I’ve been many times in Amsterdam these last 35 years (oh my god, getting really old).
I always wanted to check the Pulitzer hotel but was a bit concerned by their strict nonsmoking policy.
And, of course, I couldn’t really afford a 5 stars back then.
This time, I decided to give it a go.
Here is a review of my two consecutive stays while attending conferences.
Dates of stays:
From September 17 to 19, 2011
From October 12 to 14, 2011
If you like Amsterdam, the canals and old houses, you will love this place.
The hotel consists in a group of old houses between two canals.
When walking in or out of the hotel, you can’t miss the fact that you are staying in a beautiful old place.
I noticed a lot of the business hotels in town are really ugly from the outside.
This one is authentic to say the least, as some houses were built in 1700!
In terms of promenade you will enjoy one along the nicest canals.
Restaurants, bars, trendy boutiques, there are plenty of them on Prinsengracht itself, where the hotel entrance is located. They are great.
Around the corner you will find all other type of shops and facilities like ATM, grocery, less trendy restaurants and cafés…
The hotel is at walking distance from The Dam and Leidseplein. Say 15 minutes for each. I always appreciate to be in a quite area and have to walk a bit more for the main attractions.
Anyway, although Amsterdam seems to be a big city, nothing is really far away.
I was very nicely welcomed by the doorman, a true professional.
The entry is very nice looking too.
One of my friends qualified the hotel as « stuffy ». I personally would say it is truly tasteful and gives a true luxury feeling. Sure, you can’t miss it’s a 5 stars, but hey, that is why we book 5 stars isn’t it? In my opinion, it’s not looking like a « new money people’s place ». It’s a luxury look but discreet.
It’s nicely decorated, cozy and even when there are a lot of people in the lobby, it’s peaceful.
There is a nice Espresso bar in the lobby by the way, tables and chairs where you can enjoy a break.
FIRST STAY DETAILS.
As a Starwood Gold Member, for the first stay, I was upgraded to a Deluxe room upon booking. I cannot comment that room as I asked for a room with a terrace or balcony to be able to smoke.
The lady was very friendly, changed my room and let me know that the room she had free on the ground floor, the only ones with a terrace, is really the entry level of the hotel. No matter, I choose to go for it.
They were preparing the room, so I had 10 minutes wait she said; I used that time to go and buy some grocery. Not a big deal.
When I entered the room, I was surprised by the size of it. It is closer to a highway Novotel or Ibis size than to a Starwood category 5 size. The room is truly very small, but, with an access to the courtyard and a terrace with 2 chairs and a table.
As I was alone, it was ok to live with that, but, of course, I would have asked for another room if we were two.
The room features a queen bed, a small desk and chair, a larger chair to rest and a small table aside of it. There is a small closet, a minibar and a flat screen TV. The room doesn’t lack anything…just a bit more space.
The Air Conditioning/Heating in the room:
Does what it is supposed to be.
Amenities: not in sufficient quantity!
(I do not even change this text anymore for my various reviews on TripAdvisor!).
I had to call to get some more on the first morning.
And guess what: when coming back in the evening, they added one shower gel but no shampoo. They simply closed the almost empty bottle and left it there.
Having said that, the products are very nice and the black soap is very original.
The space in the bathroom is not large enough. Even for one person, it’s truly a pain to use it. There is a bath, very narrow, with two showers in it: one “rain type” wall mounted and one powerful “hand shower”. Even having a shower is not comfortable in here as the narrow bath, once the curtain is closed, makes the curtain touching you all the time.
There are no ways to hang your wet towels either by the way.
The bed and pillows are great, as expected in a Starwood.
As a conclusion on the room of my first stay I would say: make sure you don’t get this one unless you can accommodate very small places. Next time I will refrain from smoking and opt for a much nicer room.
SECOND STAY DETAILS.
Prior to my arrival for this second stay I emailed the hotel to ask for a better room, possibly with an access to the outside.
I received a very prompt and nice reply from the front desk manager, Mr. Goedhart.
He told me he already allocated a much bigger room to me which will also have opening doors on the courtyard.
On top of that, as I became Platinum in the meantime, internet access and breakfast are included in the price.
I was welcomed by an army of friendly people, doormen and receptionist.
I was offered a welcome gift that I could choose. The room wasn’t ready but would be in 10 minutes, which is fine of course as I arrived early.
I was allocated room number 171 opening on the courtyard indeed.
It was a very big room and featured a very nice terrace with a table and two chairs.
A large sitting area, a king size bed, a larger working desk, everything you would expect from an executive room.
Once again, as the houses are very old ones, the room is also special in terms of architecture. There are stairs when entering the room to go down to it.
Really, a nice place to stay in.
This bathroom is larger than the one of the previous room.
But, no surprise, there are not enough shower gel and shampoo and nothing else in terms of amenities like cotton buds in example.
It was a bit disappointing for an executive room and a platinum member.
The bath which has a hand shower in it, isn’t larger than in the previous bathroom though.
DETAILS COMMON TO BOTH STAYS.
Breakfast is served until 11AM, even on week-days which is very nice. It’s served in the hotel restaurant, 238, facing the other canal, Keizersgracht.
Buffet is very complete, many choices of international stuff and local as well. Coffee is a little too light, so enjoy the Nespresso machine. Although, when I was there, only one was working and you had to cue sometimes.
The interior of the restaurant is beautiful, with huge paintings on the wall, wooden floors, giving a very nice atmosphere to the breakfast. I didn’t test it as a restaurant but I suppose it is even more cozy.
I ordered ice several times and it was delivered very fast. I also asked the room service to bring the small bottle of red wine that was supposed to be in the minibar. The guy was very helpful, brought one in no time but showed me where to find it…I didn’t notice it was not in the minibar itself. Big laugh, as I moved everything in the minibar to find it and that probably everything would be on the bill as it is an automated one!
I also choose to eat something in room on several occasions.
Food was ok and service perfect.
I was offered a late 4PM one. I didn’t actually need it and checked out at noon. I was taken care of right away on my first stay and it took some more time on the second stay but nothing dramatic.
I explained the minibar situation on the first stay and the lady cancelled all the drinks!
When the bill was printed, after checking it, I noticed that everything was correct. One small issue though. I’m more than often offered the internet fees since I’m a Gold member. This time they charged 35€ for two days and told me that my status did not give me that privilege. But, for the second stay…I was Platinum, so no charge for internet nor breakfast.
Sorry, I had no time to check this.
The Restaurants and bars:
Sorry, I had no time to check this.
It’s not a huge one, but you will find what you need in case you carry no laptop with you.
I really liked:
- The room design (even the small #140 one) as well as the hotel design and atmosphere.
- The staff professionalism at all time. A doorman even remembered my name from the first stay. Wow!
- The courtyard, check the pictures. If the weather is fine, it’s a great place to be.
- The proximity of the attractions and yet the tranquility of the area.
I really disliked:
-The size of the room on my first stay.
-The lack of amenities in the bathrooms.
-The absence of toilet brush.
The Pulitzer Amsterdam is typically the hotel I would book over and over.
There are much more positive points than negative ones.
Having said that, Amsterdam offers so many accommodation possibilities that I probably check the Sofitel next time.
Thanks for reading one more bad English review!
All the best,
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