My wife and I stayed at Sofitel The Grand Amsterdam for five nights over new year 2012. It was part of an Avios package in conjunction with British Airways.
Expectations were high as in the hotel’s own description they refer to ‘five star luxury and service’ although I’m never quite sure what independent body verifies these claims and against what criteria.
I’ve replicated most of my comments as they were fed back to the man on Reception (Carlo I think) on checking out so they should come as no surprise. In fact having the opportunity to make the feedback and the manner in which it was received probably saved the hotel from getting a lower rating than I’ve given as the man was genuinely apologetic and noted our concerns.
Positives regarding the hotel are certainly location, the grandeur and history of the building and above all the attentive and friendly staff.
The areas that could and should be improved on are as follows and are primarily key business processes .
The breakfast served in the historic setting of the Grand Chamber featured again the very well drilled staff but the food itself was an obvious failed attempt at quantity over quality. There was a huge selection and that was the problem. Cold scrambled egg, overcooked almost blackened bacon and slices of cheese and ham that were visibly drying out and sometimes re-heated croissants etc. Our feedback was that they’re not the only large hotel group that think this kind of buffet breakfast is what customers want but at 35 Euros a head per day it was grossly overpriced for the standard of food that was served and wasn’t elevated by the offer of a glass of champagne with breakfast which is another gimmick that’s had it’s day. We’ve had better breakfast served in 'three star' hotels where the breakfast menu is much smaller but fresh and well cooked and presented. In fact we ate ‘A La Carte’ evening meals within half a Kilometre of the hotel for less than this price.
The next area for suggested improvement was regarding room service. The room itself was large and well appointed and relatively clean. The variety and quality of the Hermes products available in the bathroom were excellent as was the shower and bath which also had a T.V.On the Sunday during our stay we returned to our room at 3:30 after having been out for over five hours to find that it hadn’t been made. We asked the service manager to arrange for the room to be cleaned and were invited to wait in reception while this was carried out and have a cup of tea. That tea was served in a teapot with no lid and a badly chipped spout a situation unacceptable in even a two star hotel. The Mini-Bar in the room contained all the usual suspects at ridiculous prices and had two major brand products (Heineken & Coca Cola) that had just exceeded their shelf life, itself indicative of the low turnover of products in this apparent facility.
Our final concern was the pathetically slow speed of the ‘free’ WIFI. It was pointed out that for 17.50 Euros a day we could have had high speed internet. In a three star hotel in Africa three years ago we experienced free WIFI at 40MBS download speed, this hotel is in the middle of a major European city so the service on offer was nothing more than exploitative.
In Summary The Grand In Amsterdam is a good hotel in an outstanding location and with a great team of staff and I’m sure most people have pleasant stays here. I couldn’t help reflect how much better it would be without the restrictions and corporate greed of a company like Sofitel using the obvious benefits of the building as a facade to extract as much from the wallets of clients as they conceivably could imposing their own generic ‘Income Channels’ on a hotel that could be so much better if either independent or as part of a more consumer focussed chain.
I’m afraid that if you’re going to use the term ‘Five Star’ in your marketing then be prepared to take the flak when that's proved not to be the case!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- SOFITEL LEGEND THE GRAND AMSTERDAM.Furnished with French elegance and grandeur, the hotel welcomes a variety of visitors, from the trendy Amsterdam elite to royal brides or famous international movie stars. In each of the rooms, the restaurant, the hallways and the beautiful garden terrace, design and history captivate and seduce everyone into visiting. ROOMS & SUITES.Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam offers 177 spacious rooms, including 52 luxurious suites, amongst which 14 individually designed Suite Apartments: lodgings in 17th century canal houses. The rich history of the hotel is, as naturally, incorporated into the new architectural details in many ways. WELL BEING.Access to the relaxing SoSPA is complimentary for all hotel guests. It is the ideal place to unwind and pamper yourself. SoSPA houses an indoor heated swimming pool, a private Turkish steam bath, a Jacuzzi, a sauna, private treatment rooms and a SoFIT fitness area. INSPIRED MEETINGS.The 17 fully equipped banqueting and conference rooms, five of which are listed as historic monuments, provide the ultimate venue for meetings or conferences in Amsterdam. All rooms have natural daylight and are equipped with the latest technical facilities. BRIDGES RESTAURANT.The modern and trendy fish restaurant serves dishes with an emphasis on sea food and fish, mostly Dutch organic produce with a French twist. Bridges bar and lounge are the heart of restaurant, offering exclusive wines and vintage Champagnes. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sofitel The Grand Amsterdam Hotel Amsterdam
- Accor The Grand Amsterdam
- Sofitel Amsterdam
- Amsterdam Sofitel