luxury hotels amsterdam pulitzer

The best luxury hotels in Amsterdam

20 May 2024 | Updated on: 23 May 2024 |By Annie Lewis

From palatial penthouses to regal residences, Amsterdam’s architecture comes to life at its array of five-star hotels

Just over an hour away from London via air, Amsterdam is undeniably a popular choice for tourists. Boasting art, architecture, culture and history – the Dutch capital is home to the famous Anne Frank Museum and the Rembrandt gallery – there are more than enough attractions to fill a weekend or more. Hop on a bike to explore the city’s quaint cobbled streets, cruise the UNESCO-listed canals, sample authentic Dutch fare and discover the intricate web of waterways, alongside the world-class attractions of the Van Gogh Museum and Rijskmuseum.

The five-star hotels dotted around the city, many lining the waterways themselves, also possess their own storied histories with former lives as canalside mansions, party pads and almshouses. Suitably unique and decadent for the lavish traveller, here are the best luxury hotels in Amsterdam to book now, whether you’re holidaying for 48 hours or are looking forward to a longer stint. 

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, Herengracht

Lining the Dutch city’s grandest canal, Herengracht, the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam is one of the city’s most opulent stays. Having opened in 2014 to critical acclaim, the five-star property comprises six canal palaces, each with its own fascinating tale dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The design is thoughtful, with much of the buildings’ original period features having been preserved and maintained to reveal pale-blue tones, original architraves, fine marble and wood floors throughout. Canalside suites are our top choice, where you can watch cruises from your king-sized bed, and take a moment to relax in the spacious marble bath (fitted with its own TV).

Head to Peacock Alley – a nod to the Waldorf Astoria’s New York flagship – for a casual lunch or sophisticated afternoon tea. Foodies can also delight in the two Michelin-star restaurant Spectrum, led by executive chef Sidney Schutte, serving a picture-perfect seven-course tasting menu or head down to The Vault bar for a tipple or two before hitting the town. But, if you’re looking for a relaxing break rather than a pub crawl, follow your nose to the Guerlain spa fitted with three treatment rooms and an indoor heated pool. Spend a morning here and you’ll be so relaxed that you could forget there’s a world outside the Waldorf Astoria’s four walls to explore…

Jan Luyken, Museumkwartier

Jan Luyken is a 62-bedroom boutique hotel in the heart of Amsterdam that invites its guests to enjoy the townhouse as if it were their own. Located where the Museum Quarter meets the city’s most elegant shopping street (The PC), this is an ideal base for culture vultures to explore the capital with the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum, and Concertgebouw – widely recognised as one of the world’s finest concert halls – all within walking distance. 

Originally built as three residential houses in 1899 by architect P. van der Vliet, the heart of the townhouse is the library which overlooks a private garden where guests can relax al fresco. The communal kitchen offers a relaxed, open-plan space that’s used throughout the day, while the gym is kitted out with handcrafted wooden gym equipment from NOHrD – however if you’d rather exercise while seeing the sights, take advantage of the complimentary bicycles. A day of exploring calls for a comfy bed, with rooms adorning textured, natural fabrics in vibrant warm tones and sink-in beds with soft linens, and soft furnishings made in Amsterdam from Elle La and Bonnie Barlag. Sweet dreams. 

Conservatorium, Museumkwartier

One of the Netherland’s leading hotels, the Conservatorium was built in 1897 as a bank and was designed by the architect Daniel Knuttel, who sparked a regeneration of Amsterdam’s Museum District before being converted into a music school, and now a hotel. Guests today will step inside to discover Italian architect Piero Lissoni use a contemporary and minimalist design across 129 rooms. The hotel’s lobby has soaring ceilings and a glass roof that invites natural light into the European-inspired Taiko restaurant that’s cleverly situated in what was the drum classroom of the former music school. 

Another foodie outlet Barbounia launched this year to celebrate the authentic cuisine from the South of France, Italy and Greece under the guise of celebrated chef Schilo van Coevorden. Elsewhere, Akasha features an underground pool and serene spa with seven treatment rooms, private Hammam and Amsterdam’s only Watsu pool for tailored hydro-treatments and guided meditation. 

