Sofitel Legend the Grand Amsterdam Hotel

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by Santorini Dave • Updated: December 17, 2018

Review of Hotel Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam.

Sofitel Legend the Grand Amsterdam – Legendary luxury hotel in the heart of the Medieval Centre.

One of Amsterdam’s grand dames, Sofitel Legend has been hosting distinguished guests for centuries, including royalty after whom the Legendary Imperial suites take their names. Comprising a 17th-century Admiralty building, a 1930’s former City Hall, and historic canal houses, Sofitel Legend is one of Amsterdam’s best luxury hotels, with attentive and gracious service, and superb on-site dining. The decor is a blend of original features and a soothing palette of lilacs and creams in the rooms and suites. Spacious, luxurious bathrooms have walk-in rain showers and Hermes products, with free-standing tubs and built-in TVs in the suites.

Sofitel Legend the Grand Amsterdam – Location

  • Address: Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197, 1012 EX Amsterdam.
  • Nearest Tram: Dam.
  • Area: Extremely central. Overlooking a canal in a tranquil part of the Medieval Centre, on the edge of the Red Light District. Dam Square is just a few minutes’ walk, the historic canals and the hip Nine Streets shopping neighborhood are a 10-minute stroll, and the Museum Quarter is easily reached by tram or bicycle (17 minutes); the nearest tram stop is 5 minutes away.
  • How to Get There: Take the train from Schiphol Airport to Centraal Station, then the tram (4, 9, 16, 24, 25) to Dam stop, 5 minutes’ walk from the hotel.
  • Handy to: The Royal Palace, Dam Square, Amsterdam Museum.

Sofitel Legend the Grand Amsterdam – The Basics

  • Ages: The majority of guests tend to be couples on a romantic break and honeymooners, but families with children are welcome. The Flying Dutchman is 18+.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Jacuzzis in some of suites.
  • Laundry: In-room laundry service.
  • View: Some of the Luxury and Prestige rooms come with canal views, as do the Prestige suites and Canal House suites. The rest overlook the attractive courtyard or come with city views.
  • Parking: On-site valet parking costs €50 per day.
  • Extras: Suites come with butler service; bicycles for guest use; turn-down service; the gorgeous Art Deco chamber can be booked for weddings and functions.
  • When to Book: Reserve 3 months in advance for the mid-March to mid-May tulip season, the July and August high season, and the Christmas-New Year period.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: 020-555-3111
  • Email[email protected]
  • Website: sofitel-legend-thegrand.com

Sofitel Legend the Grand Amsterdam – Amenities

  • Pool: Indoor pool with jacuzzi, sauna, and Turkish steam bath.
  • Spa: Body toning and anti-aging facial treatments featuring products by Marisa Berenson available at the So Spa.
  • Fitness Center: Small fitness center with Technogym equipment and Kinesis Training System.
  • For Disabled Guests: One Superior room has been adapted for guests with disabilities.
  • For Families: Cots and beds for infants provided free of charge, and babysitting services available on request.
  • Activities: Horse-drawn carriage tours of the city; private canal cruises in the hotel’s own classic saloon boat; guided guest-only tours of the hotel at 11 am daily.

Sofitel Legend the Grand Amsterdam – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants: Michelin-starred Bridges (6.30-11.30pm) overlooks Amsterdam’s oldest canal, and specializes in imaginative, globally-inspired fish and seafood dishes. Multi-course chef’s menu available in the evenings. Chef’s Table seating available for up to 6 people. Elegant decor; reservations essential. • $$-$$$$ • The informal Bridges BarBistro (noon-11pm) serves crowd-pleasers from around the world, from pulled pork mini-burgers and burrata ravioli to Thai tom kha kai soup. • $$ • Sumptuous afternoon tea is offered at Library ‘Or’, or if the weather allows then in the garden courtyard between 3 and 5pm. • $$.
  • Lounge/BarThe Flying Dutchman is a traditional brown café, with wood-paneled walls and an extensive range of whiskeys and Dutch spirits, plus a selection of Dutch beers. Open daily until 1am.
  • Breakfast: Not complimentary. One of the best breakfast buffet spreads in Amsterdam, with salads and hot dishes cooked to order, from Dutch pancakes to congee. Available from 7.30-11am; €37 per person.
  • Room Service: Available around the clock.

