Review: Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

Review: Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

NAME: Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam
LOCATION: Amsterdam, Netherlands
DATE: July 2021
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam is now one of my favorite city hotels in the world, with incredible design, an ideal location, and flawless service. I can't recommend this hotel enough.
29

After spending some time in Germany, it was time to head to the Netherlands, the next step on our five country Europe adventure. We spent three nights at the spectacular 93-room Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, which is now easily one of my favorite city hotels.

Why we traveled to Amsterdam

Our side trip to Amsterdam was planned pretty last minute. While visiting family in Frankfurt, Ford and I just randomly had a discussion with my mom about Amsterdam. She said she hadn’t been in a long time, but had many fond memories visiting when she was younger. I jokingly said “well why don’t we go for a few days?”

As I mapped things out and realized it was a fairly short drive and that the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam had points availability, I quickly put something together. Before we knew it, we were off to Amsterdam!

How to book the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

Cash rates at the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam range from 400 EUR to 800 EUR per night for a base room, depending on the time of year. For our dates, the cash rate would have been 600 EUR.

If you do book a cash rate at the Waldorf Astoria, I recommend doing so through Hilton Impresario, which offers all kinds of extra perks, including a room upgrade subject to availability, a $100 property credit, early check-in and late check-out subject to availability, double Hilton Honors points, and more.

This is better than booking through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts or Virtuoso for a variety of reasons, including that upgrades are prioritized through Hilton Impresario, you get a $100 property credit (rather than a credit being specific to dining or the spa), you earn double Hilton Honors points, and more.

If you need help with a Hilton Impresario booking on a paid stay, Ford is happy to help, and can be reached at [email protected]

How to redeem points at the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

We redeemed points for a three night stay for two rooms:

  • While Hilton Honors doesn’t have an award chart, the hotel generally costs 95,000 Honors points per night, so that’s what we paid
  • You do get a fifth night free on award redemptions, and while that would have been a better deal, there was only award availability for three nights, and that’s also all that fit into our schedule
  • It can be tough to find award availability at this hotel (since there are few base rooms), but often rooms become available last minute, so we lucked out since we booked just days before our trip
  • I like staying at Hilton properties when we are booking two rooms; that’s because Ford and I are both Hilton Honors Diamond members through the Hilton Aspire Card, and therefore our strategy is to book one room in each of our names, so that we can get elite perks for both rooms

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam location

I don’t claim to be an expert on Amsterdam (the last time I properly visited the city was in 2014), though as far as I’m concerned the Waldorf Astoria has a perfect location. It’s located on the Herengracht Canal (which is a UNESCO heritage site) and virtually everything was in walking distance. We just about explored the entire city, and did it all on foot.

I’d also note that the street that the Waldorf Astoria is on is particularly quiet, which sure is nice, in terms of both foot traffic and noise.

Herengracht Canal near Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

The hotel is comprised of six former canal houses. While they’re all connected, you can easily tell them apart from the exterior.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam exterior

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam check-in & lobby

Service at the Waldorf Astoria was flawless from the moment we arrived. As we pulled up, two bellmen immediately assisted us with your bags, and escorted us up to reception. This was up the exterior staircase and then to the right.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam entrance

If you think the exterior of the hotel is cool, well, the interior is even more of a treat. The hotel dates back to the 1600s, and an amazing job was done maintaining some of the historical elements of the hotel, while making it modern and luxurious. Look at those moldings!

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam lobby entrance

At reception were two desks for a sit-down check-in experience. As we checked in, we were all offered some chocolates that looked like bees, because they were made with honey from the hotel’s garden. We were also offered refreshing towels.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam welcome treats

We were asked if we wanted anything to drink, and I ordered a coffee. As you can see in the above picture, there was a screen with the guest’s name on it, and then during the check-in experience there’s almost a little slideshow presentation going over the basics of the hotel, what’s included with your rate, etc.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam welcome coffee

At the conclusion of the check-in experience, we were asked to select from one of four Cire Trudon scents, which would be sprayed in our room each evening with turndown service.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Cire Trudon scents

Both rooms were upgraded to King Grand Premier rooms with canal views.

It’s not often I comment on something like this, but the staff at the Waldorf Astoria wear some really cool traditional local dresses, which is a cute touch, given the history of the hotel. Once we were checked in, we were given a brief tour of the hotel, including a rundown of the property’s history.

