Arriving late in Amsterdam, I headed for my room in the Sofitel Legend, a haven of luxury and tranquility. It overlooked a canal and, as if on cue, two swans - with eyes only for each other - drifted past my window. I was sad that I didn't have someone with me to share the moment. But I settled for a chilled glass of white wine instead and the alluring music on offer on the sound system.
Next morning, I enjoyed a delicious breakfast in the restaurant downstairs. Great selection of hot and cold dishes, including pancakes made in heaven (and champagne if you had the courage to consume it at such an early hour). If you miss breakfast, there's a congenial library area nearby, where you can order coffee and cakes and check your e-mails. If you're feeling cold, you can take an armchair beside the fire and spend some time catching up on the latest newspapers in Dutch, English and German.
The hotel offers a twenty minute guided tour of its environs. The place is steeped in history, having hosted William of Orange and Maria de Medici as guests (though not together) in earlier eras. For centuries, one of the hotel buildings functioned as the Office of the Admiralty and it was intriguing to see the room in which many of its meetings with the Dutch East India Company were conducted. There's also an ornately constructed marriage chamber - decorated with engaging etchings and engravings - which has served as the location for many civil wedding ceremonies in Amsterdam.
One of the joys of Amsterdam is that you can walk to most locations in the centre of the city. The Rijksmuseum has just re-opened after a decade. Though the Van Gogh museum is currently closed, much of the collection has been temporarily moved to the Hermitage. Of all the historical sites I experienced in my brief sojourn in Amsterdam, however, my trip to the Rembrandt House was by far the most moving. I saw the kitchen in which the great artist had animated battles with his more elderly wife. More importantly, however, I stood reverently in the upstairs room in which he had painted many of his greatest masterpieces centuries earlier.
Finally, I should state that the room rate for my stay in the Sofitel Legend was quite reasonable. I used one of the price comparison websites and ultimately paid Euro 600 for three nights in a canal-side room inclusive of scrumptious breakfast.
- 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