Be prepared to sleep with the fishes at the slightly surreal Andaz Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the city in Europe that feels most like home to me, so I’m always excited when a new hotel property opens there, especially when it’s a brand whose product I’m fond of, such as Hyatt’s upscale contemporary Andaz properties. When I visited last week I got a chance to stay at the 3 month old Andaz Amsterdam, located in a former public library building on Prinsengracht in the Jordaan section of the city center.
While the building’s facade is somewhat lacking in obvious charm slash curb appeal, that’s because it’s all about walking through the glass doors and into a modern Andaz in Wonderland- inspired microcosm where Dutch history and modern art are celebrated. Perhaps “Wandersland” is a better description- Dutch designer Marcel Wanders is the one behind the property’s slightly surrealistic whimsy.
Upon walking into the property, I was greeted by an Andaz host who checked me in with an iPad and offered me a cup of coffee. I had taken a red eye and arrived well before check in time. Both my husband and I are Hyatt Gold Passport members with Diamond status, so often we get upgraded. Since we’d heard some of the property’s rooms are rather small we decided to upgrade using Hyatt Inspire Stay Certificates. The property has 177 rooms and only 5 suites and I was told my suite was still occupied. This did not surprise me, as it was well before check-in time. The host then offered me a standard canal view room so I could “have a place to rest and freshen up” until the suite was ready. This was a surprise and a nice one.
The first room I was given, room 214, was a canal view standard room and while not large, it was very thoughtfully designed and had quite a bit of light and overlooked Prinsengracht. It also had quite a bit of light and a spacious storage closet.
Canal view Room 214 is the day room I was given
Room 214 was light and bright and had only a shower (with overhead and hand held shower options), and while it wasn’t huge, it was very thoughtfully designed with everything a modern traveler expects.
In room 214, there wasn’t much separation between the bedroom and bathroom, but the thoughtfully laid out design made the room very user friendly and thoughtful.
The bookshelves and flat-screen in room 214
The Andaz has some nice touches including a mini-bar where everything but the alcohol is free and complementary wifi throughout the property. As a modern business traveler, these touches are very much appreciated. The wifi signal was strong everywhere on the property.
After lunch, I was given the keys to suite 218 by one of the Andaz hosts. The suite was large, modern and quirky and luxurious.
The living room of suite 218 at the Andaz Amsterdam was large and spacious.
The living room of the suite had some inspired art (including wooden shoes hanging on the wall) and books about Dutch history and art. One of the coolest design details is the wallpaper in the bathroom’s toilet stall. Dutch wallpaper is known for it’s bold prints and the choice to have wallpaper that is essentially a Dutch bathroom reader filled with factoids about Amsterdam is an inspired and fun choice.
Details are thoughtful, from the Dutch-themed books to the Marcel Wanders upholstery.
The Dutch Bathroom Reader Wallpaper was my Favorite Design Detail
Suite 218 had great bathroom and side by side sinks.
The Bedroom of suite 218 had a different fish and a mirrored coffee table
The free mini-bar drawer is a nice Andaz detail, as are the Amsterdam XXX’s on the Fish
The Andaz has lots of functional design, including a well designed work desk and comfortable chair
Hyatt’s Andaz properties are striking a chord with modern business travelers for a reason– all their expectations are met and often exceeded with the Andaz concept. The Andaz has all the necessary creature comforts like flat screen televisions, side-by-side sinks and modern technological needs for those who live a mobile lifestyle. Rooms were equipped with an impressive iPod dock (with the older, 30-pin connector. I didn’t ask about a lightening adapter because I didn’t need to use it).
The surreal lobby and funky video installation of the Andaz
Nice as the property is, it’s really the excellent service at the Andaz that makes it exceptional. The staff- from the hosts to the bartender- got to know me during my stay and often greeted me by name. They made sure all of my needs were taken care of and even tweeted me good morning during my stay.. All of the rooms I saw were new and nice, but it’s really the service and staff that make you want to return to a property, so I will be returning to this hotel for sure.
Oversized chairs and funky video art in the lobby, and statues in the hallway at the Andaz
The View from the Elevator to the Andaz Lobby Below Matched My Purse’s Reflection
Looking down at the lobby from the elevator, you get a modern sense of fun
The hotel is perfect for modern art lovers. The property features over 40 piece of video art which ranges from playful to serious throughout the property. Bold color choices also help open up the space, which in the limited daylight hours of winter can feel a bit dark.
The hotel’s restaurant, Bluespoon is a gem (I’ll cover it in an upcoming post) and worth visiting even if you’re not staying at the property.
A delicious hand-crafted cocktail from the Bluespoon Bar
The Andaz Amsterdam is a welcome addition to the city’s hotel scene. It’s an edgy and modern option for travelers who are over the nearby Sheraton Pulitzer and one with far more personality and spunk at a comparable price point.
@AndazAMS on twitter