Sofitel Legend the Grand Amsterdam – Rooms

  • Room Types: Classic • Superior • Luxury • Junior Suite • Bridal Suite • Prestige Suite • Canal House Suite • Opera Suite • Legendary Imperial Suite • Royal Suite
  • Smoking Rooms: Sofitel Legend the Grand Amsterdam is 100% smoke-free.
  • Best Room: With monumental wooden beams, a private library, and a jacuzzi bath, the atmospheric Royal Suite occupies the third floor of a former canal house.

Sofitel Legend the Grand Amsterdam – What’s Nearby?

Recommended Nearby Tours

  • Offbeat Amsterdam: Amsterdam Red Light District Tours – Several options of Red Light District walking tour – with a group, with a private guide, and with exclusive private guides who’ve worked in the sex industry for decades. Start location: 4-minute walk.
  • Rederij Kooij – Private canal tours in a vintage wooden boat. Start location: 4-minute walk.
  • Prostitution Information Centre – Fascinating information center where you get the answers to everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Amsterdam’s prostitution industry. Hour-long walking tours (€15 per person) depart from here at 5pm on Saturdays. Start location: 7-minute walk.
  • That Dam Guide – Intimate, small-group, 2-hour tours that provide an excellent all-round view of the sex industry. Guides explain Amsterdam’s laws and working conditions, and point out the good and bad sex shops, peep shops, live theaters, and strip clubs. Start location: 9-minute walk.
  • Stromma – Open boat canal tours, hop-on, hop-off boats, and 100 Highlights canal cruise. Start location: 10-minute walk.
  • Lovers Canal Cruises – Hour-long, small boat canal cruises depart from the dock near the Anne Frank House. Start location: 14-minute walk.
  • Blue Boat Company – Open-boat cruises, themed kids’ cruises, evening cruises, and Hard Rock burger cruises. Start location: 17-minutes.

Best Nearby Restaurants

  • Mappa – Solid, no-nonsense Italian food: homemade pizza and ravioli, plus an excellent wine list of tipples from small producers. 2-minute walk.
  • TER Steakhouse – Prime cuts of meat seared to your specifications. Dinner bookings advisable. 2-minute walk.
  • Van Kerkwijk – Intimate, subtly-lit little place with a daily changing menu of French classics, Moroccan tajines, curries, and other internationally-inspired dishes. 3-minute walk.
  • Upstairs Pannenkoekenhuis – Traditional Dutch pancakes in tiny 16th century house, sampled by Anthony Bourdain in The Layover. Reserve ahead, as there are only 4 tables. 3-minute walk.
  • Adam & Siam – Imaginative Dutch dishes with a Thai twist, friendly and efficient service. 3-minute walk.
  • FuLu Mandarijn – Good mix of Cantonese and Sichuan dishes in smart surroundings. Offerings include dim sum, sea bass in hot chili broth, Kung Pao chicken, and Peking duck with pancakes. 4-minute walk.
  • Bord’Eau – Elegant, luxurious surroundings, imaginative Michelin-starred cuisine, an excellent wine list and superb cheese selection. One for special occasions; reserve well ahead. 6-minute walk.
  • Anna – White tablecloths, imaginative modern Dutch fare, terrific list of global and organic wines, and a fine location overlooking the Oude Kerk. 6-minute walk.

