Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam 1578 – Experience Rich History

Luxury-Month-Amsterdam-300Amsterdam is an amazing city, one with with a grand history and a great city to explore the side streets and its canals. For me choosing where to stay in this city adds to the whole experience. Hotel The Grand Amsterdam was built way back in 1578 and its unique historical ambiance is just amazing to take in. It is located right in the centre of Amsterdam between two canals, which is exactly what the city is famous for. The building started in the 15th century as a convent, it was then used by the VOC (East Dutch India Trading Company) and has also been used as a town hall, and this rich history is what made The Grand so captivating during my stay.

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Reception

The Sofitel group took two years of extensive renovation and remodeling to produce a grand interior from a French interior architect whilst also blending in Dutch elements to it. So it was nice to see the tulip and butterfly themes recurring through out the building. From the moment you walk through its arch entrance outside, you know that this hotel experience is going to be brilliant. Amsterdam is a rich cultural city, so this hotel is the rest bite you need whether you’re are here for business or pleasure. I am a huge fan of marble and coming form an Italian background it was always seen as a statement of regal wealth. It certainly gives you that impression in the lobby. I loved the different seating areas in the hotel lobby, all with their own style. During my stay I explored each one. One room showed two old black and white photos of Michael Jackson and with the lighting I could not resist it as a photo-shoot opportunity. Do take the time to sit here and take in this historical building.

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La Petit Bistro & Private Inner Garden

It’s unusual to have such an exclusive setting like this in Amsterdam let alone a city hotel. In 2015 the Garden Terrace was awarded as Amsterdam’s most cozy terrace. The design of the terrace is surrounded by historical walls and has a view on the balcony of the Marriage Chamber. On a Sunday afternoon, they have live music for you, so sit relax and soak up the views of this historical building. The garden has retained many of its authentic Amsterdam School style features, from the time that The Grand served as the city Hall. This is not common with hotels and it completed my garden experience and just reminded me of one of the cultural elements I love about being in Europe.

The Dutch are famous for their amazing gardens and this did not disappoint. I was very impressed observing the people sitting here, I could see they were very fashion conscious which was nice to see. This hotel is certainly a place you can showcase your person style. Along side that, do ask for some cocktails, in my case the espresso martini was very yummy and one that completed my evening. For me this is what I define as luxury experiences at its best.

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Junior Suite Room & Private Butler

The suites of The Grand have been completely renovated. There are 52 suites in total, ranging from Junior, Prestige and Opera to the highly exclusive Imperial Suites. During my stay I had the Junior Suite room with a courtyard view. I liked the modern design and the deep mahogany with plush textiles above the bed. It is my first time I am sleeping in a Sofitel MyBed, and it was huge, comfortable with gorgeous bed linen. The bathroom was decorated with traditionally Dutch classical style brick walls. I liked the TV in the bathroom whilst soaking away with my Hermès amenities. The complimentary WIFI is always essential for my work along side the Nespresso facilities. I liked the TV opposite my bed, which was framed like a piece of art work.

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My room view

Carlos

With suite rooms only, you get a private Butler. So you don’t have to ring reception at all, you are given a personal number for your butler and all you have to do is remember that number which  is only three digits. My Butler was called Carlos and he was provided to me, the moment I entered the reception room. I was offered exclusive services such as preparing the suite according to my wishes. Carlos could personalize my room and (un)pack my suitcases, which was really convenient. I could even ask Carlos to book tours, trips, advice me on shopping tips and even if I needed, Carlos could book me a private jet. In my case I have a habit of leaving my card in the room, it was nice to be able to call Carlos any time of the day or night. In future when in Amsterdam for a fashion trip, Carlos would be perfect for being my runner unpacking my wardrobe for fashion shows, or handling those buttons that seem to always full off.

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Wellness SoSpa

The SoSpa has a really nice pool to relax in after a day of wandering through Amsterdam. It also has a Turkish steam bath and a sauna both were clean, smelled good and looked very modern. I liked the option where you can turn it off and on if there are no other guests around, which is good for the environment. The towels were huge, fluffy and not common, so it is in the little details that counts here. I also liked the apples lying around for you to choose to bite in to. Remember, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

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Restaurant Bridges –  Breakfast

Michelin star Restaurant Bridges is located on the oldest canal in Amsterdam. The atmosphere here is clean, warm, inviting and the view looking out to the Vinotheque and the canal is what makes this breakfast experience all the more exciting. If you have the time make sure you allow extra time for breakfast and soak up this unique experience.

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The oldest canal in Amsterdam

For me breakfast is the most important start of your day. Therefore in a setting like this it will certainly set you personal mood. The selection of food as a buffet setting was lovely. The presentation was excellent, the lay out was not over crowding. The healthy options were enticing, the buffet spread and the “order anything-from-the-menu” was just delicious! I mostly enjoyed the Norwegian eggs, a combination of egg benedict, poached egg and salmon, all beautiful presented. A delicious breakfast served at the restaurant is what made this stay more enticing. I am a huge fan of coffee and this was the best cappuccino I’ve ever had in Holland, to give you an idea about this comment. I have been visiting the Netherlands for almost twenty years.

The staff were very on the ball and understood the balance of when to ask you for anything and when to hold back. Mornings can be a very tricky time for some people. It goes to show the level of training here when it comes to engaging with people. The pastries were lovely and fresh and well presented. Nothing disappointed me when it came to breakfast.

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Norwegian eggs

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Dedicated To Business

In a place like this it is vital that business clients can have access to the historical rooms. Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam boasts no fewer than 19 meetings rooms and banqueting halls in total covering 1400m2, five of which are listed as historical monuments and were taken into use when The Grand served as a city hall. The following rooms, the Council Chamber, the Mayor’s and Aldermen’s Chamber, the St. Ceclia and the beautiful First Class Wedding Chamber, were amazing and you can ask for a private tour which I highly recommend. To give you an inspiring reason to have you wedding reception here is simple. The marriage ceremony of the former Dutch Queen, Princess Beatrix, and Claus von Amsberg celebration took place here in 1966. 

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The room served for the Wedding Of Queen Beatrice and Prince Claus

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The smaller wedding room

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Conclusion

I am on a journey to explore the definition of what the world of Luxury means to me and my readers, it is a journey I love. My biggest challenge is to entice you my readers to choose where to spend your time let alone your cash. For me to those who are familiar with the city of Amsterdam I would encourage you on your next stay to choose Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam. Go back in history and explore and take in the year 1578 and truly appreciate the experience of rich architectural history this hotel has to offer. If you are an art lover, in today’s rushed world this is a hotel that gives you time to reflect the importance of life, leisure and the beauty of interior design. At a time where the finest things in life can be rare, and therefore if one has to choose, then the Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam is that hotel that offers affordable, timeless luxury whenever you choose to be here.

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Espresso Martini

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Painting by Karel Appel – He painted this to pay of his debts with Amsterdam council in 1949.

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View over the court yard.

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