Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam

Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197, 1012 EX Amsterdam, Netherlands

Originally a 15th-century convent, followed by stints as the headquarters of the Dutch Admiralty and Amsterdam’s town hall, the Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam—or simply, The Grand—presides over the heart of the old city. With its imposing brick facade flanked by canals and its location within a stone’s throw of Dam Square and De Oude Kerk, The Grand would be a legend even without Sofitel’s designation. The majestic entrance courtyard hasn’t changed since its construction in the 17th century—a fact that’s reinforced by the hotel’s horse-drawn carriage, which offers guests a different way to explore the city center—and even before the building became a hotel, landmark figures in European history stayed on site, including William of Orange.

While today’s interiors are starkly modern, the designers alluded to the hotel’s storied past in the decor and textiles featured in the 177 rooms and suites, which overlook either the interior courtyard and gardens or the canals, and come with touches like rainshowers and signature MyBed mattresses. The private Canal House Suites—especially popular with the dignitaries and celebrities who frequent the hotel—may appear boldly contemporary, but accents like round windows and wood-beamed ceilings hint at their past as the private homes of Dutch admirals. The hotel’s five dining options include the Michelin-starred Bridges restaurant—set in what was once the town hall’s canteen—as well as the casual, all-day Bridges Bistro, traditional Flying Dutchman café, sophisticated Library D’Or lobby lounge, and peaceful Garden Terrace. The two-floor SO Spa houses a gym, heated indoor pool, wet area with Turkish hammam, and treatment rooms for French-inspired services.

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