For example, the staircase across from reception was built by Daniel Marot, the architect of Louis XIV.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam staircase
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam staircase

Further into the lobby was Peacock Alley, one of the hotel’s restaurants. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea (more on that later).

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam lobby

The elevators are right across from Peacock Alley.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam elevators

Further down the hall is a piano.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam lobby piano

Across from that is Maurer Room, a private dining room featuring original Rococo style decorations and 18th century paintings. You can rent this for a private event, but I don’t want to know how much it’ll cost. 😉

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam historic dining room

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam King Grand Premier Room Canal View

Ford and I stayed in room 63, and getting to the room was quite an adventure. While the room was on the ground floor, we had to first take an elevator up a level, and then walk to the far end of the hotel.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam elevators

When walking down the hallway, it’s cool how there are placards letting you know when you’re moving between buildings.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam hallway
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam historical signs

At the other end of the hotel we took the stairs down a level, and then our room was located in a rather wide hallway. For those with accessibility needs, this probably isn’t the hotel for you (but that’s a problem in Amsterdam in general, given how many old buildings have been restored).

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam hallway

The King Grand Premier rooms at the Waldorf Astoria are marketed as being 474-592 square feet. Our room was stunning, and I’d guess it was on the lower end of that in terms of size, as it was definitely under 500 square feet.

The room featured an entryway with a closet to the right, and then the rest of the room to the left.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam room entryway

The room was simply gorgeous, in terms of the design, the incredibly high ceilings, and the amount of natural light. The room had a comfortable king size bed, with night tables on both sides.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam canal view room
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam canal view room

At the foot of the bed was a loveseat. Then there was also a desk with a chair, along with another chair near the window. That second chair could be moved to the desk if two people want to enjoy in-room dining together.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam canal view room
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam canal view room desk
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam canal view room chair

There was also a wall-mounted TV at the far end of the room, along with a minibar console. Seriously, look at how high those ceilings are!

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam canal view room

The minibar featured complimentary Nespresso coffee, tea, and bottled water, and then there were a variety of drinks and snacks for purchase.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam in-room coffee
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam in-room coffee & tea
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam in-room minibar
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam in-room minibar

Also on this table was a welcome amenity of three madeleines. Yum.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam welcome amenity

And of course the best part of the room was the view of the canal. At first I was worried about being on the ground floor, and the lack of privacy. However, we ended up loving this. As mentioned above, the Waldorf Astoria is on a quiet street, the room is elevated a bit off the ground, and it was cool to have such a direct view of the boat traffic.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam canal view room

The bathroom was compact but well appointed, and featured a sink, a soaking tub with a TV, a walk-in shower, and a toilet.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Grand Premier room bathroom
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Grand Premier room bathtub
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Grand Premier room shower & toilet
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Grand Premier room shower
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Grand Premier room toilet

Toiletries were from Salvatore Ferragamo, as is standard at Waldorf Astoria properties.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Salvatore Ferragamo toiletries

Wi-Fi in the room was fast and free, and housekeeping was provided twice daily, and was very thorough. Indeed, I loved the scent that they sprayed every evening, and on the last evening we were given a small tube with our preferred scent to enjoy at home. What a thoughtful touch.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Cire Trudon scent to enjoy at home

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Peacock Alley (breakfast)

We received complimentary breakfast on account of our Hilton Honors Diamond status, and this could be enjoyed either via in-room dining starting at 6AM, or at Peacock Alley from 9AM until 11AM. We had breakfast at Peacock Alley all three mornings.

This is the Waldorf Astoria’s lobby lounge, so it’s not really a traditional restaurant, but it is a gorgeous space.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Peacock Alley
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Peacock Alley
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Peacock Alley
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Peacock Alley

The standard breakfast here is “The Taste of Waldorf,” which retails for 39 EUR per person.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam breakfast menu
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam breakfast menu
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam breakfast menu

Breakfast each morning started with coffee or tea and a freshly squeezed juice. I had french press coffee and a green juice.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam breakfast

Then a gorgeous tray was brought out with berries, smoked salmon, cold cuts, cheese, yogurt, bread, and pastries.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam breakfast

Then there was the choice of an a la carte option. Over the course of our stay we tried several things, including an omelet, eggs benedict, and oatmeal.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam breakfast
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam breakfast
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam breakfast

Breakfast was excellent, and I think it’s also worth noting that the hotel went above and beyond, because technically they only have to offer elite members a continental breakfast, but they instead offer a full breakfast.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam in-room dining

On the day we arrived at the Waldorf Astoria we decided to order lunch via in-room dining. We had a long car ride and I needed to get some work done, so it seemed like the easiest option. You can find the in-room dining menu here.

