I am lucky enough to have a friend who lives out in Amsterdam and the boy has never been so this June it seemed the perfect excuse to drop in on her for a few days and to sample the veritable delights of the 717 Hotel. I have had my eye on this gorgeous urban oasis for a while after hearing another friend raving about the afternoon tea which comes with the price of the room.
The hotel is situated in a prominent position on the Prinsengracht canal and was inhabited for many years by a prosperous sugar trader. The rear part of the house was built first and dates from the 17th century, but in 1810 the property was extended towards the Prinsengracht to demonstrate the owner’s wealth to his fellow citizens.
At that time, the rear of the house still served as a ‘sugar mill’. The neighbouring properties were also under the trader’s ownership and served as depositories for the raw and refined sugar.
During much of the 20th century the property fulfilled a social purpose, after which in 1996 it was completely restored and in 1997 it was officially opened as a hotel.
On our arrival we were greeted by the very friendly hotel manager Brita. As soon as the heavy front door opens you know you are in for a treat as your eyes are drawn to the delightful prints on the walls and stunning antiquities throughout.
After signing in Brita swiftly took us to our room. He had chosen for us the Franz List suite. As the name suggests this particular suite has a very musical theme! Situated on the ground floor of the house it is an attractive, 50 m2 suite with a comfortable sitting room at the front, and a quiet bedroom at the patio side of the house it also has a very roomy walk-in shower. After a very refreshing dip in the shower we sat down to our afternoon tea in the stunning sitting room. It is really cosy with windows just below street level so you can look up and out at the passers by. It was a particularly rainy Dutch day but that didn't bother us a jot as we sat down to watch Trois Coloeurs Bleu on the sleek Bang and Olfusen tv.
Our afternoon tea consisted of petite fours and delicious Williamson earl grey tea. Big thumbs up from the girl in this relationship. I admit I am a tea snob and being English, when one goes away one is usually greeted by limp, insipid tasteless tea. This is the crack cocaine of the the tea world.
After the film we retired to our bed for an afternoon nap. The bed is huge and just the right level of firmness. 717 use Egyptian cotton sheets and you can tell. After a blissful couple of hours sleep we met up with our friends for a stroll around the 'Nine Streets' to get in some vintage shopping. I went a little crazy and bought a pair of navy, vintage Biba, stacked heels in an ultra cool star print. Amsterdam has a mean collection of vintage shops!
Later in the evening we went back to the hotel and brought our guests in for a night cap. Often frowned upon in most European hotels but the dapper night porter didn't bat an eye lid. This is Amsterdam after all;)
In the morning we took breakfast in our suite. You can also have it in the delightful Stravinsky room or in the summer, outside in the shaded patio.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the 717 - a true 5 star boutique hotel.
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- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Exclusive private guest house in the heart of the city with Amsterdam's major attractions at walking distance. As our guest - either for business or pleasure - you will experience the unique combination of staying in a 19th-century building with all the contemporary amenities of today. Our main purpose hereby is to create a relaxed atmosphere and ‘A feeling of home away from home'. We look forward welcoming you! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel 7 1 Seven
- Hotel Seven One
- Seven One Amsterdam