Prime location near Centraal Station, overlooking the harbor
Period details in high-ceilinged rooms
Full-service spa with sauna and steam room
Indoor pool and hot tub
Restaurant serves International French cuisine
Bar and lounge with high tea service
Unique meeting rooms
Vespa and bicycle rental
Free minibars restocked daily
Some rooms feel a bit worn around the edges
Expensive breakfast and dining
Fee for valet parking
Rooms may strike some as a bit too modern for a historic building
This historical hotel in a building with rich shipping history is an upscale stay with canal views in the city center, but also earns its rates with a full spa, indoor pool, and high-end (though pricey) dining options. Large rooms with soaring ceilings are mostly modern but do incorporate some ornate details that recall the building's past (especially in the suites); free minibars are a nice extra. The location at the top of the Old Center, within walking distance of Centraal Station, can't be beat. Travelers who appreciate those places where history, architecture, and luxury come together will appreciate everything here. It's also the only luxury hotel in the city with an Amsterdam-based parent company; it doesn't get more Dutch than this.
Amsterdam School Art Nouveau-style historic landmark
Housed in a unique historical building that stands as a monument to Amsterdam's rich shipping history, the Grand Hotel Amrath Amsterdam commands an impressive view of the IJ waterway at the heart of the city, from whence the once mighty Dutch trading empire was launched. In addition to its historical pedigree, the building is also one of the finest architectural examples of the Amsterdam School's Art Nouveau movement. Built in 1912, the building known locally as the Scheepvaarthuis (shipping house) was designed by architect Johan van der Mey for a collective of powerful shipping companies. Van der Mey drew inspiration from the Art Nouveau movement and helped give rise to a style of Dutch expressionist architecture known as the Amsterdam School.
The stained glass, dark wood paneling, and lavish ornamentation that characterize the style abound throughout the hotel. The lobby, filled with wood and marble, is somewhat understated, but the maze-like hallways are large and dramatic. A central atrium, known as the Van Der Mey Hall, rises through five floors of open staircases to an ornate glass ceiling whose asymmetrical shape echoes the hulls of the merchant fluyts which set sail during the Dutch golden age from the harbor outside. Between the historic environs and spectacular architecture, a feeling of exclusivity prevails.
In the city center, on the harbor, a few minutes on foot from Centraal Station
Grand Hotel Amrath Amsterdam is situated on the corner of a busy main road in the center of Amsterdam, between the Waalseilandsgracht canal and the harbor's eastern docks. The hotel's immediate neighbors are mainly commercial; restaurants, bars and shops fill the opposite side of the canal. The hotel is within close walking distance of Nieuwmarkt Square and Centraal Station, providing easy tram access to Amsterdam's Canal District and beyond. Dam Square, the Royal Palace, and De Nieuwe Kerk church are about a half-mile southwest, all within walking distance. The Anne Frank House is too far to walk, but a short drive or tram ride will get you there quickly. The Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh, and Stedelijk museums are a mile and a half to the south. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is about a 20-minute drive from the hotel. The hotel can arrange airport transfers, as well as bicycle and Vespa rentals, upon request.
Large, ranging in style, with Nespresso machines and free minibars
The rooms diverge from the Art Nouveau design that makes the hotel so exemplary, but their modern makeovers are far from commonplace. Rich colors, ornately patterned wallpaper, and high ceilings adorn even less recently updated rooms. Most rooms are filled with furniture made of dark wood and leather, although some have mismatched patterns that look a bit worn; all rooms have sitting areas and work desks. Some of the suites have an eccentric East Indies theme, with brightly colored fabrics and carved-wood furnishings that hint at the historical maritime exploits associated with the hotel.
The minibars are filled with a variety of refreshments, including liquor and alcoholic beverages, which are all included with the room and restocked daily. Nespresso machines, electric teapots, and glassware are also in every room. The modern bathrooms are furnished in a mix of white and black stone with accents of beautifully colored tile work on the walls. Most have shower/tub combinations with rainfall shower heads, and, in superior rooms and suites, separate soaking tubs. Most rooms have views over the canal or harbor, with higher floors having stunning views of Amsterdam's canal district.
Full spa, indoor pool, dinner tours, French restaurant and bar, historic meeting rooms
Dining at the hotel can be more adventurous than your average meal, thanks to unique "walking dinners" that can be arranged for groups. The tours take guests from the rooftop to the wine cellar, with stops along the way to take in meal courses and the building's rich history, wine glasses in hand. For more conventional dining, the Seven Seas Restaurant serves French cuisine with international coastal influences alongside offerings from the aforementioned wine cellar. An American breakfast buffet is served in the restaurant, with a simpler and lighter French breakfast served in the bar/lounge; neither are included with room rates and come at a high fee. The bar/lounge also serves a decadent afternoon high tea service. Note that the typical fee for overnight valet parking applies, but friends of guests joining them for dinner at the restaurant can take advantage of limited, free valet parking (four hours).
The full-service spa has several massage and treatment rooms as well as a sauna, Turkish steam room, and large relaxation room. There's also an attached indoor pool and hot tub. The pool room is dark, without any natural light, but there is a rich blue ceiling, inset with tiny lights that mimic a night sky. The hotel's elegant event rooms can accommodate a wide variety of functions, with capacities ranging from small meeting rooms for six, to a private basement club with its own bar that can host 150 people. There's also the opulent "council chamber," whose decor and furnishings have survived relatively unchanged, and in which the city's richest shipping barons once gathered to plot their mercantile hegemony in style.
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