It’s not hard to come up with an excuse to visit Holland’s vibrant, colourful capital, but with the recent reopening of Hotel Pulitzer, following a multi-million pound refurbishment, it provided an excellent excuse for a return visit. This luxurious, beautiful and very Dutch hotel is already becoming a magnet for well-heeled travellers, as I soon discovered…
In the wood-floored lobby of this 225-room hotel, splashes of colour are provided by fresh flowers and statement pieces of furniture (I particularly loved the bright purple armchair). But this is no identkit lobby. There are plenty of quirky touches, like the grand piano suspended from the ceiling and the gorgeous delft-tiled reception desks. It’s both stylish and cosy, with plenty of nooks and crannies. My favourite area can be found off to one side of the reception area – a small library filled with books by Pulitzer prize winners (the hotel was created by Joseph Pulitzer’s grandson, Peter). The entire hotel consists of 25 interconnected historic canal houses, and glass-covered walkways wind through the spectacular gardens to connect the various buildings.
Travelling with kids? For a luxury hotel, its child-friendly credentials are seriously impressive. There are 16 connecting rooms and toddlers are presented with activity books, while jet-setting teens receive travel diaries. Baby baths, baby monitors, bottle heaters, Xbox and board games are all available on request, and there’s also a nanny service. Kids will love the hotel’s rambling garden, which has a play area kitted out with swings and hand-carved wooden rocking horses.
Given the sprawling nature of the Pulitzer, I found it was easy to get lost. The team behind the renovation used items purchased at local antique stores to solve this problem, though. Remembering my room number (and asking for directions from hotel staff) became much easier when I remembered that there was a wonderfully tatty teddy bear in a glass display case outside my room.
Inside the rooms are complimentary bicycle repair kits alongside top-of-the-range bathroom amenities, and framed information cards provide an insight into the history of that particular room and the people who once lived there. There are a range of accommodation options available, including split-level family rooms and suites. If you’ve got cash to splash (£766 per night, to be precise!), opt for one of the spectacular Art Collector’s suites, which have private entrances and are filled with priceless pieces of art.
The beautiful rooms and suites at Hotel Pulitzer
TIME TO INDULGE
Jansz is the hotel’s main restaurant. It’s as stunning as the rest of the hotel, with a sleek minimalist look and an open kitchen. Copper jugs hang from the ceiling in both the main room and the stunning private dining room – a reminder that this part of the hotel was once owned by Volkert Jansz, a coppersmith. The menu has an international feel; dishes include lobster risotto and miso-glazed cod, but there are plenty of nods to Dutch cuisine. I loved the burger topped with Reypenaer cheese! The restaurant is next to Pulitzer’s Bar, known for its extensive cocktail list. For something lighter, I headed to Pause, an orangery-like space serving breakfasts, light lunches and some fantastic wines. I’d recommend heading there for afternoon tea, too – it’s impossible not to be tempted by the spectacular displays of rainbow-hued macaroons.
OUT AND ABOUT
The canal-side Pulitzer is located on Prinsengracht in Amsterdam’s city centre, within easy reach of the city’s main attractions – the Anne Frank House, Dam Square and the Royal Palace are all just a few minutes’ walk away, and the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum are both within a mile. I’d also recommend checking out the nearby neighbourhood of Jordaan, which is Amsterdam’s up-and-coming foodie district. Feeling lazy? Book a cruise on the hotel’s beautiful classic salon boat, which first set sail in 1909.
The hotel doesn’t have a spa or wellness facilities, which is a shame.
Hotel Pulitzer is achingly cool without a hint of pretentiousness, and unlike many Amsterdam hotels housed in historic buildings, there’s an abundance of space – it’s got the largest garden of any hotel in Amsterdam city centre. It feels homely, luxurious and intrinsically Dutch all at the same time, and ticks all the boxes, whether you’re in Amsterdam for a romantic weekend getaway or a family holiday. It’s also rare to find such a sumptuous, stylish hotel which caters so well to younger guests. I’d definitely go back.
TAKE ME THERE…
Author: Tamara Hinson
Travel journalist Tamara has travelled to some of the most far-flung corners of the globe in the name of research. If she’s not mountain biking in Tanzania, she’s wine-tasting in South Africa or checking out remote beaches in Vietnam. Her destination and hotel reviews have appeared in the Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Daily Mail and Sunday Times Travel Magazine, as well as in in-flight magazines such as BA High Life.