I know many people don’t often associate Amsterdam with luxury, but thanks to fab blogger Sabine de Witte, who prepared an incredible itinerary for me before my trip, I knew I could expect great things. What I actually wasn’t expecting? To encounter such an incredible hotel – I have been fortunate to stay in hundreds of fab hotels around the world (hence the existence of this blog), but if I had to choose my top 5, the Sofitel Legend The Grand, in Amsterdam, would certainly be part of it.
I could actually take it one step further and say it is one of my top 3 city hotels ever – it was beautifully designed, extremely comfortable (seriously, as I didn’t really want to check out) and service was great. Want more detail? Here we go…
– Was there any pre-arrival communication by the hotel with myself via email or social media?
There was no communication via email and very little via Twitter prior to my stay.
– Did I try to engage the hotel via Twitter? Did the hotel interact with me and made me feel welcome/special?
I did, and the hotel interacted before and after my stay (which took place during the weekend). Nonetheless, I did feel special (and still do to this day).
– Has the hotel tried to gather any personal information (e.g. preferences) prior to my stay?
No, and it was fine. This was the first time I stayed at a Sofitel for a long time and I was keen to have a stay as normal as possible. I have since stayed at other Sofitel properties in Berlin, Lisbon and Lyon. No hotel is perfect, as we all know.. but this one.. pretty special!
– The wow factor! What was the hotel decor style?
After the first bonjour (a Sofitel trademark, which is making a serious comeback across the chain) when we left our taxi, it was difficult to be immune to the contrast between such a traditional and landmark building (the hotel was previously the City Hall), and such a modern decor.
– How quick and efficient was the hotel check-in?
We had a great check-in – it was busy but every guest was processed quickly and efficiently.
– Was I addressed by name once reservation has been located? (it is all about the small details, some others are outstanding with this, and I love it, like I do when I board an airplane)
I was indeed.
– Did I get an upgrade from my confirmed pre-booked room type?
Yes, we were upgraded from a superior deluxe room to a suite apartment, which interestingly, has its own door directly to the canal.
– Did I feel genuinely welcomed by the hotel staff?
The lady who checked us in and walked us to our room was lovely. Really friendly (and smiley), as were all the staff we encountered during our stay.
– Luggage – how many people did I have to tip before the luggage made it safely to my room? This is cultural, I know
We were travelling with hand luggage only, and took our bags to our room.
– Wi-fi – was I told anything about it? Was there a charge?
WiFi is free at Sofitel properties in Europe.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
There was something about this hotel – it could have been the fact that it was a shrine to grey (which I love) and fab carpets and colour scheme.. but the moment we walked into our Suite Apartment, we immediately felt at home. It was a very nice one-bedroom apartment – it felt more that way than a hotel suite. Don’t ask me why!
– Welcome amenity
We had a local liqueur, and cheese!
– The bed
Well, this is where our problems started. The bed (Sofitel’s My Bed), was so nice and comfortable, that it reminded me of home. I had a little test drive when we arrived, and the problem was that I didn’t almost want to get up for cocktails. And if you know me by now, it says something!
– Closet/Wardrobe – proper hangers or those annoying ones where you need a PhD to get them out one by one? This is a personal pet peeve of mine. I can’t stand them.
We had plenty of closet space, and proper hangers.
- – Iphone Charger/Dock
I honestly don’t recall, but it wasn’t a problem as for once, we actually had chargers and no extra gadgets.
– Bathrobes and slippers
– Coffee and Tea
Yes, Nespresso central indeed.
– Free bottled water
Oui, and Evian of course!
– Magazine selection – had some nice surprises and doesn’t happen often enough!
We didn’t have magazines, but we had a book, which was quite nice.
– Power sockets in useful places – we have more and more devices and we know where we want them! By the bed, by the working area.
Not a problem here, as there were sockets close enough to the bed. Could have been a problem if we had taken all our normal gadgets, though!
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
I loved loved loved the bathroom. Why? Because it is so similar to ours at home. Not exactly, obviously, but with the same type of materials and colour scheme.
– Bath, shower and taps – I am looking for Duravits and Hansgrohes (or other fab brands) around the world. How fab was the shower? And a little pet peeve.. was I able to operate the shower without asking Mr. O for help?
We had a fab Grohe shower “area” and every detail was beautifully selected.
– Towels – yes, please! How many and how soft and lovely?
Very good indeed.
– Toiletries – own brand, super brand, baby ones or proper ones? I shall find out!
We had the standard sized (baby) Hermès toiletries, which we quite like.
– Amenity kit – I don’t want more sewing kits thank you very much, but I will need a shower cap.
We had everything we needed.
– Hairdryer – is it a human one, or just something stuck to a wall that only makes noise?
To be honest, I didn’t use it.
– Décor of breakfast room
Breakfast takes place at the well-known and acclaimed Bridges restaurant, which we were invited to try (but sadly hadn’t realised, and made plans elsewhere with friends). Obviously it means that a return to Amsterdam simply must happen. It is a really modern and cool space.
– The spread (inc yumminess)
Magnifique indeed! A great mix of all French classics (which is a staple in all Sofitels, obviously), and the right local balance, which is something I always appreciate. But what I thought was the coolest thing in the world? The Detox Cocktail Bar. I thought it was a great idea and actually some of them were quite tasty and effective, if you see what I mean.
– Cost (I have seen a hotel charging €75 for breakfast – a tad much, maybe?)
Breakfast costs €37.50 per person.
During our stay, we only enjoyed a cocktail at the Library bar, which is the perfect place to spend a lazy cold afternoon. This is a hotel to be enjoyed and explored.
– How good and reliable was the wi-fi?
The wi-fi was good and effective. And free.
– Did the hotel interact with me via Twitter during my stay?
No, but they did after my stay and do so 6 months later, which I do appreciate.
Very central and with direct canal access in the apartment suites. How cool is that?
– Cost – rooms starting from…
Superior rooms start at €295 (and they are lovely, by the way) and apartment suites (similar to where I have stayed) start at €740 per night, excluding tax and breakfast.
– Would I recommend it to my best friend?
I would and we think it must be time for a return to Amsterdam soon.
– Would I stay again?
Absolutely. It is just a matter of when.
Have you visited this hotel? What were your thoughts?
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Sofitel during this stay, but hopefully you will see that this has not influenced my thoughts about the property. For more information about the hotel, visit its official website.