Grand Hotel Amrâth
Built in 1916 as the Scheepwarthuis (the Shipping House), this landmark building is one of the city’s finest examples of Amsterdam School architecture. In July 2007 it reopened as a five-star hotel, with every last detail either restored to its former state or meticulously reproduced. All the various elements combine to create a transporting experience, from the exquisite original upholstery in the Seven Seas restaurant and Indonesian teak paneling in the bar to the stained-glass ceiling located five floors above reception and the wall-mounted brass lamps in the rooms—almost all of which have 17-foot ceilings and vast paned windows with views onto the Binnenkant canal or the IJburg river. But with a chic clientele and buzzy atmosphere, this is hardly a hotel that’s stuck in time.
Room to book: Brides and big spenders should angle for the tower suite. Three stories high, it occupies the octagonal turret dominating the hotel’s front facade, with commanding 240-degree views over Amsterdam.
Insider Tip: The shipping magnates kept their cash in an enormous subterranean vault that’s been converted into the restaurant’s wine cellar. Book a private dinner, with flights hand-picked by the restaurant’s sommelier, in the adjacent dining room.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.