Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

I used to draw a blank whenever friends asked me about hotel recommendations in Amsterdam.  The reason is simple:  we have our lovely apartment so I’ve never really had a reason to stay or research for a hotel in the city.  

Our apartment was selected for us by my husband’s employer even before we arrived in Amsterdam.  We were only supposed to stay for a month but after countless apartment viewings, nothing compared to it, so we stayed.  Our apartment is in the famous canal rings/canal belt of Amsterdam.  If you look at the city map from above, you’ll see four concentric half-circles that make up the canal rings—the most beautiful canals in the city.  We live in the outermost—along the Prinsengracht.  It’s a small one-bedroom apartment with large windows and a beautiful view of the Prinsengracht canal.  The sun rises directly outside our bedroom so in the summer, I wake up with soft sun kisses.  And in the afternoon, the sun sets in the living room such that most of my memories of afternoon tea has a tinge of orange.  

Being in the canal rings, we are a stone’s throw away from great restaurants, museums, public transportation, boutiques, and picture-perfect postcard-worthy canal scenes.  Our apartment is my most favourite thing about Amsterdam.

Our lovely Prinsengracht apartment

Instagram photos of our lovely Prinsengracht apartment and scenic views taken from our front door or from the canal bridge a few steps away

So when a five-star hotel opened up next to our apartment…

…I knew I had to take a look.  Location is my number one criterion when looking at hotels in other cities, and I knew that this hotel has that box checked off.  How about service?  Décor?  Food and dining?  Any charming details?  I had to take a peek inside Andaz Amsterdam.

Every hotel recommendation in this blog checks off a three ‘must haves’:

1)  I must have stayed at the hotel myself;
2)  I must have paid for my own accommodations (not free); and
3)  I must have loved the experience fully.

I’m bending the first rule slightly for Andaz; I have not spent a night in the hotel given that my own bed is just a few metres away.  But I have spent a considerable amount of time in the hotel since it opened:  countless dinner dates, lunch with friends, casual cocktails, a simple Sunday brunch, or a cozy cup of tea.  And I can confidently say that each experience has been unequivocally delightful.

A peek inside Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

From the outside, Andaz looks quite ordinary.  Housed in the former public library of Amsterdam, the facade of brown bricks and one-panel windows is much simpler and somewhat less ornate than the canal houses that stand next to it.  However, from the moment you walk through the sliding front doors, you will immediately and indubitably know that you’ve stepped into somewhere special.

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

The constellations in the hotel’s floor-to-ceiling ‘Observatory’

The entire hotel is designed from top to bottom by Marcel Wanders—world-famous for his interior, architectural, and industrial designs.  Wanders did not leave a sing stone unturned and have made every aspect of the hotel to an art piece—from the spectacular lobby lit with ‘constellations,’ to the quirky rooms, to the Alice in Wonderland-inspired garden, even up to the soup spoon used in the hotel’s restaurant.  Combining iconic design with a dash of Dutch history, Wanders has turned Andaz into a mandatory stop for all Amsterdam visitors.  I encourage my friends to book their accommodations in the hotel, or at least stop by for something to eat or for a few drinks.

The Andaz lounge and bar area is perfect for cocktails or perhaps a piece of cake with your coffee:

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

The rooms are comfortable and spacious by Dutch standards and offer canal views of the Prinsengracht, the silent garden, or the ‘Observatory’ so you can doze off with a view of the ‘constellation’ of lights.

But apart from the views, I particularly love the quirkiness of the rooms.  Each room has a half-fish-half-utensil headboard wallpaper, with the two halves ‘stitched’ together by the iconic three crosses symbol of Amsterdam (XXX).  It’s a simple symbolism of what this city of 65% expats stand for today—a place that brings together different people and cultures from all over the world.

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

Room with a view of the Observatory

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

Local fish and a silver spoon stitched together with Amsterdam’s triple-cross symbol (XXX) symbolizing the bringing together of different cultures in the city

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

Sun-drenched canal-view room

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

Mitchy Bron (former Marketing Coordinator) looking out at the canal view

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

The toilet’s intricately-designed wallpaper has scenes and anecdotes on Dutch history

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

Rooms have quirky elements such as a plate that looks like its teetering off the shelf (it’s actually safely glued on), and a pair of ‘screaming’ wooden clogs (klompen)

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

Subtle art is evident everywhere even in this sink with finger-painted design

The hotel also offers other areas that will surely keep guests curious, impressed, and entertained—all at the same time.

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

Serene spa offering massages, treatments, and a sauna

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

The Bluespoon Restaurant has an open kitchen concept that brings the guests close to the action

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

There’s no room for conventional sculptures in the silent garden

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

Alice in Amsterdam watches over the hotel’s garden

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

The hotel library

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

The hotel library invites you to sit and read whilst looking out to the canal, work, or play a game of chess

Walking around the hotel, you will discover tulip-shaped chairs designed to pay homage to the most famous flower of Holland, animal head sculptures on wall panels, an entire corridor of Japanese maneki-neko with arms moving as you walk up-and-down, and other unexpected design elements.  Andaz is filled with art pieces that attest to the level of design detail and attention put in the hotel.

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

Left: The lion head sculpture on this wall panel is joined by a pig and a pug, as well; Right: Intricate design even in something as simple as this wall decal to tell guests which floor they’re in

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

These tulip chair pay homage to the most famous flower from The Netherlands

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

Walk up and down this corridor and you will see the maneki-neko wave their arms with your every stride

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

Design in every detail – these clocks are from Moooi where Marcel Wanders is a Creative Director

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

My two most favourite spots in the hotel: The Observatory, and this opulently red staircase

 

2 thoughts

  1. Love this post! Can’t believe this is, like, your new hangout, and I’ve never been there.
    I have been crushing on those spherical chandeliers from Moooi Gallery for the longest time. Someday!!!

    • Let’s have a date at Bluespoon one of these days? :) Daytime if you want to see the garden, or nighttime to make the most of the sparkly, shimmery chandeliers.

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