We ordered chicken yakitori, a club sandwich, and a pizza to share, and all were excellent (don’t worry, this was our least interesting meal in Amsterdam, as we otherwise enjoyed some awesome Indonesian food, and much more). The pizza also tasted much better than it looked, for the record.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam in-room dining
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam in-room dining
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam in-room dining

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam canal view terrace

In the summers the Waldorf Astoria sets up a cute, small terrace with just a few tables, right on the canal. We had some drinks here one afternoon, which was lovely.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam terrace

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Spectrum Restaurant

The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam has Spectrum Restaurant, led by two Michelin-starred chef Sidney Schutte. Unfortunately at the moment this restaurant is only open three days per week (Thursdays through Saturdays), so we didn’t have the chance to check it out. There’s also a bar near the restaurant, which looked cute, though was closed.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Guerlain Spa, gym, and pool

The Waldorf Astoria has Gerlain Spa, located on the basement level. While we didn’t get any spa treatments, you can find the spa menu here.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Guerlain Spa entrance
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Guerlain Spa reception

The spa was beautiful, and had a pool, sauna, steam room, etc.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Guerlain Spa pool
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Guerlain Spa pool
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Guerlain Spa sauna

The gym is also located in this area, and I thought it was excellent for a historic hotel like this, with great cardio equipment and weights.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam gym
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam gym
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam gym
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam gym

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam outdoor garden

The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam has a stunning garden, where you could read a book or get some work done (weather permitting, of course — we lucked out in that sense). Since the garden is a UNESCO heritage site, unfortunately there’s no food or drink service out there. That’s a shame, because this would be an ideal setting for a cafe.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam garden
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam garden
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam garden
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam garden
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam garden

Near the garden was another nice sitting area. I’m not sure if this is sometimes used for something, or what exactly the intent is for this space.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam sitting area
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam sitting area

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam service

The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam has some of the best service I’ve ever received at a city hotel. I’d say the service matches the rest of the hotel, which is quite a compliment. Not only were staff genuinely friendly across the board, but they were also competent, polished, and attentive, which can be a tough combo to achieve. Where do we begin?

  • The concierges here are simply rockstars; a good concierge at a city hotel can be invaluable for securing reservations and getting the best table (especially when planning last minute travel), and the team here was awesome, and incredibly responsive by email
  • From the front desk staff, to the concierges, to the Peacock Alley servers, everyone had such an eye for detail and was genuinely friendly; for example, at breakfast the servers would ask us how our dinner was at a certain restaurant the evening before, even though we never discussed it with them
  • Similarly, I know it’s minor, but I appreciate how envelopes were addressed to “Mr. & Mr.” (if I had a dollar for every time I’ve received a “Mr. & Mrs.” letter, despite the hotel having both passports on file, I’d use that money to book another stay here)
  • I loved all the little touches, from the drinks and chocolates at check-in, to the Cire Trudon scents at turndown service, and to take home

I pay very close attention to service at hotels, and it’s normal that there’s something I can critique. In the case of the Waldorf Astoria staff, there’s quite literally nothing they didn’t execute perfectly. Kudos.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam attention to detail

Bottom line

The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam is a spectacular hotel that I can’t recommend enough, whether you’re paying cash or redeeming Hilton Honors points. This is now my favorite points hotel in Europe, and one of my top 10 city hotels in the world.

I love everything about this hotel — it’s the perfect balance between being modern and historic, the rooms are beautifully appointed, the location is great, the elite recognition is very good, and the service is flawless.

If you’re headed to Amsterdam and can swing it, I can’t recommend the Waldorf Astoria enough.

If you’ve stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, what was your experience like? Alternatively, what’s your favorite hotel in Amsterdam?

