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The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Captures the City's New Golden Age

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A hotel captures the city’s reclaimed luster.

With the Rijksmuseum’s 2013 reopening and the Canal Ring’s recent designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Amsterdam—long patronized as a hosteler’s party town—is regaining its cultural swagger. The luxury hotel scene, too, is raising its game, and the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam may be the boldest entry yet. Occupying six landmark 17th- and 18th-century buildings, the hotel channels all the richness of a Dutch still life, from the marble-clad entrance hall to the 93 guest rooms accented with lapis lazuli tones, echoing the blue water of the Herengracht canal outside. Amsterdam’s freshest style-makers contributed playful references to Holland’s cultivated past: local designer Jan Taminiau’s staff uniforms, printed with a 17th-century map from the Rijksmuseum; photographer Mariska Karto’s neo-Baroque pictures of half-lit women that punctuate the Peacock Alley lounge. There’s also a Guerlain Spa, an indoor pool, and a bar in an old bank vault. The best homegrown touch, though, may be the private garden, blooming each spring with 5,000 tulips. They could turn up elsewhere: at the restaurant, chef Sidney Schutte plans to stay focused on haute lowlands dishes, such as Zeeuwse lobster and a white asparagus dessert, but he also occasionally puts a few fried tulips on the plate. $$$$

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Photo courtesy of Waldorf Astoria

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