The newly opened Waldorf Astoria in Amsterdam became the home for TLE for two days in June when we were invited to stay and experience this brand new addition to Amsterdam’s luxury hotel scene.
The hotel officially opened its doors in May and was developed by the team that designed the Corinthia London. Located in six former townhouses, one of which formerly belonged to the Mayor of Amsterdam, the hotel is a celebration of Rococo styling blended with modern finishes that work so well together it as if the hotel had always been there.
Located in the Herengract, one of Amsterdam’s most exclusive areas which is also a UNESCO heritage area dating back to the 1600’s it is in ‘the’ location to be within the city. The area is full of canals and peppered with antique shops, cafes, bars and galleries and just a stone’s throw from the main shopping areas of the city.
What To Expect
First impressions count and the Waldorf Astoria has this down to a fine art. As you ascend the sweeping double staircase that raises you up into the hotel lobby. You are greeted by the doorman, complete with bowler hat and enter the foyer floored in white veined marble with white pillars rising up to high ceilings finished in original decorative plasterwork.
Now the hotel has this clever way of feeling intimate, but at the same time still has 93 rooms to its name. Maybe it is down to the entrance or the soft furnishing and pastel colours of the public areas that are so homely.
You start your hotel experience in the reception room to the right of the entrance, your bags are checked away and you are then taken up to your room.
The hotel has 93 bedrooms, made up of suites, superior, deluxe and lofts. I stayed in a queen deluxe room facing out into the garden area.
I must admit I was completely in love with my room, it was extremely spacious at 345sqft and I from the moment I entered I knew I wouldn’t want to leave! Finished in cream and warm brown it was homely and tasteful, there was nothing clinical about this hotel room as so many hotels rooms can be.
The bathroom was the deal-breaker or rather deal maker for me; the size of many bedrooms in Amsterdam, it had a central bath finished in marble, which was double-ended so perfect for couples. On one end of the bath, there was a TV and the bath had an internal hand shower you could pull out for rinsing your hair. The bathroom had a separate walk-in shower so not part of the bath, there was a double sink finished in marble with wrap-around lighting around the main mirror and an additional shaving mirror which is extremely useful. Toiletries were by Salvatore Ferraganno
The bedroom area has a large double sized closet which was perfect for two people to store their clothes. There was a lovely little area beside the bed with a sofa, table and chair and the bed was just perfect, firm, which I like but so so cosy. Something really useful was the iPhone 5 charger beside your bed and the room also included UK plug points – a nice little touch that makes all the difference so no fumbling around for UK adaptors.
I loved the room welcome pack which included a letter from the manager, some delicious queen olives and a vial of Chateaux de Saint Martin red wine.
The room included complimentary wifi, an entertainment system (which I didn’t use, but it was playing classical music when I arrived) and a Nespresso machine.
The window was full length along the bedroom with a spectacular view out into the gardens and the curtains were automatic so you just needed to press a button to raise and lower them.
The Rest of the Hotel
The lobby leads you into the lounge area called Peacock Alley complete with a nautical clock in the middle of the room. This is a nod to the legacy of the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan as Peacock Alley was the lane that split the original Waldorf and Astoria hotels in two. This area is a relaxing space perfect for afternoon tea.
The lobby is a level up off ground level like many houses in Amsterdam so once you go down into the basement you are level with the back gardens. The basement is home to the spa, bar and restaurant.
The Vault bar was once a safe room when the building was a bank and the back of the bar still contains the original safety deposit boxes. Its small seating 40 covers but cosy and they do a great selection of wine and cocktails.
The 40 seater restaurant called Librije’s Zusje, is an expansion of the 3 Mitchelin star De Librijes restaurant in Zwolle. The kitchen is managed by Chef Sidney Schutte who came from The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong. The restaurant offers a range of signature dishes from the Zwolle restaurant as well as new dishes with influences from Schuttes time working in Asia.
The spa is managed by Guerlain, has three treatment rooms, a 10-meter swimming pool, steam room sauna (but no whirlpool). It is beautifully finished and the large rain shower in the swimming area is lovely to use. The changing rooms are quite small, however, I was the only person using the spa area at that time so it wasn’t really an issue.
Eating and Drinking
Breakfast is served in the restaurant, it was good, but given my British lust for cooked breakfast, it could have done with some more hot items. Nonetheless, it was delicious with a good selection of fresh bread, cheeses, fruit, yoghurt and cereals.
Whilst we didn’t eat in the main restaurant area in the evening we did eat a special meal prepared by the kitchen one evening which was incredible, to say the least, and showcased the talent of the kitchen.
What Made it Special
The hotel is something very special, the restoration of the building is to museum standards, but it has all the mod cons you would expect of any 5-star luxury property. The garden is beautiful and a bonus in Amsterdam’s limited space. The rooms are luxurious, the communal areas divine and the staff are exceptionally helpful without being too familiar.
Would I Recommend it?
I would certainly recommend this hotel, it is quite heavy on the wallet at £363 for a standard room excluding breakfast (breakfast £26.50), but it is worth the money. One thing I would say is that it is not really suitable for people with mobility issues, the original stairs leading into the hotel could be a challenge and it is not really aimed at the family market either, couples would find it perfect though.
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam – Herengracht 542-556 Amsterdam.