Best Nearby Bars

  • Wynand Fockink – Squeeze into this intimate 17th century tasting house to sample an extensive range of jenevers and liqueurs. 2-minute walk.
  • Bierfabriek Amsterdam – Hip, brasserie-style microbrewery with private tap tables, 4 own brews on tap, and an accompaniment of rustic dishes. 3-minute walk.
  • The Tara – Maze-like Irish pub that’s a big expat favorite. Good for catching football on the big screen. 3-minute walk.
  • Rosalia’s Menagerie – Intimate little cocktail bar that’s part of the Misc EatDrinkSleep hotel. Ideal place to sample your first jenever, or sip a cocktail with your sweetie. 4-minute walk.
  • Bubbles & Wines – This sleek wine bar attracts a lively, stylish clientele with its 50+ wines and champagnes by the glass, and superb bar snacks. 4-minute walk.
  • De Bekeerde Suster – 16th century cloister turned brewery with 4 own brews flowing from copper tanks, seasonal and guest beers, and numerous bottled brews. 5-minute walk.
  • Café de Dokter – Amsterdam’s smallest pub, run by the descendants of the doctor who founded it in 1798. Expect candlelight, chandeliers, and atmospheric bric-a-brac, plus good whiskies and beer. 6-minute walk.

Nearby Shopping and Cool Shops

Nearby Market or Grocery

Sofitel Legend the Grand Amsterdam – The Hotel

The hotel offers private canal cruises in its classic saloon boat.

Private canal cruises are on offer in the hotel’s own classic saloon boat.

The indoor pool is attached to the spa.

The indoor pool is attached to the spa, and is open from 8am to 9pm.

The So Spa offers treatments by Marisa Berenson.

The Sofitel So Spa offers a range of treatments by Marisa Berenson, and comes with a Turkish steam bath, sauna, and jacuzzi.

The hotel's gym is small but well-equipped.

The small but well-equipped gym is open from 7am to 10pm.

The hotel offers horse-drawn carriage rides to its guests.

Horse-drawn carriage rides through the Medieval Centre are just one of the activities offered by the hotel.

The buffet breakfast at the hotel is extensive.

Breakfast (served 7.30 to 11am) is an extensive spread of hot and cold dishes.

The Flying Dutchman bar is a traditional brown café, serving Dutch spirits, beers, and whiskies to a mix of locals and guests daily till 1am.

Bridges BarBistro offers cocktails and light bites.

Bridges BarBistro (noon to 11pm) is a popular place for a cocktail or light bites from around the world.

Michelin-starred Bridges specialises in fish, seafood, and chef's table.

Michelin-starred Bridges (6.30-11.30pm) specializes in fish and seafood dishes; book well in advance to dine at the chef’s table.

The Superior Rooms offer courtyard, garden, or canal views.

The Superior rooms come with courtyard, garden, or canal views; it’s best to notify the hotel in advance with your preference.

All rooms feature rain showers; higher categories include a tub also.

Classic and Superior rooms come with walk-in rain showers; higher price categories include soaking tubs as well.

Luxury Rooms with canal views need to be booked in advance.

If you want to ensure getting a Luxury room with a canal view, make the request in advance.

Junior Suites boast of a Bose sound system and a separate lounge area.

Junior suites are equipped with a Bose sound system, and come with a separate lounge area and bathroom with built-in TV.

The Imperial Suite bathroom feature bathtubs and TVs.

The Imperial Suite bathrooms are well-appointed, with a deep soaking tub and built-in TV.

The Opera Suites feature garden views and spacious bathrooms.

The intimate Opera suites overlook the garden, and their bathrooms are equipped with tubs, double sinks, and rain showers.

Maria de Medici Suite features 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a spacious living area.

As with the other Imperial suites, the Maria de Medici has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a spacious living area.

The Royal Suite features heavy wooden beams and courtyard views.

The most atmospheric of the suites, the Royal Suite with its heavy wooden beams looks out over the courtyard from its lofty third floor location.

Nationaal Monument is a popular tourist attraction in Dam square.

A block north and another block east of the hotel along Damstraat, Dam square is Central Amsterdam’s busiest square, filled with visitors and buskers, and home to the Nationaal Monument, dedicated to WWII’s fallen.