Conversations (29)
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  1. JB Guest

    This hotel and Amsterdam itself both look amazing! so rare to see the historical buildings preserved and maintained so well. This looks like near perfection!

  2. LAX Guest

    Best thing about these row house conversion hotels is that they really are located in the middle of everything.

    Nothing beats being able to walk out of your hotel and right into the center of town. My personal favorite is the Pulitzer, but this WA looks quite nice as well.

    The caveat with these hotels is that you pretty much have to spring for a canal view room. The “views” in base rate...

    Best thing about these row house conversion hotels is that they really are located in the middle of everything.

    Nothing beats being able to walk out of your hotel and right into the center of town. My personal favorite is the Pulitzer, but this WA looks quite nice as well.

    The caveat with these hotels is that you pretty much have to spring for a canal view room. The “views” in base rate rooms tend to be pretty brutal. At least those canal views tend to be worth the premium!

  3. Scott Guest

    I stayed there the same time as you (saw you all at breakfast each morning) and had the same incredible experience. What a terrific hotel, across the board.

    If there was one thing I had to critique, it would be room size. As a Diamond, I was also upgraded to a grand canal view room, which was beautiful, but it felt more like 250-300 square feet to me. It was perfectly fine, and totally...

    I stayed there the same time as you (saw you all at breakfast each morning) and had the same incredible experience. What a terrific hotel, across the board.

    If there was one thing I had to critique, it would be room size. As a Diamond, I was also upgraded to a grand canal view room, which was beautiful, but it felt more like 250-300 square feet to me. It was perfectly fine, and totally understandable for an old building in a city center, but if you were expecting a larger room as the 500 square foot description markers, you may be disappointed.

    I also have to reiterate how amazing the staff and service were, without being stuffy or overly formal. Especially at breakfast, the service was top notch and then some.

  4. Mark Guest

    Spectrum is great, though possibly a bit challenging for the more unadventurous with food. There's a nice twist with the menu that confused me at first...

    It was one of the food highlights of a four night stay that included five Michelin-starred restaurants! The other was &moshik, which has unfortunately now closed, but the food in general in Amsterdam is very good.

  5. Timo Gold

    Now I'm curious as to how the staff knew where you dined the previous night without discussing it with them. Sounds both a little odd but also charming.

  6. Zila Guest

    I stayed at this hotel last month and I had similar impression of the hotel. I will only add that other WA in Europe have similar attention to details and over the top luxury.
    Just like you, I too used my free nights as a diamond member for my stay.
    What a treat after the long Covid closures!!

  7. Beachfan Guest

    Superb review!

    Any comments on this vs Andaz (HH diamond and Hyatt glob).

  8. Nate nate Guest

    Nice review, and makes me want to stay there.

    I am curious how the garden is a UNESCO site. The closest site listed is the "Seventeenth-century canal ring area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht". Would be interesting to learn why the garden had special rules that the rest of the property did not.

  9. Cray Coppins Guest

    Could not agree more! This is the best stay we have had for all of the reasons you stated. We also did it on points at the last minute. Great review.

  10. Ralph Guest

    I agree with Ben, having stayed at this hotel in early October for one night only. I redeemed a free night certificate, smartly so said the Hilton agent who booked it for me. “Some people use the free certificates to book Hampton Inn,” he said, laughing. The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam is as good as it gets. I only have one regret: that I did not order the Eggs Benedict after having seen Ben’s photo.

  11. John Guest

    I just stayed there last month and had the same experience ... Everything was perfect ... the staff, the room, the 'extras' ...

  12. Amy Fischer Guest

    It’s a beautiful hotel. The only negative is they cheaped out on the tiles in the shower and wc. That is not in line with expectations for such a high caliber hotel.

    That Pizza looks good. I always order one in every hotel that offers it.

    1. Marco Guest

      No, it doesn't look good. It looks like a frozen pizza that you can buy for 3€ in every supermarket

    2. Nick Guest

      I thought the same about the shower tiles.

  13. farnorthtrader Guest

    Reminds me very much of our stay at the WA Shanghai on the Bund. Our favorite hotel stay of all time. If you end up in Shanghai in the future, you should definitely check it out and I will be checking out WA Amsterdam if we end up in the city in the future

  14. AW Guest

    Really reinforces my prior opinion about how relatively tacky all of those Paris hotels were. I've never stayed at the WA Amsterdam, but I've been in a couple of similar level row house hotels; they were all really solid.

