Oh Amsterdam, how you seduce us. Your chocolate box townhouses, your narrow waterways and your statuesque bike-riding inhabitants… the list goes on. Or at least it did, until Pulitzer Amsterdam reopened its doors and floored us completely.
Shine your shoes and straighten your bow tie because there’s something to celebrate. This iconic hotel has just put the final touches on an extensive restoration project led by Creative Director Jacu Strauss that covers its 25 Golden Age canal houses, and oh my is it pretty. Slap bang in the centre of town, yet tucked away on a quiet stretch of waterfront on Prisengracht, Pulitzer Amsterdam is a destination in itself. We fell head over heels as soon as we stepped through the smart navy doors and into the entrance, with its antique furniture, unique artwork and symmetrical marble floors (an original feature, since you ask). And that was before we were swept away like kings and queens by a bevvy of courteous staff.
Decisions, decisions. The Music Collector’s Suite with walls covered in trumpets and a vintage record collection – a nod to a composer that once called this hotel home? Or perhaps the Book Collector’s Suite with its old world appeal and quirky classic-filled archway, inspired by an eccentric bookworm guest? Even if you’re feeling thrifty, Pulitzer Amsterdam’s smaller rooms are comfortable and stylish. With 225 to choose from, we’re pretty sure you’ll find one that floats your boat.
Our swish room was all muted greys and whites, with hot pink and lemon yellow accents for added zing. We had an enormous bed, a custom-made mini bar that doubled up as a cocktail making station and a bathroom that was bang on trend, all decked in subway tiles and pale marble. But perhaps the best bit was the view over the new inner courtyard, a green sanctuary designed by Dutch garden architects Copjin.
Pulitzer Amsterdam’s restaurant, Jansz., continues the quirky but beautiful theme – there are plenty of copper light fittings and marble slabs to ogle at, wood paneling, velvet banquettes, huge sash windows and a terrace that overlooks the canal to one side and a cobbled street studded with independent boutiques to the other.
Oh yes, we nearly forgot – the food itself. Breakfast was a buffet of epic proportions with piles of fresh fruit, tubs of granola and towers of croissants (don’t panic, the chef cooks up eggs and pancakes on request from the open kitchen). Lunch was an elegant affair; we went for burrata and tomato salad drizzled in olive oil and balsamic and a grilled chicken sandwich with fries, but if you’re feeling a little more refined, the miso-glazed cod with dashi broth looked pretty spectacular. Admittedly, we skipped dinner (a date with Amsterdam’s nightlife stood in the way), but executive chef Cassidy Hallman’s love of modern classics and flavoursome ingredients makes for the likes of US hanger steak with Jerusalem artichokes and lobster risotto.
There's also a particularly enticing in house bar; dark, moody and intimate with an old school vibe and its very own entrance on Keizersgracht. Cocktails are delicious but deadly, which is an excellent reason to order from the accompanying snack menu.
In a Nutshell
It’s hard to sum Pulitzer Amsterdam up, because it’s really rather perfect. We could wax lyrical over the masterful design and all the fun anecdotes hidden among this maze of unique townhouses. But we’ll leave you with one last thought: there’s a private boat for steaming along the canal in style, which has the added bonus of reminding everyone in town that you’re staying in a better hotel than they are. Strauss, we salute you.
Rooms cost from £235 per night.
Words by Annie Biziou – Lifestyle Editor