It’s funny how we stress on a word so much when we want to express our feelings. Suddenly it feels that this word is sometimes all you can say to describe a place or thing. Take the word ‘breathtaking’ for example. I had the same expression when I first walked in to The Grand Amsterdam. It was…GRAND! And really, that’s all I could say. Everything was grand. The Mary Poppins of Grand. (If that makes any sense) My only regret was that we did not stay there longer. Definitely a grand finale to happy endings on my mini euro trip. But really, there is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.
A recap of my idea of a beautiful, luxury and memorable last day at
The Grand Amsterdam
At first impression
This historic Amsterdam building dates back to 1578 and served as a convent and City Hall before becoming the Grand hotel, and then Sofitel Legend in 2010. When you are first pulled into the gates, you are immediately taken back to 15th Century. This little tower is the oldest part of The Grand and dates back to 1411. It was perfect from the outside, historic dutch stones, building surrounded with the garden and luxury cars just parked outside. My only wish was that I would not be disappointed as I walked through the revolving door.
There was no way I could have pictures this Grand entrance to have been thrown back to 1578 and the marble floor in the lobby is from the time the building was Admiralty headquarters and represented wealth in these times with the classic arched lobby ceiling. The suites have the aura of a bit of metropolitan history dating back to the 17th century. Starting from 1411, The monumental building served as the head of the Amsterdam monastery quarter (including the St. Cecilia and the Catharina monastery). After a period of relative calm, the imposing building along the Oudezijds Voorburgwal received new residents in 1808. The City Council was once again moved to Princenhof, so that the Dutch King Louis Napoleon could convert the former Town Hall on the Dam into a Royal Palace. Even after the city regained its independence and saw the return of the House of Orange, the Town Hall on the Dam continued to be used as the Royal Palace, with the Princenhof remaining as the Town Hall of Amsterdam for the next 180 years. Winston Churchill visited the city hall on May 11th 1946. The building’s most memorable historic moment was the marriage ceremony between Princess Beatrix, and Claus von Amsberg, performed by city mayor Gijs van Hall in the Council Chamber on 12 March 1966.
All 177 guestrooms are individually decorated, using natural tone beige, lilac and cream and materials like mahogany, marble and steel, some with traditionally Dutch Classical-style brick walls. Nine students from the design academy Eidenhoven designed the interior alongside with renowned French architect Sybille. the 52 suites are GRAND, luxurious and are regularly frequented by heads of state, spiritual leaders, celebrities, artists and ambassadors from all around the world. If you are a history lover, then you will feel privileged to stay at these unique locations, steeped in history and infused with memories of a distant past. The ‘salle de bain’ was the grand finale with Hermes amenities. Or was it the bookcase in the living room making it a home like feeling? Scratch that, it was the view and the grand room space! We stayed in a one bedroom suite facing the canal, Maria Stuart Suite. It was our own comfortable home in Amsterdam.
Having a reputation to be one the best restaurant in the Netherlands, Bridges isn’t shy from showing its true flavors. Bridges raw bar is the first of its kind in the Netherlands to have its first ‘raw bar’. Oysters, lobster sandwiches, delicate fish tartar and ocean-fresh fish, everything prepared while you watch. The Hotel also has Le petit Bistro which faces the garden. The internationally oriented menu has modern varieties of bistro classics, such as côte de bœuf and crème brûlée. Breakfast was served at Bridges. A soft selection of pastries, juices and delicious fruits.
Whether or not you are trying to get lost in a city like Amsterdam, you will find exactly what you are looking for on every block. The Royal Palace at Dam Square, Dam Square, China Market, the Nine streets, De Keukenhof and The Vondelpark. Right in the center but really tucked inside by a canal. 15 minutes by foot (I was walking slow with a broken foot) and 7 minutes by car from central station. A perfect ending to my happily ever mini euro trip.
What I loved the most
I think what I loved the most is the open space of the hotel. Definitely the GRAND entrance made me fall in love with the idea of history being maybe still alive. The Beautiful spacious suite. I immediately regretted not staying longer from the moment I walked in. The bookcase, the room, (the high tech heated toilet seat, I had to add that) made everything really wish that everyday was like this one. I was so lucky with the weather. Slept with the windows open, (tiny bit) and I suddenly began to imagine my life here a million years ago. It’s like i re-lived a moment in history that I don’t remember even being part of, but sometimes, great places make you feel this way. We had a fabulous Butler. Mr. Carlos. Who took care of everything for us. I cannot wait to return.
More info on the hotel
6 RESTAURANTS & BARS
19 MEETING ROOMS
Free Wifi included in every room
Luxury Travelers – Luxury Honeymooners – Solo Traveler – Families – First Timers
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND RESERVATIONS
+31 (0)20 555 31 11 – [email protected] Room rates starting from € 300,-