To accommodate the biggest private collection of video art in town, the lighting at the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht is dim, but that’s about the only thing that’s muted about this daring, design-focused hotel, which bears all the giddy hallmarks of its extravagant creator, Marcel Wanders, dubbed the Lady Gaga of Dutch design.
The decorative concept is “Alice in Amsterdam” and – from the Mad Hatter mural to the incredible hanging light installations in the central atrium – that’s very much in evidence.
Ichthyophobes approach with caution: Guestrooms feature giant murals of gasping herring, right above the immaculate beds. The walk-in shower – screened by a two-way mirror so the occupant can still see the bonkers room and beyond – is the enclosed element of the “bathroom,” which bleeds into the bedroom via a freestanding concrete table topped with a large mirror and a blue and white Delft pottery–inspired wash basin. The bespoke Amsterdam-themed wallpaper in the (mercifully separate) lavatory is a joy to behold, and it’s full of city trivia. Who needs a travel guide?
Like many members of Amsterdam’s new culinary fraternity, Julien Piguet, executive chef at ground-floor restaurant Bluespoon, prides himself on using locally-grown ingredients that haven’t been messed about with too much. This approach, along with the more-open-than-most open kitchen, makes for a robust yet glamorous evening meal — if you can get a table, that is. The light-flooded gym is worth a visit for its perky fluorescent paint job by Italian artist Daniele Innamorato, as is the lobby bar, which serves a mean peppery gin and tonic.
No coincidence that this hotel’s address is name-dropped at every opportunity: The Prinsengracht is the city’s most prestigious canal, and given its horseshoe shape, a stroll along its waters can take you pretty much anywhere. The nearby Nine Streets is packed with quirky cafés such as Café de Pels and independent vintage clothes and trinket shops holding strong against the invasion of the chain (store) gang. A nano-walk into town brings you to the excellent Amsterdam Museum, which tells the story of the city where Wanders’s wallpaper leaves off.
— Review by Mark Smith, courtesy of Jetsetter.com. The text has been modified to fit the format.