TER Steakhouse is renowned for its expertly-grilled cuts of meat.

On the corner of Damstraat and Oudezijds Voorburgwal, TER Steakhouse has a solid reputation for their expertly-seared cuts of meat.

Hash, Marijuana & Hemp Gallery has entertaining exhibits.

A block east, the Hash, Marijuana & Hemp Gallery has entertaining exhibits on hemp art, marijuana cultivation, and the use of the ‘holy herb’ in religion.

The Oudezijds Voorburgwal canal is very picturesque.

The Oudezijds Voorburgwal canal is particularly picturesque, with the St Nicolaaskerk visible in the distance.

Wynand Fockink is a tiny 17th century tasting house.

A tiny side street just north of the Damstraat and Oudezijds Voorburgwal intersection hides Wynand Fockink, a tiny, atmospheric 17th-century tasting house with a huge range of jenevers and other local spirits.

Anna is an excellent modern Dutch restaurant.

3 blocks north, along the canal, and tucked away on a tiny side street facing one of Amsterdam’s oldest churches is Anna, a modern Dutch restaurant that pairs imaginative dishes with global and organic wines.

Most canal cruise boat companies offer cruises from the dock off Damrak.

Half a block north, and then a block west along the Oudeburgsteeg, is the dock for most canal cruise boat companies. Have a look at a few since some offer open-boat and small group tours that can explore the narrow, less well-trodden canals, while others have large boats that may only navigate the main canals.

The Royal Palace is a major tourist attraction.

On Dam square, the big attraction here is the Royal Palace: the official residence of the King of the Netherlands. When the king’s away, you can check out the sumptuous rooms.

Nieuwe Kerk is known for its beautiful chancel and temporary exhibitions.

Just north of the Royal Palace, the 15th century Nieuwe Kerk is well worth a look for its beautiful oak chancel, and excellent temporary art and photography exhibitions.

FuLu Mandarijn serves authentic Sichuan and Cantonese dishes.

Rokin, the Medieval Centre’s main thoroughfare, runs south from Dam towards the busy tram intersection of Muntplein. Rokin’s bars and restaurants are invariably touristy, and vary in quality. Close to Dam, FuLu Mandarijn is a smart, mid-range Chinese option, with an extensive menu of authentic Sichuan and Cantonese dishes.

The Tara is a very popular Irish pub.

Further south, The Tara is one of the city’s most popular Irish pubs, attracting a large expat and visitor crowd. Good for catching the game on the big screen.

Adam & Siam is popular for its Dutch-Thai fusion.

Next door, Adam & Siam is consistently good for Dutch-Thai fusion.

Art Plein Spui is held every Sunday at Spui square.

A block south and another block west, Spui square is one of the most popular gathering spots in the Medieval Centre. On Sundays, it hosts the Art Plein Spui, an outdoor book and art market.

Café de Dokter is Amsterdam's smallest 18th century pub.

The tiny medieval lanes just north of Spui hide numerous atmospheric bars. Café de Dokter is a tiny 18th century pub – Amsterdam’s smallest – decked out with eclectic antiques, and good for a beer or whisky (if you can squeeze in).

Rokin canal is full of cruise boats through the day.

Just east of Spui, the wide Rokin canal is busy with canal cruise boats during the day.

The Allard Pierson Museum houses a superb archaeological collection.

On the east side of the canal, the Allard Pierson Museum houses a superb archaeological collection, from ancient Greek ceramics and an Egyptian mummy to early Mesopotamian artifacts.

Hotel De L’Europe's Michelin-starred Bord'eau is an excellent place to celebrate.

Just south of the museum, if you have a special occasion to celebrate, it’s worth making advance bookings at the refined Bord’eau inside the Hotel De L’Europe for their exquisite Michelin-starred cuisine.

Upstairs Pannenkoekenhuis is the city's best traditional Dutch pancake house.

Just north of the museum and facing the narrow Grimburgwal canal, the Upstairs Pannenkoekenhuis is arguably the best place in town to try traditional Dutch pancakes (Anthony Bourdain thought so). It’s inside a tiny 16th century house, so reserve ahead.

