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Review: Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
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The iconic Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam hotel is where heritage meets modernity. Located between two historical canals in the city’s heart, Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam boasts a rich history. From a 15th-century convent to royal lodgings to Dutch admiralty headquarters to the city hall of Amsterdam. The Grand offers five-star luxury in a unique ‘Amsterdam’ ambiance, furnished with French elegance and grandeur, a beautiful garden terrace, and delicious culinary creations in Bridges or the garden bistro: Oriole. Numerous bars, restaurants, and attractions lie just a short stroll from the hotel, including Dam Square, Madame Tussauds, de Bijenkorf, the Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, and Van Gogh Museum.

Wherever you decide to stay, book via our luxury travel concierge. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, and free perks at hotels, including Four Seasons, Aman, Belmond, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, InterContinental, and more. You also get your usual Marriott Bonvoy, Hyatt, Hilton, and other loyalty points and status benefits when you book with our concierge.

Location

Amsterdam is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the hotel is set right on the canal side, offering lovely, peaceful canal views. There is much to explore in the city, but it’s small enough that most can be done on foot, although you must use the trams, which are an attraction in their own right. To get your shopping fix, wander around the corner to ‘Negen Straatjes,’ a trendy shopping district with a great selection of boutique shops. It’s easy to get to the hotel; it’s just a 45-minute shuttle or taxi ride from Schiphol Airport.

Style & Character

The hotel’s interior blends French elegance and Dutch stylistic elements. The tulip and butterfly are recurring themes, and an abundance of magical natural light filters through this city palace. The French interior architect Sybille de Margerie, famous for her work at the legendary Hôtel de Crillon in Paris and Hôtel Cheval Blanc in Courchevel, drew much of her stylish design inspiration from the lively colors of the famous mural by COBRA artist Karel Appel, which is situated at the entrance of the restaurant area.

The hotel also showcases beautiful stained glass windows, marble staircases with rosewood handrails, and monumental meeting rooms and banqueting halls representing different architectural styles, particularly the 1920s and 1930s. There is also a gorgeous authentic dutch courtyard, a stunning inner garden and a library.

Rooms

All 178 guestrooms are individually decorated, using natural tones like beige, lilac, and cream and materials like mahogany, marble, and steel, some with typical Dutch classical-style brick walls. The well-known French architect Sybille de Margerie designed the interior who collaborated on the design of the rooms with nine students from the renowned Design Academy Eindhoven. Works by the Dutch ‘Droog Design Group’ have also been incorporated into the interior design with functional furniture, presented as a ‘piece of art’.

The Grand has 52 luxury suites with exclusive Butler service, ranging from Junior Suites, Prestige Suites, and Opera Suites to the highly exclusive Imperial Suites and Royal Suite. For the design of the Imperial Suites, Sybille de Margerie drew inspiration from the legendary people who stayed at The Grand, resulting in the William of Orange Suite and the Maria de Medici Suite. The result is a harmonious blend of traditional and contemporary design features, including typical Dutch style elements. Needless to say, the suites are also fully equipped with the latest technology and features. The suites are regularly visited by heads of state, celebrities, artists, and ambassadors worldwide. The most prestigious suite of The Grand is the Royal Suite. This suite is located on the third floor of a canal house and overlooks the hotel’s authentic courtyard.

Service & Facilities

The Sofitel SPA is a real escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Therapies and treatments from around the world meet the refinement and skills of the latest trends in French cosmetology to create an exhilarating, uplifting, and rejuvenating spa experience. Designed over two floors, Sofitel SPA offers various services, including two treatment rooms, a hammam, a sauna, a heated indoor swimming pool, and a relaxation room. A wide range of relaxing treatments makes daily life stress and strains fade away, with products chosen to enhance the natural glow. Only the best quality products from Cinq Mondes are used in Sofitel SPA. For the ultimate feeling of revitalization, the inner body needs to be treated as well – so, why not enjoy a healthy lunch at the fine dining restaurant Bridges (Thursdays & Fridays only) or Oriole Garden Bistro? We recommend the delicious, vitamin-filled fresh juices!

The Sofitel FITNESS area is directly accessible from the Sofitel SPA and gives guests access to the heated swimming pool and gym. The Grand has special Technogym bicycles and advanced cardiovascular Technogym equipment, as well as Technogym treadmills, cross trainers, step machines, and the exclusive Kinesis Training System. Each training system is equipped with its own LCD interactive TV, allowing guests to watch their favorite TV program or news channel during their workout.

Food & Drink

The legendary location, which once served as the former city hall’s canteen, is now where gourmands can savor the delights of restaurant Bridges, Oriole Garden Bistro, the Garden Terrace, Library ‘Or,’ or why not take a whiskey flight at The Flying Deer pop-up bar with its inspiring art from Tadej and special Glenfiddich whiskies!

Restaurant Bridges offers exceptional gastronomic quality in an accessible atmosphere to enjoy exquisite food, inviting service, and conviviality. Discover the flavors of Bridges with a five, six, or seven-course Menu du Chef, or create your own menu with the à la carte options. Executive Chef Raoul Meuwese describes his dishes as “classic and traditional French, with international influences and a local touch”. He prefers to work with fish and local products which are sustainability grown or caught and based on these products he creates dishes according to the season. Amsterdam is the place where cultures meet, and the international influences that characterize the city, are reflected in the dishes served at Bridges.

Oriole Garden Bistro breathes the feeling of a Mediterranean garden, with its lush greenery that brings the beautiful outside garden indoors. The bright golden Oriole bird invites everyone to feel free and enjoy the very best of the Mediterranean. Discover the pure flavors of the seasonal menu, prepared by passionate Chefs and served with a smile. Oriole is the perfect place to enjoy a light lunch, cozy dinner with family and friends or the Mediterranean tradition Aperitivo. Made with fresh ingredients grown on the hotel’s own rooftop garden, the talented Sofitel bartenders are ready to shake!

The Garden Terrace can be found in the beautiful inner garden of The Grand. It is one of Amsterdam’s best-kept secrets; an oasis of peace and tranquility in the city’s heart. The location is perfect for a relaxing drink, coffee, business lunch or intimate dinner. The terrace is surrounded by historical walls and has a view from the balcony of the Marriage Chamber. The garden has retained many of its authentic Amsterdam School style features from when The Grand served as the city hall of Amsterdam.

Inspired by the world’s most awarded Glenfiddich single malt Scotch whisky, artist Tadej Oblak has used The Flying Deer bar at the five-star hotel Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam as a blank canvas, where each stroke of the brush reveals another story. This neo-pop art interpretation based on the characteristics of both Glenfiddich and The Grand, plays between classic and modern. Take a seat at the bar or at one of the cozy tables and be amazed by the inspiring art and delicious whiskies. Specially for The Flying Deer, Executive Chef Raoul Meuwese has paired each Glenfiddich whisky with one of his signature dishes.

The Library ‘Or’ is situated in the beautiful lobby, directly at the hotel’s entrance. Sybille de Margerie drew inspiration from the colors of typical Dutch elements, such as the dark grey street stones known as ‘klinkers’ and the rich colors of the Amsterdam flower market. The Library ‘Or’ has a great collection of books about local culture, architecture, and French ‘savoir-faire.’

Conclusion

Amsterdam is an underrated city. Historic buildings gaze out over canal after canal. The charismatic Dutch on their bicycles whizz along the cobblestone streets and over ancient bridges. This Sofitel is ideally situated in the heart of this great city and offers bags of character embracing the Dutch way of life and is one of our favorite luxury hotels in Amsterdam.

Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.

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