Amsterdam's scenic, tree-lined canals and 17th century architecture lend themselves to a sort of quiet, sophisticated luxury — and these nine choice properties don't disappoint. Choose from restored canal palaces, 15th-century convents, and even the hotel where John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their 1969 Bed-In protest.
It’s hard to overstate the elegance of the Waldorf-Astoria Amsterdam, a 93-room property made from six 17th-century palaces along the ritzy Herengracht Canal. Step just inside the lobby to see an original carved wooden staircase by French architect Daniel Morot, the only functional one of its kind in Amsterdam. Look down at your feet to admire the gleaming marble lobby floor — a serious sign of wealth when the original owners were building their estates. And peek inside the Maurer Room, just off the lobby bar, a private event space set up as it would have been for a Rococco-era dinner party. The integration of history continues to guest rooms, where décor tends toward lapis and ochre (a nod to Dutch artist Vermeer) and turndown service includes a spritz from one of four fragrances by Cire Trudon, the world’s oldest, still operating candle and perfume purveyor. If you can’t afford to bed down at the hotel, consider visiting one of the on-site restaurants or bars. Librije’s Zusje Amsterdam nabbed two Michelin stars just seven months after opening in 2014, a practically unheard-of accomplishment. Although it’s perpetually packed, Executive Chef Sidney Schutte also oversees the hotel’s more casual restaurant, Goldfinch Brasserie — book a table there if you can’t snag a seat at the Michelin darling.
The Sofitel Legend is located in the oldest part of the city and has a historic history to match. Its monumental buildings between two canals have served as a 15th-century convent, the headquarters of the Dutch Admiralty in the Golden Age, the Town Hall and even the site of the current Queen Beatrix's wedding reception in 1966. It's also the address of the Michelin starred seafood restaurant Bridges.
The traditionally furnished 79 rooms and suites of this waterside hotel epitomize grand European elegance. Guests enjoy a unique, idyllic location — a private square along the Amstel River that is at once central and quiet. The hotel's main restaurant, La Rive, is another one of the 14 Michelin-starred kitchens in Amsterdam.
Arguably Amsterdam's most unique luxury accommodations, Hotel Pulitzer's 230 guest rooms occupy 25 restored 17th- and 18th-century canal houses between the picturesque Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht canals.
Situated on busy Dam Square, the Krasnapolsky is indeed grand, with more than 450 rooms and 36 apartments. The hotel's décor is simpler and more understated than that of the ornate Amstel Intercontinental or Hotel de l'Europe. The spectacular Winter Garden is popular with guests and visitors for its breakfast in a lush setting.
This high-rise property in southern Amsterdam caters to business travelers and those seeking luxury in a quieter section of the city. Expect tastefully modern rooms and world-class dining, as the hotel boasts three of the city's Michelin-starred restaurants. Yamazato serves traditional Japanese fare, while Sazanka does Japanese teppanyaki dishes; Ciel Bleu offers French-inspired cuisine on the 23rd floor.
The boxy building from the '60s was home to the famous "bed-in" of John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1969. You can even rent the room for just €1,400 a night. Located on a quiet canal in Amsterdam's Old South neighborhood, the hotel is walking distance to favorite shopping and dining spots of local residents.
Just a stone's throw from the Amsterdam Hilton, this property is equally as nondescript on the exterior. But excellent service and elegantly modern rooms keep the small hotel in residential Old South Amsterdam on the five-star list.
Edited by Kristen de Joseph.