Sofitel The Grand Amsterdam

Book now (price from £140.68)

Address: Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197, , Amsterdam, 1012 EX, The Netherlands

Star rating:
5 star hotel

4.1

Five-star hotel in historic premises in the old centre of the city, with a new, improved look.

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?

Location
3.6
90%
Eating/drinking
4.4
90%
Leisure facilities
3.5
90%
Service
4.2
90%
Value for money
3.8
90%
Bedrooms
4.2
90%
Public areas
4
90%

Location

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.

Bedrooms

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.

Public areas

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.

Eating and drinking

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.

Leisure facilities

The recently upgraded spa includes a swimming pool, sauna and hammam.

Service

I've heard and read of many examples of beyond-the-call-of-duty helpfulness from staff.

Who stays there

Lots of businesspeople weekdays (the hotel holds lots of conferences), but most of those staying at the weekends are on holiday.

Price advice

"Luxury" rooms cost around 100 euros a night more than standard ones. Breakfast from 32 euros per person.

Amenities

  • Business Centre
  • Fitness Centre
  • High-Speed Internet
  • Parking
  • Restaurant
  • Room Service
  • Swimming Pool

Recommended for

  • Couples
  • Culture vultures
  • Foodies
  • Honeymooners
  • Mature travellers
  • Relaxation
  • Romance

Pros & Cons

  • Good restaurant
  • Slickly designed bedrooms
  • Central location
  • Arguably just a bit too close to Amsterdam's seamier side
Book now (price from £140.68)