Sofitel The Grand Amsterdam
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1012 EX
- Recommended for:
- Couples, Culture vultures, Foodies, Honeymooners, Mature travellers, Relaxation, Romance
Best for Food - Expert review of Sofitel The Grand Amsterdam
Prior to being a hotel, The Grand was the city hall, and before that, back in the Golden Age, the HQ for the Dutch Admiralty, so it's always lived up to its name. My overriding memory of a stay here a few years ago was that the place was also a bit staid, but a major makeover has put paid to that. Now the chandeliers in the reception are like clouds of butterflies - need I say more?
Off a canal, bang in the centre. Bear in mind that it's closer to the seedy side of Amsterdam than any of the city's other luxury hotels - the southern fringes of the Red Light District are a short walk away - though that's just Amsterdam for you: the university is the other end of the street.
These have recently been turned in to sleek, contemporary affairs, with bold blocks of colour and images of Dutch royalty stencilled on walls. Cheapest "classic" rooms are likely to have a view over one of the hotel's palatial courtyards, so you may want to splash out on a "luxury" room which not only should have a canal view, but will also come with a fancy bathroom with a bath lined up with its own TV.
The hotel's focal point is the newly designed, restaurant called Bridges, which has a trendy, retro-chic look. The brown-brick courtyard off it is used for wining and dining in summer, and there's a subdued lounge off the reception.
Bridges has quickly established itself as an excellent, if expensive, French seafood restaurant (with Dutch ingredients). It has a real buzz to it, and attracts lots of non-residents. Bridges also has a raw bar - and is where breakfast is served.
The recently upgraded spa includes a swimming pool, sauna and hammam.
I've heard and read of many examples of beyond-the-call-of-duty helpfulness from staff.
Lots of businesspeople weekdays (the hotel holds lots of conferences), but most of those staying at the weekends are on holiday.
"Luxury" rooms cost around 100 euros a night more than standard ones. Breakfast from 32 euros per person.
More information on Sofitel The Grand Amsterdam:
- Price from:
- Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1012 EX
- Business Centre, Fitness Centre, High-Speed Internet, Parking, Restaurant, Room Service, Swimming Pool