When the Waldorf Astoria opened its Amsterdam outpost in 2014, the iconic brand took six 17th- and 18th-century canal houses—two of which used to be official residences for the mayor, and at least three of which have architectural details by iconic artists—and transformed them into a distinctively Dutch version of world-class luxury. Located in the heart of the historic city, on the picturesque Herengracht canal, the color palette that runs throughout the four eateries (one of which received two Michelin stars within seven months of opening) and the 93 refined rooms was lifted straight from Vermeer’s famous Girl with the Pearl Earring painting. Soothing shades of lapis lazuli and ochre harmoniously complement the views through the large, white-framed windows, whether of the canal or the lush interior garden. The Waldorf also brought the brand’s signature superlative service and decadent spa, guaranteeing that the Amsterdam iteration would be just as beloved by international elite as the original New York hotel.
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Perched on the picturesque Herengracht canal, in the heart of Amsterdam’s historic city center, the Waldorf Astoria is surrounded by some of the capital’s most romantic scenery. The best way to explore is to cycle over the bridges and along the canals like a local, stopping into charming cafés and shops. The city’s famous red-light district is just a stone’s throw away, if that strikes your fancy, but so is the Amstel River, with its many river-view restaurants and cafés, such as the trendy De Ysbreeker and Two for Joy. Sights like the floating flower market, Bloemenmarkt, as well as the Muziektheater, home to the National Ballet and the Dutch Opera, are in the neighborhood as well, and the Museumplein is less than 20 minutes away on foot.
Need to Know
Rooms: 93 rooms, 17 suites. From $457. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options:A classic fine-dining restaurant, the Michelin-starred Librije's Zusje Amsterdam offers a modern Dutch spin on an Old World dining experience, serving fresh, local ingredients crafted into Dutch- and Asian-influenced dishes. An airy drawing room decked out in the hotel’s signature shades of lapis and ochre, the garden-facing Peacock Alley serves lighter bites, afternoon tea, and drinks throughout the day to a see-and-be-seen crowd of well-heeled guests and locals. Named for both the famous painting and the birds often found in the city palaces’ gardens, the Goldfinch Brasserie serves elegant spins on modern favorites for power lunches and romantic dinners. The private club–like Vault Bar, in a historic bank, boasts one of Amsterdam’s most comprehensive wine and spirits collections. Spa and gym details: The Waldorf’s signature Guerlain Spa is a temple to wellness and relaxation, with a full range of beauty and wellness treatments, as well as an indoor swimming pool, a hot tub, direct access to the gardens, and a fully equipped modern gym, where sessions with personal trainers can be arranged.
Who's it best for: Titans of industry, modern royalty, and all lovers of traditional luxury. Our favorite rooms:With their exposed wooden beams and sloped ceilings, the top-floor lofts feel especially atmospheric, like a slice of Old World Amsterdam, but with all the modern amenities. For culture buffs:Keep an eye out for the rococo friezes of 18th-century Dutch painter Jacob Maurer in canal houses 550 and 552, as well as the grand staircase by Louis XIV’s architect, Daniel Marot.