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Soak Up Dutch History at Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

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  Site Where: Herengracht 542-556, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1017 CG
June 26, 2014 at 8:21 AM | by | ()

Having walked by and peered through the windows at Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam on a number of occasions, we finally had a chance to look inside the six 17th and 18th century canal houses on the city’s Herengracht that were converted into the hotel.

That included these beautiful sculptures, part of a rather pretty staircase with skylight inside the "Marot" house at number 548, now the main entrance of the hotel. The six houses were cobbled together to offer 93 rooms and suites and a host of other facilities, including an unusually large and private garden, all opened just shy of two months ago.

You’ll find the staircase to your left just after the entrance and reception; continuing on takes you into the gleaming white and light-veined marble lobby, which features some impressive artwork (perhaps not a surprise for a hotel close to the grand – and newly restored – Rijksmuseum).

The Waldorf-staple Peacock Alley overlooks the private garden, furnished in a very classy mix of blue, cream, white, dark wood, and a lush Vermeer blue on the walls. Downstairs is additional seating with direct access to the outdoor terrace, where you will also find the entrance to restaurant Librije’s Zusje, overseen by a local 3-Michelin star chef. We had a delicious 3-course lunch, accompanied by a never-ending stream of amuse-bouches, but with a round of drinks it set us back over €350 ($480) for three people, so keep that in mind.

The garden is blissfully quiet, with the terrace currently only offering seating and no service, something we’d hope will change in the future. On the same floor is a Guerlain spa with fitness center and small pool, as well as Vault Bar, with an actual vault including safety deposit boxes as a sign of the building being a posh private bank in a previous life.

We saw both a Deluxe Room overlooking the canal and the Van Loon Suite (above), with the latter having both canal and garden aspect. Lower floor rooms have the benefit of truly lofty ceilings, while higher floor rooms in the eaves are cozier, with beautiful traditional beamed ceilings.

The Van Loon Suite spreads over nearly 1,100 square feet, with a large bedroom with King bed. It had an unusual twisting staircase from the bedroom (visible in the corner below) to the bathroom, and even more unusually, direct access to the spa through a second door. Bathrooms feature Ferragamo toiletries and most come with separate showers and bathtubs.

While we liked the design, be warned that there is no soundproofing between bathroom and bedroom, and unless you close the doors to the living room, anywhere in the suite for that matter. Perhaps a leaf out of the book of Andaz is in order.

The Deluxe Room was spacious, with slightly lighter colors (as do the rest of the rooms), and a particularly big bathroom. Each room is different, so it’s worth having a look through the room categories on the website and consult with the hotel to make sure you find the layout and view you want. Rates at Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam start at €425 ($580) a night for a Queen Deluxe Room with canal views and complimentary WiFi. The Van Loon Suite runs at a substantially higher €2,715 ($3,700) a night on a weekend in July.

[Photos: JasonD for HotelChatter]

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