Is it worth it to shell out for this pricey, but stunning, grand dame? The short answer is yes.

By Nikki Ekstein
May 09, 2016
Courtesy of The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

The Concept

Five historic rowhouses, adjoined and beautifully preserved, on the tony Herengracht canal—including a two-Michelin star restaurant and one of Amsterdam’s largest private gardens.

The Room

One step up from the standard room—but shy of a junior suite—our King Grand Premiere Canal View felt like the plush guest room in a stately home. And that’s partially the case: the hotel includes a former mayors’ mansion, and has played host to all sorts of VIPs. All done up in neutrals with pops of Vermeer blue, the rooms are the epitome of an urban oasis, with walk-in his-and-hers closets, deep soaking tubs and rain showers, double vanities, and grand windows overlooking the canal. Stay on the top floor and the ceiling height drops, revealing instead a wealth of preserved charms like exposed beams and gabled ceilings. Take your pick: there’s not a bad room in the house.

The Scene

More coddling than stiff, the Waldorf has nailed an elusive breed of luxury. Case in point: an all-you-can-eat candy buffet (with macarons and mini stroopwafels) anchors the Peacock Lounge, where dignified guests in wool coats and designer heels can have a cup of tea or wait for a dinner date. But don’t serve yourself. A cheerful uniformed attendant will take your order and present you with your selection of sweets on monogrammed china--so you feel like a royal in your child-like indulgence.

The Perks

A Guerlain spa. One of Amsterdam’s most lauded restaurants. The most comprehensive Ferragamo toiletry sets you’ve ever seen. The Waldorf has thought of everything.

The Service

Everyone, from the bellman to the receptionists to the concierge, made us feel like we were the only guests in the house—which was far from true on the busy weekend we were there.

What We Liked

Even after a year in business, everything at the Waldorf feels new and shiny—and the rooms are so well maintained you feel like the first guest to ever stay in them.

What We Wished Had Been Better

At check-in, we were offered a choice of scents for turndown service, but never detected them in the evening. Chances are we were too tired to notice (it’s easy to spend all day on your feet in the postcard-perfect canal zone), but that’s proof that the gimmick doesn’t quite work.

More information, this way.