View of the hotel's unfinished exterior
The front section of the hotel that faces the main entrance off Prinsengracht is a former library and, although of a 1970s vintage, it fits in with the 17th- and 18th-century canal houses surrounding it. The back part of the hotel, located on the Keizergracht side, is older and integrates into the culture and life of the community, containing artist studios for up-and-coming artists as well as one for Wanders.
The rooms come with three different views: canal view, garden view (the garden is also designed by Wanders), and Observatory view. The Observatory Andaz Queen rooms, which face the soaring lobby, are the smallest rooms at a still decent 240 sq ft. The Observatory Andaz King rooms range in size from 260 sq ft) to 330 sq ft), and make up the bulk of the rooms on offer.
The soaring ceiling of the Observatory before...
Every detail has been considered – from the Marcel Wanders-designed sinks hand-painted in Delft blue, to the plethora of books found around the hotel harkening back to the building's origin, to the locally-made Zenology Mandarin Green Tea toiletries. (The hotel is even working with Zenology to prepare a proprietary scent for their toiletries, so stay tuned!) As with all Andaz properties, you get all of the same good things: Free WiFi, local calls, and snacks and alcohol-free beverages from the minibar.
When you first walk into the hotel from Prinsengracht, you immediately have the sense that you are walking into your own personal retreat from the neighborhood’s hustle and bustle. Wanders gives you an authentic canal house experience as you walk through the hotel’s entrance hallway, where you get a peek into the library on one side and the lounge on the other. You enter a large open lobby space with a world map at your feet and the stars above. On one wall, you notice an Andaz-curated video art installation with 35 screens. The polarity between the old and the new is striking, as it all comes together as an interesting whole.
Past the counterless reception area (you can choose to check-in at one of the tables in the lobby, in the lounge or in the elevator -- wherever you like, really) is the Blue Spoon Restaurant with its open show kitchen, serving Western European seaboard cuisine with a touch of French for inspiration. The mosaic tile wall at the back of the kitchen is stunning.
The restaurant in August...
And the restaurant mid-October.
Past the restaurant is the garden. The garden is designed to feel like an untouched estate garden. And yes, that is as romantic as it sounds, but the Andaz Amsterdam makes sure that things that delight are always in sight, as evidenced by the huge wall mural on one side of the garden.
The Andaz Amsterdam is located in the UNESCO heritage Nine Streets area (known for its great shopping), and is right across the canal from the hip Jordaan area. The hotel opens mid-October, but you can't arrange your Andazmic stay until November 23 or later. Rates at the hotel just after opening weekend are 300 EUR ($387) for an Andaz Queen or King.
[Renderings: Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht/Photos: Janice Tober/HotelChatter]