Hans Appenzeller sells original gold jewelry designs.

Directly opposite, you can browse original gold jewelry designs at Hans Appenzeller. Or check out 3D holographic art and jewelry next door.

Bier Fabriek features private tap tables, rustic dishes, and brews.

From here, narrow Nes street, dotted with alternative theaters, runs back to Dam square. There’s a good microbrewery here, too: Bier Fabriek has private tap tables and rustic dishes to accompany its brews.

Mappa serves excellent Italian dishes and wines from small producers.

A little way up the street, Mappa serves solid Italian dishes, accompanied by Italian wines from small producers.

Van Kerkwijk offers a continuously changing menu of Moroccan tagines and French dishes.

Nearer Dam, Van Kerkwijk with its daily changing menu of Moroccan tagines, French dishes, and more.

Bubbles & Wines is a stylish place to enjoy wine and champagne.

Nearby, Bubbles & Wines surpasses most Amsterdam bars when it comes to sheer class: it’s a stylish place with dozens of wines and champagnes by the glass, and superb bar snacks to match.

De Bekeerde Suster brewery offers 4 of its own brews on tap.

Near the hotel, the narrow and largely pedestrian Oude Hoogstraat lane cuts across the Red Light District towards Nieuwmarkt square. A block east and facing the Kloveniersburgwal canal, De Bekeerde Suster is a particularly atmospheric place for a beer. A 16th-century cloister turned brewery, it has 4 of its own brews on tap, plus many bottled ones.

Rosalia’s Menagerie is a popular destination to sample jenevers and jenever-based cocktails.

Inside the Misc EatDrinkSleep boutique hotel, the intimate little cocktail bar opens to non-guests in the evening. It’s an excellent place to sample jenevers and jenever-based cocktails.

Nieuwmarkt square hosts farmers' and antique markets on weekends.

Just north is Nieuwmarkt square, surrounded by bars. On Saturdays, the square hosts a farmers’ market; on Sundays, an antique market.

Anna + Nina sells women's apparel and accessories by local designers.

A couple of blocks south, on the corner of Rusland, is a branch featuring women’s apparel and accessories by local designers Anna + Nina.

BIEC sells funky household gadgets, ceramics, women’s accessories, and other cool gifts.

A block south, tiny Staalstraat runs east towards Amsterdam’s opera house. It’s dotted with a few good shops and eateries. These include BIEC, where you can pick up funky household gadgets, ceramics, women’s accessories, and other cool gifts.

The Amsterdam Duck Store is renowned for its extensive range of rubber ducks.

Nearby, the neighborhood branch of the Amsterdam Duck Store sells novelty rubber ducks in every disguise imaginable: as Batman, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones characters, and more.

Puccini Bomboni sells some of the city's best handmade chocolates.

A few doors down, the local branch of Puccini Bomboni sells some of the best handmade chocolates in the city.

Stopera hosts international opera and ballet performances.

A short walk east is Stopera, Amsterdam’s opera and ballet venue that hosts performances by renowned ballet companies and orchestras from around the world.

Waterlooplein flea market sells everything from clothes to food.

Just north of Stopera, the Waterlooplein hosts a busy flea market (Monday to Saturday), selling everything from clothes to bric-a-brac. There are some food stalls as well.

Rembrandt House showcases the artist's recreated rooms and original sketches.

Behind the market is the Rembrandt House, where the painter lived for much of his working life before going bankrupt. His rooms have been recreated as they once were, and you can see his original sketches. The audioguide is worthwhile.

Jewish Historical Museum showcases Jewish history from the 1600's.

2 blocks east and down a narrow lane is the superb Jewish Historical Museum with exhibits about the Jewish community in the Netherlands from 1600 to the present day, spread across 4 beautiful synagogues. The ticket gives you access to the Portuguese Israelite synagogue across the busy main thoroughfare.

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