Hotel Pulitzer, Jordaan 

Nestled among two of the city’s most famed canals, Hotel Pulitzer defines Dutch elegance and masterful architecture, occupying a grand building set within 25 restored 17th and 18th-century houses. Now home to 225 thoroughly modern rooms and suites which boast elegant art and eclectic furnishings, the five-star property aims to be a home-away-from-home and even offers canalside suites for those who wish to live life on the water’s edge. We can’t not mention the grand Pulitzer Suite, inspired by the romantic nature of its founder, which features an open-plan living area, super king-size bed, free-standing bathtub and views over the blooming garden below. 

Elsewhere inside Hotel Pulitzer, discover three fine-dining locations in the form of the al-fresco terrace, the Pulitzer Bar and Jansz. The latter serves exquisitely-presented dishes inspired by modern-Dutch cuisine and utilising locally sourced ingredients, which can be enjoyed in both the sheltered courtyard garden and canalside terrace. Step outside and you’ll find yourself in the Nine Streets area of the colourful Jordaan neighbourhood, where you’ll discover picturesque streets filled with boutique shops, charming cafes and some of the city’s finest restaurants. 

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, Grachtengordel

Reflecting the lively surroundings of Amsterdam’s historic centre, the interiors of the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht are the work of renowned local designer Marcel Wanders, who transformed this former public library into an eccentric five-star hotel. Rooms, for example, feature tastefully artistic reinterpretations of the city's Red Light district on the walls and floor-to-ceiling windows. For prime views over the canals, upgrade to the Prinsengracht Suite, featuring the city’s largest hotel terrace where you can enjoy private dining and quiet relaxation. 

The Barstro Prins and Aap Restaurant fuses Spanish cuisine with modern international dishes using only the most seasonal local produce alongside seafood small plates, such as Dutch oysters, herring brioche and grey shrimp salad. Also be sure to stop by the adjoining bar to sample the selection of handcrafted cocktails

W Amsterdam, De Wallen 

The W outpost in the Dutch capital makes use of two unique buildings: a former telephone exchange and a bank. Given its history and location (adjacent to Dam Square and the Royal Palace), expect a bold mix of Dutch architectural elements and cutting-edge design in all 238 bedrooms and 28 suites. This hotel boasts large-scale luxury and is far from a boutique bolthole given its size, but we like how its quirky set-up requires guests to choose a side (the bank or the exchange) to suit their vibe, with vibrant city views on offer at the former Royal Dutch Post's communication centre or quieter high-end luxury at the old KAS Bank across the street. 

Whichever side guests choose, they’re granted full access to W Amsterdam’s amenities, including the leafy rooftop pool and terrace, fine-dining restaurant Mr Porter and elegant tearoom, The Duchess, emulating the glamour of the Roaring Twenties. Visit the ground floor to discover the Away Spa, where you can find your balance before pushing yourself at FIT: an energy-charged fitness space in the bank building.

Hotel De L’Europe, De Wallen

Opened in 1896 as an independent boutique hotel offering the best luxury lifestyle has to offer, Hotel De L’Europe has continued to stand tall over the Amstel River and still prides itself on being a guardian of the city’s culture and craftsmanship. The 97 rooms are spacious and comfortable, and offer views of Amsterdam’s historical city centre or the interior courtyard. Those looking to splash the cash should opt for the Prestige Suite: the perfect urban retreat with a large separate sitting room and comfortable bedroom where you can enjoy unsurpassed views of the Amstel River.

Foodies can pick from three European restaurants: fine-dining Flore, French-inspired Marie and a more laid-back Italian trattoria named Graziella, serving indulgent classic Italian dishes. Once the sun goes down, head to Hotel De L’Europe’s Freddy’s Bar where cocktails inspired by Amsterdam’s inner canals and an in-house jazz pianist attract a crowd of locals and guests alike. 

InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam, Oosterparkbuurt

This regal property takes its name from Amsterdam’s Amstel River and has occupied a prime position on the banks since 1867. The Rijksmuseum and Hermitage Amsterdam are both within easy walking distance of the palatial residence, which embodies elegance with its grand colonnaded entrance, 19th-century staircases, chandeliers and marble floors. There are plenty of splendid public spaces to choose from, however, the riverside dining offered here has become the jewel in the InterContinental’s crown. The Amstel Afternoon Tea is a must-try, serving just the right balance of sweet and savoury culinary delights with Dutch twists. 

Soak in your surroundings via the hotel’s excursion programmes, which include a Jewish Amsterdam tour, private cruises, and bike trips as well as visits to the Anne Frank House and Negen Straatjes (Nine Little Streets). At InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam, a true taste of the Dutch capital is guaranteed. 

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