Kamer 01, Amsterdam, Netherlands
A 16th-century canal house, restored in a way that preserves its past but steps firmly into the 21st century. Apple Mac computers stand alongside mahogany wardrobes, among luscious colours. A champagne breakfast is delivered with style, in an air of genuine home hospitality.
Peter and Wolter have renovated their 1585 canal house with imagination and flair. Peter worked for 25 years as an interior designer, and it shows. Original features remain (wooden beams, old brickwork, a spiral staircase), and are enlivened by bold colours and inviting fabrics. Designer classics (Le Corbusier sofas in the bedrooms) rub cheeks with stately antiques. But underlying all this is Peter and Wolter’s sense of home. It’s a place where you can feel completely relaxed, as a personal guest.
Rooms from €348 per night
Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
A large, though privately owned, stand-alone hotel that stretches through 25 houses, between two canals. The Pulitzer is in a prime location in the canal belt, close to the Anne Frank House. Gracious service, a garden courtyard and good cuisine add to the mix.
Back in the 1960s, local businessman Peter Pulitzer had the idea of combining 10 canal houses into a hotel. He was one of the very first to do so. Today, Hotel Pulitzer runs through 25 different buildings, between two major canals. It is a delightful warren of passages, stairways, sudden open spaces, with many an original feature intact, but with a fresh, contemporary atmosphere. Prints and paintings from the hotel’s extensive modern art collection decorate the walls. Clean lines and muted colours predominate, and zany design touches (many referencing Amsterdam and its past) delight at every turn.
Rooms from €279 per night
Hotel Estherea, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hotel Estheréa has an eccentric charm, created by décor that manages to be at once zany, plush, and warmly welcoming. Though large, it offers all the engaging hospitality of an old-fashioned, family-run hotel. The rooms are deliciously over-the-top, and the breakfast ranks with the best in town.
Old Amsterdam meets opera-set bordello. Patterns on every fabric, different paper on every wall. Fake cherry blossom, real orchids, and crystal chandeliers with frilly shades, fill three adjoining canal houses.
Rooms from €198 per night
Sofitel Legend the Grand Amsterdam
An erstwhile Admiralty building (dating from the 17th century), one-time City Hall (in the 1930s), The Grand is now in bright new clothes as a luxury hotel – with a Gallic touch (it’s a Sofitel flagship). There’s an excellent restaurant, and staff are relaxed, gracious and quietly efficient.
A grand lady with a chequered past, who has been given a daring facelift. Built in 1578 as a monastery, doubling as a lodge for royal visitors to the city, The Grand was later an Admiralty Building, then for nearly 200 years Amsterdam’s City Hall (during which time it gained an Art Deco extension, and was scene of the marriage of Queen Beatrix, the reigning Dutch monarch). French interiors architect Sybille de Margerie has worked magic to soften the monumental interior with warm colours and witty design touches, creating a contemporary air.
Rooms from €357 per night
Ambassade Hotel Amsterdam, Netherlands
For more than half a century the go-to hotel for Dutch publishers, and a great favourite with authors, the Ambassade stretches through 10 canal houses, and is resplendent with original art and antiques. It is situated in the heart of town, has friendly, knowledgeable staff, and a superb breakfast.
Eight houses ranged along the Herengracht, with two more stretching back to the Singel: a network of interconnecting corridors, little flights of stairs between changing levels, and with a wide variety of rooms (many with canal views). Inside, there’s an abundance of antiques (mainly Louis XV/XVI), and wall upon wall of museum-quality art – CoBra, contemporary Dutch, and works by the Amsterdam Impressionists. Yet, with all this, the Ambassade has more the conviviality of a mansion belonging to a relaxed and welcoming family, than the hauteur of a grand hotel. It is a favourite among Dutch and international publishers, and has a devoted following among authors, most of whom leave behind a signed copy of their work, to add to a collection that now numbers in its thousands.
Rooms from €152 per night
Source: The Telegraph