Sofitel Legend The Grand
History à la française
What it is
Latter-day luxuries hidden behind a historic façade.
What it isn't
Defiantly Dutch. You’ll hear many a "bonjour" at the French-run hotel.
What we think
A stately edifice in the heart of the Old City, the Grand is steeped in history: It has served as a convent, royal residence, admiralty headquarters and city hall, hosting everyone from Maria de Medici to Mick Jagger. But inside, the atmosphere is decidedly modern. French designer Sybille de Margerie recently redid the interiors with a contemporary Gallic sensibility, adding plush furniture, intricate lighting and bright blasts of plum, hot pink and other jewel tones. The 177 rooms are large for Amsterdam and packed with in-demand features—a working desk, a Nespresso machine, a TV and Hermès toiletries in the bathroom. Most rooms have walk-in showers, with tubs included at higher categories. In the 52 suites, one grander than the next, a butler will unpack your bags and arrange for cars and activities. Other desirable touches include the compact spa with indoor pool, hammam and gym; daily tours of the building’s historic features; and the plethora of eating and drinking options, from a traditional brown café to a petite French bistro. The main restaurant, Bridges, is one of Amsterdam’s best, with inventive Franco-Dutch takes on seafood and an excellent raw bar.
You're here because
Canal houses have their charms, but you require five-star amenities and space to spread out.
As a special surprise, you’ve arranged a private dinner in the Marriage Chamber, an exquisite jewel box of a room lined with allegorical murals and stained glass. You take your glass of Champagne to the private balcony overlooking the courtyard garden and toast romances of past, present and future.
In the heart of the Old City, but set back in a deep courtyard and therefore slightly removed from the hubbub. Of note: The seedy but safe Red Light District is adjacent to the hotel—ironically, as the building began life as a 15th-century convent.
Restaraunts & Bars
Bridges, Inspired By Ron Blaauw - Serves dishes with an emphasis on seafood and fish, mostly Dutch organic produce with a French twist
Le Petit Bistro - Has an authentic Parisian bistro charm
The Flying Dutchman - A traditional Dutch brown café