one of the city’s most beloved restaurants.
How to Get There
We were lucky enough to spend a long weekend based at this lovely hotel, fashioned from several houses which have been incorporated together beautifully. Our room was fabulous, with a view over Herengracht. The hotel is well positioned within walking distance of many good restaurants, and attractions such as the Nine Streets (9 Straatjes) for interesting shops. There were always helpful staff available to answer our queries, and the service is second to none. There's the most incredible garden - you don't expect to find such a large garden which was full of different coloured tulips when we were there (and there are some strange rules about not being able to serve you in the garden, but you can take your own food and drinks outside!). The spa also has access to the garden so you can sit outside after your swim. You can watch their beekeeper at work on one of the roofs as he collects their own honey. (April, or early May is the time to visit if you want to see the tulips at nearby Koekenhof - a public flower garden only open for around 10 weeks of the year). We had a lovely experience here.
From your first step out of the car you will understand the high level of the staff and hotel. Smiling and perfect service, rooms big and very well equipped. Super clean and with everything you can need. Breakfast "normal", but good quality of the few choices offered. More then excellent the restaurant Spectrum (two stars Michelin): worth the trip.
My friends were staying at the WA this past week and recommended I check out of my existing hotel and join them for my last two days in Amsterdam. I am so very glad I made the decision. The staff make this hotel a real 5 star venue. From the moment I checked in, I was impressed by the excellent level of service from everyone. We ate at Spectrum and that was a truly wonderful experience.We also had great service and food in the Brassiere on my second evening. I had a third floor room looking over the beautiful gardens. We will certainly go back as The WA Amsterdam truly is an elegant hotel offering the very best to guests in all areas of service
I have been noticing a trend with Waldorf Astoria properties -- they are trading on the historic name whie failing to provide the legendary service. The WA Amsterdam was no different.
We arrived at the same time as another couple, which was apparently too much for the hotel to handle. After we had pulled our bags half way up the steps to the entrance, the woman at the top of the stairs finally recognized that we were going to the hotel (as if people carrying luggage getting out of a taxi immediately in front of your hotel -- which is the only one on the block -- are going somewhere else) and said to leave our bags just off the street and she would send someone to get them. (Note: I review hotels based on the rated star category -- for a 5-star, #1 hotel in a city I expect to never touch my luggage, a Holiday Inn is a different story).
The gentleman who checked us in was wonderful and helpful, but again the service was very spotty as we received waters, while the couple at the other check-in desk next to us were offered the house-made chocolate 'bumble bees'. Both couples were obviously supposed to reveive both but the staff was too disorganized to handle both couples at once (even though there were two check-in desks, each attended by a person).
I was repeatedly made aware of the various benefits I would receive based on the variou statuses I hold with the hotel and charge cards. Those benefits would have been nice if I had been able to use them. Sadly, service was so poor that, after waiting for 20 minutes for someone to assist us for the 'aperitif' we were told three seperate times we had to have, my wife and I simply walked out.
Breakfast was similarly disorganized. For a 5-star hotel breakfast the options were rather limited, which is disappointing but not nearly as bad as the fact that of the 7 occupied tables at breakfast, at least 3 of us were having issues with service, particularly getting water/juice/coffee/tea. Multiple tables had to ask multiple times for their coffee, to which the response was always "I will check on that for you." It's coffee, not rocket science. It was clear the waiter had simply forgotten to order the coffee, which is absurd as the breakfast is mainly a buffet.
Our room was nice and the grounds and garden were quite lovely. However, that is only part of what you pay for to stay at a 5-star hotel and does not offset the poor service, which is a major component of what you pay for at elite hotels. The service was poor or indifferent (for example, we were celebrating my wife's 40th birthday -- they brought us two separate deserts within five minutes of each other, not to be nice but because they were so disorganized they didn't realize they had already brought one, after which they never acknowledged my wife again, in contrast to other hotels we stayed at on this trip).
There were two exceptions to the poor service. First, the concierge, who was one of the best I have ever had. Not only could he arrange anything and everything, and was extremely friendly and helpful, he gave us his card with directions to find his concierge friend at the next hotel we were visiting on our trip. Truly an extraordinary concierge -- the rest of the staff needs to take lessons from him. Spectrum was the other exception, which was truly an extraordinary dining experience.
I am not sure how the WA Amsterdam is the Trip Advisor #1 ranked hotel for Amsterdam, it definitely should not hold that status. On this European trip I received by far the worst service I had on the entire trip, despite paying almost 30% more for the room compared to everywhere else I stayed. Indeed, this may be the worst service I have ever received at a 5-star hotel in Europe. Future stays in Amsterdam will be spent elsewhere. I recommend others using Trip Advisor look to l'Europe, Conservatorium, or Intercontinental.
Just spent 5 days in Amsterdam and stayed at the Waldorf. Here are the pros and very few cons:
1. Exceptional staff from start to finish. Everyone here, from the check in staff, to doormen, to concierges (superb recommendations), to restaurant staff. Everything is “yes, happy to help” with a genuine smile and positive attitude. Nothing perfunctory in the way they treat guests.
2. Lovely room. It’s immaculately clean and comfortable (great bed) with nice amenities. We requested a quiet room and received one on a high floor with a view of the beautiful (and silent!) garden.
3. Great location. It’s the first time we stayed on the canals. It’s convenient to museums and restaurants and felt like the most authentic experience we’ve had in Amsterdam. In the past we’ve been to the Amstel (grand dame hotel; also lovely staff, but rooms are tired and location is a bit out of the way) and The Conservatorium (least favourite by far—totally perfunctory service, staff not well trained, many groups and meetings, no air movement in the large enclosed building except on ground level, so many “electronic” features in the room that relays click on and off constantly, restaurant food average at best).
4. Fabulous food. We had free breakfast as part of Amex Fine Hotels. It’s a buffet (you can order extra a large carte—but you won’t need to). The kitchen is great and so is the service. We also had one dinner at the casual restaurant (The Goldfinch) and quality was excellent.
1. We were invited to change in the spa area when we arrived early and room was not ready. It’s a convoluted trip to a very cramped space, though the staff couldn’t be nicer.
2. You have to leave to go home!