There are so many beautiful luxury hotels offered in Amsterdam. Decision making has the potential to be difficult. It was for me. During my time in Amsterdam, I stayed at two different hotels. This was, in part, due to a trip to Brussels in the middle of the stay. Ultimately, I liked experiencing two different places. And, the difference between the two was vast. I started the visit out at the more commercial Sofitel and ended at the more boutique Kamer01. The Sofitel I found on Fine Hotels & Resorts through Amex. On the other hand, Kamer01 I discovered on an article from Conde Nast Traveler. The photo in the article drew me in. You will see what I am talking about below as we ended up staying in the same room shown in the photo.
Overall, Amsterdam is a very walkable city. If you have a degree of physical fitness, you will have little trouble getting most places or major sites on foot. We only took a car once the entire trip. This was to a dinner reservation on the last evening that would have been about a 40 minute walk. These two hotels were about a 10 minute walk from each other. Although not far, we tried to plan our sightseeing based upon what was closer to these hotels respectively.
1. Hotel Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam. As I mentioned above, I found the Sofitel on Fine Hotels & Resorts with American Express. I have discussed the number of benefits from booking through Amex in another post. What this meant for our stay was free breakfast for two each morning, early check in, and a complimentary room upgrade. We arrived to the hotel rather early in the morning, but after a short wait in the hotel lobby, our room was ready for us. Our room was on the ground floor, which I typically do not like. However, I felt differently about this room. When you entered, the bathroom was off to the right followed by a small flight of stairs down into the bedroom area. The windows were tall with a high ceiling allowing a lot of light into the room. In the bathroom, the mirror in front of the sink slid back and forth allowing you to look down into the bedroom. It was really a unique room. They provided us with complimentary bottled water daily, which is a perk I always love. In addition, each day they left a small “treat” with turndown service usually some type of a decadent dessert or fun candies. The breakfast included with our meal was buffet style with the option to order off the menu as well. It is amazing how well Europe does a breakfast in their hotel restaurants compared to the United States. This was above and beyond what I could have imagined. It left us full most of the day with hardly a need to eat anything additional other than split an afternoon snack.
Getting there: We took the train from the airport to Amsterdam Centraal. From the station, it was under a 15 minute walk to the Sofitel. With a huge amount of luggage, this could be problematic due to the cobblestone roads and difficult terrain. However, we did not have any difficulty with this walk and managing two shoulder bags and two roller bags.
2. Kamer01. This is a small boutique hotel located on the Singel Canal. Peter will be your host at their hotel and home, which dates back to the 1500s. He greeted us at the door and led us up the spiral staircase to the gorgeous kitchen area. We sat at the table by the large window overlooking the canal, and he offered us a glass of champagne. We talked about what we had visited already in Amsterdam while he checked us in, and he provided us with some valuable information and input on our day. Then, he led us downstairs to the “green room.” It is located on the ground floor. This room has a very spacious living area with couch, table by the window, and desk/computer area with internet access. The bathroom was modern with fantastic bath products. In the back room was the grand bed that I remembered from the photographs online. If this is not to your liking, they also have a “red” and “blue” room, each with their own distinctive style.
Peter ran through all of the amenities available to us during our stay. The kitchen had a fridge full of complimentary drinks. We enjoyed beers and a glass of wine one evening after dinner. He also left out tasty desserts that had an equally lovely presentation. Perhaps the most impressive of all was the breakfast he prepared for us the following morning. It was nothing short of artwork. The fruit, cheese/meat tray, pastry, and also oatmeal complete with every beverage you could possibly want (including champagne) was nothing short of first class service. It is truly a personal experience here. Peter made us feel so welcome and assisted with all of our needs. He called for a dinner reservation, arranged our transportation to the airport, and took photos of us before we left for dinner.
Each experience was unique, and I cannot say one was “better” than the other. If you want something more personal, the Kamer01 may be the place for you. The Sofitel is also quite impressive, but obviously on a larger scale. There is an abundance of choices for fantastic places to stay in Amsterdam. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend either of these as a place to stay.