Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
Issue Iss3 2011
History and elegance define the five-star Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam hotel
Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam offers ultimate luxury in the unique ambiance of historical Amsterdam. The hotel, furnished with French elegance and a touch of grandeur, welcomes a variety of prominent visitors, from the trendy Amsterdam elite to royal brides and famous international movie stars. The hotel’s luxurious heritage is visible in each of the rooms, the restaurant, the lobby and even its beautiful inner garden.
In June 2011 The Grand became only the second Sofitel Legend address in the world and the first Legend hotel in Europe. Sofitel Legend is a collection of precious historic properties and palaces, each with its own history. While each hotel maintains a unique personality, they share common attributes, in that they are all ‘legendary places’, hosting ‘legendary people’, creating ‘legendary stories’. Destinations in themselves, each iconic property is among the finest hotels in the world with décor that revives a bygone age of hotel keeping with world-class service and landmark architecture. Achieving Legend status not only recognised The Grand as a hallmark of the Sofitel brand, but also as a landmark in Dutch history.
With a heritage that is steeped deep in Amsterdam’s history, Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam offers the comfort and luxury of a world-class hotel, backed by a canal setting in the historical heart of the city. Dating back to 1578, the landmark building has accommodated Amsterdam Town Hall for centuries, which is particularly renowned as the venue for Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands’ wedding to Claus Von Amsberg in 1966. Blending French elegance and grandeur with elements of Dutch style, The Grand is a unique combination of the different aspects of these cultures, forming a link between the hotel’s French heritage and local Dutch philosophy.
With such a passionate dedication to quality, it’s no surprise to find that the hotel has been the recipient of a number of prestigious awards for design and services. In 2011 alone, Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam was voted Netherlands Leading Hotel 2011 at the World Travel Awards, was added to the Condé Nast Traveller Hotlist 2011 and was crowned Luxury Business Hotel winner The Netherlands in the World Luxury Hotel Awards.
The highly respected Condé Nast Traveller Hot List 2011 covers 31 countries from Argentina to Russia. The 65 hotels in the final selection were chosen after months of research, starting with hundreds of suggestions from correspondents across the globe. The final list is a group of extraordinary hotels, ranging from a former 15th-century fishing village to brand-new island resorts. By appearing on this list, and by becoming a World Luxury Hotel Award winner, Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam has been acknowledged as one of the world’s most elite locations.
Achieving major award wins such as these requires extreme dedication by staff, management and Sofitel, the parent company of Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam. For example in 2009 the hotel underwent a 47 million euro renovation programme, where 52 suites and 177 luxury rooms were restyled. The substantial project was undertaken by renowned French architect Sybille De Margerie, who has also completed work on the Hotel de Crillon in Paris, and Hotel le Cheval Blanc in Courchevel, France.
A potential legend
Sofitel took the decision to become the leader in the luxury hotel market around five years ago, and when The Grand was identified as a potential Legend an investment programme was required to make sure the hotel could meet and exceed the requirements of even the most demanding guest.
The architect behind the hotel’s new theme used aspects of Amsterdam’s culture as the basis for the design process, and by doing so, she managed to retain and enhance both the French and Dutch characteristics of The Grand, which make it so distinctive.
Other recent developments within the hotel included the opening of a new urban spa complex in October 2010. Designed across two floors, the So Spa offers a variety of treatments from around the world carried out by skilled therapists, as well as other facilities such as an indoor heated pool with jetstream, jacuzzi, sauna, hammam, and fitness centre. In addition, the So Fit area is directly accessible via the So Spa and provides the more sporty guest with state-of-the-art high tech equipment including the Technogym Kinesis resistance training system, cross trainers and Technogym bicycles.
Another key success for The Grand has been the launch of its seafood restaurant Bridges, which offers ‘Dutch fish with a French twist’. This legendary location, once the canteen of the City Hall, is now a place where gourmands can enjoy the art of cooking by French chef Aurélien Poirot. Since opening, Bridges has established a solid position among the best restaurants of The Netherlands.
In addition to Bridges, The Grand offers two bars where guests can relax, get light meals or enjoy a cocktail. These include the Bar ‘De Vliegende Hollander’, which is a traditional Dutch brown café, serving an assortment of Dutch beers and snacks, alongside an extensive collection of whiskeys and spirits. Whether guests read the newspapers over a cup of coffee, meet a friend for lunch or a quick bite, or imbibe a few beers after work, this bar has proven very popular with guests and local residents alike.
The management of Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam have created a hotel that features beautiful surroundings, luxurious yet relaxed and comfortable interiors and an air of pampered elegance. However, these features have to be supported by a superlative staff and extraordinary level of service in order to maintain the reputation The Grand has behind it and to continue to win the hearts and minds of guests. To this end, the Grand offers what it terms ‘legendary’ services, which include butler service, a horse and carriage for guests use, romantic private dinners, a royal breakfast (an exclusive breakfast experience on the balcony of the Marriage Chamber overlooking the beautiful award winning garden terrace surrounded by historical walls), and even grand bike and boat tours, designed to allow guests to really enjoy Amsterdam and its surrounding area.
Attention to detail
It is this kind of outstanding attention to detail, which has established Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam as one of the top hotels in the world. 2011 has already seen it achieve new heights of success, and the hotel is looking forward to maintaining its position in the elite group of extraordinarily exceptional hotels.