Six weeks ago I checked out of the Waldorf Astoria, Amsterdam… at least in body. My mind and heart are still in transit somewhere between the calming interior of the Peacock Alley where I consumed my body weight in sugar, in what may possibly be the best high tea I will ever have, and the manicured private gardens that evokes a Great Gatsby feeling.
This may quite possibly be one of the most difficult reviews I have ever written, simply because words are inadequate when trying to convey the opulence, beauty and professionalism of the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, be that as it may I’ll still try. The establishment is so much more than a base within Amsterdam to simply drop your bags and explore the city. Rather, it is part of the city, the two inexplicably linked. Once a series of six 17th century canal side palaces, now combined and restored into this jaw dropping establishment.
Optimising on canal side prime position, the Waldorf has architecturally designed windows that deliberately extend the inside out and the outside in. The well considered placement of windows in unexpected positions, such as elevator landings, internal passages leading throughout the hotel and expansive glass within bedrooms serve as constant reminders that you are in Dutch-land as boats float along the calm canals, (ahem, all visible whilst you are in bed). Centrally located within the city, shops, restaurants and major tourist attractions are all within a picturesque stroll away from the hotel.
Visually, the all-white walls, marble interior, etchings of gold and elegant accents of green or blue throughout the lobby, reception area and Peacock Ally would leave even the most critical patron in a state of Zen. Admittedly, I may sound like one giant hyperbole, or perhaps the cynic or frugal penny-pinching person is dubious about how a place to simply “lay your head” can warrant such praise. After all, aren’t all five star hotels the same? The short answer, unequivocally no. To rate this establishment with 5 stars would liken it to any other 5 star experience you may have had, and this hotel is not comparable to any other five star establishment I have yet frequented, (and I’ve stayed in some amazing venues).
Yes, it ticks every single aesthetically pleasing box, but also manages to combine this with exceptional service. Each guest is assigned a personal concierge, this service begins even prior to arriving. When I first booked the Waldorf from the comfort of my lounge room, within 24 hours I received a personal introductory (not a pre-formatted, automated email), message from the lady who was assigned to be my concierge. The communication detailed all the options and services at our disposal, along with an attachment outlining where, when and what Amsterdam has to offer, (they do the homework for you). An added bonus, pre-purchased tickets for major attractions such as the Rijksmuseum, are available at the concierge desk (which saved us considerable time in a queue).
For the luxe loving, or the subscribers of Loreal’s philosophy, “Because I’m worth it”, I encourage you, if and when in Amsterdam definitely consider the Waldorf Astoria. For those that simply can’t justify the premium, why not consider dining at Librije’s Zusje , 2 star Michelin Restaurant, or enjoy the noteworthy Peacock Ally High Tea (review coming soon on this experience), both dining options of the Waldorf.
Prior to booking, take the opportunity to read Tripadvisor, you’ll soon learn that my voice of praise is shared with hundreds of others in mutual agreement, landing the Waldorf the 2015 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award for outstanding traveller reviews. Once having booked, take the sting out of the gaping hole on your bank statement by immediately perusing the Hotel’s photo gallery at http://waldorfastoria3.hilton.com/en/hotels/netherlands/waldorf-astoria-amsterdam-AMSWAWA/gallery/index.html and all else will be forgotten.
*Disclaimer: I have received no financial gain in reviewing this establishment. I was an independent, full fee paying guest of the hotel in June 2015, and would gladly spend my money wisely again… at the Waldorf. It was more than worth it.