  15. Grey New Member

    I find Netherlands tends to be one of my favourite countries for service in general. Usually friendly, helpful but also casual. And with a relatively flat social hierarchy, so it doesn't feel uncomfortable to receive attentive service the way it does in some countries.

  16. Jack Guest

    What’s great review. My wife and I will be visiting for 2 nights in February and can’t wait.

  17. herenwhat Guest

    I had a great stay at the WA with my mom before she passed. The doormen were soooo nice. I also love the Andaz Amsterdam and seemingly switch between the two hotels.

  18. Roman Guest

    Great pictures, just how early do you get up and walk around the property to get pictures without other people in the field of view?

  19. VT-CIE Gold

    Ben, you said in the introduction to this series that you had very strong feelings about WA Amsterdam and Grand Hyatt Athens. I had assumed this one to be negative, though they are outstandingly positive. Can I get a hint of how Athens was (positive or negative, nothing more) before the trip report comes out? ;)

    1. cahbf Gold

      I just stayed at GH Athens and I can assure you there will be no rave review forthcoming

  20. Luke Guest

    Nice review! We have a 2 night stay on points in May next year (with a couple nights later at PH Paris) Am contemplating whether to extend stay to 5 nights (the consecutive nights are currently available on points) although not sure what will do on the longer stay in Amsterdam, maybe there's good day trip options to fill the time! Seems worth it though given diamond status and breakfast where at Hyatt don't have top status.

    1. Bob Guest

      @Luke: You definitely should extend your stay in Amsterdam. Our family went a few years ago and easily filled up five days. There are amazing art and history museums, including some lesser known gems such as the Dutch Resistance museum. But if you're going in early May, you MUST go to Keukenhof (https://keukenhof.nl/en/). It's unlike anything you've ever seen with breathtaking gardens and tulips in every size, shape and design. It's an easy train ride...

      @Luke: You definitely should extend your stay in Amsterdam. Our family went a few years ago and easily filled up five days. There are amazing art and history museums, including some lesser known gems such as the Dutch Resistance museum. But if you're going in early May, you MUST go to Keukenhof (https://keukenhof.nl/en/). It's unlike anything you've ever seen with breathtaking gardens and tulips in every size, shape and design. It's an easy train ride from Amsterdam -- we did it with no problems. Enjoy!

    2. Gaurav Community Ambassador

      I would second Keukenhof!

    3. Marilyn B Guest

      I third Keukenhof. Easy to get to from the city.
      And so many wonderful things to see in Amsterdam itself - as mentioned the Dutch Resistance Museum is worth it. Our Lord in the Attic is an interesting place. Wander through the Jordaan area.
      And so many easy day trips - Haarlem, Gouda, Alkmaar, Delft. You could fill way more than 5 days. We did 8 over 2 trips and still have more to see.
      Enjoy!

    4. LAX Guest

      5 nights for sure.

      So many great day trip opportunities. Brugge, Brussels, Antwerp, Cologne, etc. All super easy via train.

      Not to mention AMS itself — lovely town to explore.

  21. Abidjan Guest

    Super review, Lucky. I'll be staying here for sure next time in the city.

  22. pstm91 Platinum

    Nice review, thanks Ben. In a city where there are many solid options, and in particular a lot of boutique hotels I like a lot, the WA really is a tier above. Phenomenal hotel and service.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Bob Guest

@Luke: You definitely should extend your stay in Amsterdam. Our family went a few years ago and easily filled up five days. There are amazing art and history museums, including some lesser known gems such as the Dutch Resistance museum. But if you're going in early May, you MUST go to Keukenhof (https://keukenhof.nl/en/). It's unlike anything you've ever seen with breathtaking gardens and tulips in every size, shape and design. It's an easy train ride from Amsterdam -- we did it with no problems. Enjoy!

2
Timo Gold

Now I'm curious as to how the staff knew where you dined the previous night without discussing it with them. Sounds both a little odd but also charming.

1
Amy Fischer Guest

It’s a beautiful hotel. The only negative is they cheaped out on the tiles in the shower and wc. That is not in line with expectations for such a high caliber hotel. That Pizza looks good. I always order one in every hotel that offers it.

1
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