When you think of Amsterdam, what’s the very first thing that comes to mind? We’re willing to bet its the Red Light District or perhaps the infamous Cannabis Cafes. Likely you never thought of world-class luxury, historical landmarks, and beautiful canal scenes. The fact is, Amsterdam has both – a crazy, party atmosphere for the liberal, adventurous tourist, as well as impeccable views and upscale services for the more refined traveler looking to relax and enjoy. If you’re the latter, we have a gorgeous, 5-star hotel designed just for you.
The Hotel De L’Europe is centrally located on the Amstel River, which not only provides excellent views but also allows for guests to easily walk to main attractions such as the P.C. Hooftstraat, which is a major shopping area, as well as the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. And if history and museums are your things, you’re in luck because the hotel itself definitely is like one having opened in 1896 and was later occupied by German officers during World War II. If the hotel looks familiar to you, it could be because it was used as the backdrop for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940’s thriller film, Foreign Correspondent.
Since the ’40s, the interior has undergone 3 major renovations, the most recent in 2011 with a price tag in excess of €65 million. The expansions and upgrades put this hotel a step above the rest and they refused to sacrifice the antiquity of the property. For example, the lobby and hallways are still carpeted with red velvet and feature period-piece chandeliers and replicas of Old Masters (meaning copies of paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, etc.), which perfectly complement the contemporary furniture and ceiling architecture. The classic elegance is carried throughout the hotel and adds to the remarkable setting.
Amenities include 2 restaurants, a spa, and a small wellness/fitness center. The spa features a unique and extensive list of massages and treatments, including an African Botanics Marula Mud Signature Body Treatment. The 2 on-site restaurants are top notch, both food and service wise. The upscale Bord’Eau, voted one of the best restaurants in the city, offers recognizable dishes, each bursting with unique, sensational flavor. The restaurant overlooks the bustling city center of Amsterdam and has an opulent and romantic ambience.
The second eatery, Hoofdstad Brasserie, presents a more casual atmosphere while serving international cuisine. During the months of April to October, Hoofdstad Brasserie operates outdoors on a gorgeous wrap-around patio, called Hèt Terras, located directly beside the canal,
The guest rooms at Hotel De L’Europe come in a variety of configurations to suit the needs of most travelers. In fact, there are 7 different rooms and suites to choose from, starting with the Deluxe Room, which is a typical hotel room featuring either a double or two single beds and a small sitting area. The next step up is the Premium Deluxe Room (where we stayed and loved), with a queen or king size bed, river view, and much more space to spread out.
Climbing up the room ranks, you’ll find the Junior Suite, the Deluxe One-Bedroom Suite, the Prestige One-Bedroom Suite, and the Provocateur Suite. The latter was designed specifically for couples with an enormous round bed and a projection of Van Gogh’s most famous piece, ‘Starry Night’, on the ceiling. This suite also houses a large jacuzzi in addition to the bathroom.
The Penthouse Suites are the largest rooms Hotel De L’Europe offers. Surprisingly, they are among the largest in all of Europe with 6 bedrooms in each suite. These gigantic rooms are beautifully designed and feature private river-side terraces.
All rooms and suites come equipped with complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, in-room safety deposit boxes, a Nespresso coffee maker and mini-bar, daily housekeeping, and flat-screen LCD TVs with premium channels.
The bathrooms get their own shout-out in this review because we still can’t get over how massive and gorgeous they are. Made from white marble, these bathrooms are luxurious beyond need. All feature an oversized tub as well as a stand-up shower with large, overhead rainfall spouts. Bathrooms are fully stocked with designer toiletries, the floors are heated, and some even feature an LCD TV so you can watch your favourite show as you soak and relax.
Mind = blown.
So, at what price is this luxury? Well, that’s the only major snag we can find with the Hotel De L’Europe. We understand that extravagance does not come cheap and that it’s almost impossible to find a hotel this wonderful with rates that pity a bank account. So we weren’t expecting them to be cheap. With that being said, however, we still find this hotel to be slightly overpriced.
The aforementioned Deluxe Suite runs €479 ($553USD) per night, and the top-of-the-line Penthouse comes in at €2779 ($3211USD) also for just one night’s stay. Big class requires big money and considering a great stay is virtually guaranteed at this phenomenal hotel with phenomenal views, the splurge is not a gamble. For travelers that can afford it, we definitely recommend Hotel De L’Europe to those visiting Amsterdam.
PROS: Prime location. Beautiful views. The entire property is very clean and well maintained. Hotel is historic yet updated. Daily housekeeping services keep rooms immaculate. High-quality linens. Comfortable beds. Friendly, helpful staff, most of which is multilingual to accommodate a variety of travelers.
CONS: The lobby can get quite crowded and the hotel can become loud in the evenings, especially during peak travel season. This is likely due to an abundance of people drinking and dining on the outdoor, waterfront patio. And, as mentioned, the rates are quite steep.