The Hotel Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, familiarly known as “The Grand,” has a long history that dates back to the 1500’s when the building was used as a convent. Since that time, it has been a 16th Century Royal Guest House, a 17th Century Amsterdam Admiralty Headquarters, and the city’s Town Hall in the 19th Century. More recently, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands was married here in 1966.
The entrance to the hotel is through a courtyard, set back from the street. Passing a fountain, you enter the hotel through a brass and wood revolving door. Afternoon tea at “The Grand” is served in either the lounge, an Art Deco and stained glass room, or in the Bar at Bridges. Continue reading →
I had spent the morning touring past priceless works of art at the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum and decided to walk to the Hotel Amstel for Afternoon Tea. The distance was about 1.4 km or just under a mile, and even though it was a cool January day, it was clear, bright and just begging for a brisk afternoon walk. Starting out from the Museumpleine , I headed east toward the Amstel Hotel. Along the way, I began to think that I had gotten off my directions, so I stopped in an office building and asked the receptionist if I was on the right track. She entered my information into her iPhone and quickly determined that I was one street off, but running parallel to the correct street, so I would still encounter the hotel, just from the other side.
As I came up to the Amstel River bridge, I couldn’t miss the grand façade of the Amstel Hotel, located just across the river on the opposite bank. Dating from 1867, this is one of the premier hotels in Amsterdam. Previous guests have included Queen Elizabeth, Gustav Eiffel, Audrey Hepburn, The Rolling Stones, Elizabeth Hurley, and U2. Continue reading →