What is it that motivates your travels? Personally, I travel to experience culture, adventure and cuisine. There have been times that I have traveled to see monuments, museums and natural wonders. And there is one time that I traveled to experience a hotel in Amsterdam – the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam.
It all started when I began researching a plan for a fall 2015 trip to Europe. I had 11 nights to spend on the continent and now just needed to decide on the specific cities I would experience. I began my travel planning like I begin most of my travel planning – by searching for luxury hotels! And then I saw it – the Waldorf Amsterdam – and I had to experience it firsthand. Just one sight of the picturesque UNESCO World Heritage Listed Amsterdam Canals and I was all in!
What do you get when you combine a series of 17th century Amsterdam town-homes with a former bank? Well if you are the Waldorf Astoria, you get one heck of a luxury hotel!
The property as we know it came to life in 2014 and now in 2016 the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam is officially my favorite Hilton Hotel in the world. If you have HHonors points and/or free night certificates, there is no better way to spend them than at this property.
Staying at this hotel is everything I was hoped it would be, and while I will do my best to write this review, I assure you it will fall short in detailing my experience…
The Award Booking
As you may have guessed by the Waldorf name, this room is not cheap! This is the definition of luxury hotel and can set you back upwards of 400 Euro per night! Since I am not made of money, I decided to use my Hilton HHonors points in order to save my cash for museum entry fare, local cuisine and eh hmm…coffee. This property is a Category 10 Hilton, meaning my 3-night stay cost me 95,000 HHonors points per night, or a total of 285,000 HHonors points.
I will warn you that the secret is out on this hotel and award availability at the 95,000 point level is scarce! Since my stay in the Fall of 2015 the hotel has been named one of Europe’s top luxury hotels, and deservingly so!
If you are interested in redeeming points for this hotel, I highly suggest that you plan far in advance or be flexible with your travel dates! I also noticed it may be possible to snag last minute availability 1-3 days before your stay, so don’t give up hope if you can’t find availability right away.
I’m an Uber guy (and Lyft if available), so I did what an Uber guy does – Uber! From Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) to the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam cost me under 30 Euro and took about 30 minutes. The location is exceptional with views of the decidedly charming canals from the front of the hotel, and gardens in the back.
The Waldorf recognizes this optimal location describing it as “an opulent base in the heart of the grand Herengracht on the UNESCO World Heritage listed canal setting, from which to explore the vibrant city of Amsterdam.”
The Hotel Entrance/Check-In Experience
We were greeted at the doors by a couple of friendly doormen who relieved us of our luggage and directed us to the front-desk. Rather than a typical walk-up check-in desk, we were escorted to an aesthetically pleasing office space, where we were offered seats while we completed the check-in process.
The hotel staff gave us a tour of the property, beginning in the impeccably decorated “Peacock Alley” lounge, a Waldorf Astoria staple, and ending in our elegant guest-room.
The first level room featured large floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of the Herengracht canal no more than 20 -feet away. Opposite the large and comfortable king-sized bed sat a marble fireplace and a mirror as grand as the windows, a working desk with European and UK outlet plugs, and a large TV.
The bathroom, albeit small and without a free standing tub, was both contemporary and luxurious. The Salvatore Ferragamo amenities add a touch of bliss to the overwhelmingly welcoming room. Additionally, Room Service surprised us with special touches each evening, including chocolates and macarons.
The Fitness Center & Spa
When traveling, I love to start each morning with a run around town. Amsterdam was no exception. However, we did venture down to the Waldorf’s fitness center one afternoon to scout out the scenery. The fitness center was larger than the average hotel gym, and had standard equipment. The large windows in the fitness center looked out over the beautiful gardens. I did not indulge in any treatments at the hotel’s Guerlain Spa, but I would have loved to!
The Dining Experience
When I originally began researching the city of Amsterdam to plan out the visit, I started with “Michelin stars in Amsterdam”. Surprisingly, a 2-Michelin star restaurant was IN OUR HOTEL! Of course, we immediately resolved to eat at Librije Zusje at least once, in order to discover what all the hype was about. We made our 8pm reservation for our second night at the hotel, and decided to leave our phones in our room so we could have the most “present” experience possible (thus, there are no photos of this dinner in this post).
There was not a single aspect about this restaurant that wasn’t remarkable. The service, the ambiance, the presentation, the taste, the quality. Everything exceeded my expectations. See this review for a more in-depth description of LZ, because the whole magical evening was a blur for me.
Final Thought and Overall Impression
5 star, high class, luxurious, exemplary…. I don’t know how else to describe my experience here, but it was perfect. At 95,000 HHonors points per night, the Waldorf Amsterdam is WELL worth the redemption.
Want to stay at this property? Need a point boost to your Hilton HHonors account? Consider applying for one or both of the following cards and save some of that cash for that coffee, cheese and stroopwafel!
- Citi Reserve Hilton Card offers 2 Free Weekend Night Certificates, which are perfect a high value luxury hotel redemption like this! Just note that these certificates can only be used for “weekend nights” – which are considered Friday, Saturday, Sunday!
- Hilton HHonors Surpass American Express – earn 100,000 HHonors points – enough for at least 1 free nights at the Waldorf Amsterdam! This is a current limited-time high offer good through 11/30/16!
I didn’t pay cash for my stay (thanks HHonors points!) but experiencing this property may even be worth the price tag…maybe!