InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam

Professor Tulpplein 1, 1018 GX Amsterdam, Netherlands

An Old World grande dame of the 19th-century tradition, the InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam presides over the Amstel River from its waterfront perch at the eastern edge of the original city. An imposing example of a Dutch take on French Renaissance Revival architecture of the period, the hotel—known initially as the Amstel Hotel—was conceived of by well-to-do Amsterdam doctor Samuel Sarphati to attract wealthy Grand Tour–goers to the struggling city. Since then, dignitaries from Queen Elizabeth II to former President Bill Clinton, and celebrities from Audrey Hepburn to George Clooney, have entered the imposing lobby—with its grand staircase, marble columns, and gilded chandeliers—and taken up residence in its opulent suites.

While in its latest iteration the hotel has updated itself in all the right ways, it still offers each guest the superlative but understated service that such royals (of both state and silver screen) would expect, down to the private butler service that comes with each room. The current French-inspired decor channels the building’s original architecture and includes romantic hand-drawn wallpaper in bedrooms. The unfussy, seasonal cuisine and craft cocktails in the restaurants and bars infuse the traditional space with modern sensibilities. Even the health club has its feet in both past and present: The thoroughly modern facilities were inspired by one of the forefathers of physiotherapy, who took up residence in the hotel and treated such distinguished clients as Empress Elisabeth of Austria there.

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InterContinental Amstel

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The Iconic Amstel Intercontinental: Luxury on the River Amstel

You’ll need deep pockets to stay at the Amstel, Amsterdam’s landmark hotel that’s overlooked the Amstel River since 1867, providing nightly luxury for royals and celebs from Queen Elizabeth II to Michael Jackson and The Rolling Stones. But if you can afford the splurge, you’ll sleep in palatial grandeur and be served by über helpful staff at this five-star establishment. Even if you’re not a guest, you can dine like royalty at La Rive, the Amstel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, serving French and Mediterranean cuisine in the grand dining room or on the waterfront terrace. More casual meals and drinks are on the menu at the Amstel Bar & Brasserie. Crystal chandeliers and a regal staircase welcome guests to the Amstel’s lobby, where staff attend to your every need. Mine included Wi-Fi, and the concierge quickly hooked me up with the hotel network, ubiquitous throughout the property. Located a bit off the beaten path, in a quiet neighborhood within easy walking district of the Van Gogh Museum and Royal Carré Theatre, the luxury hotel has 55 guest rooms and 24 suites, all appointed with Dutch period furniture, plush drapes, Delft pottery and such modern amenities as flat-screen satellite TVs and iPod docking stations. For relaxation and beauty, an on-site health club features an indoor pool, sauna, steam bath, luxury treatments and massage services. An on-site fitness center offers cardio equipment, weights, and personal trainers for aerobic workouts.

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