Upscale Living Magazine - - Features - | By Rahim B. Kanani

A Con­tem­po­rary Mas­ter­piece, Steeped in His­tory

“The palaces have been re­stored in a con­tem­po­rary style but all orig­i­nal de­tails have been main­tained like the grand stair­case de­signed by the ar­chi­tect of King Louis XIV, Daniel Marot,” ex­plained Roberto Payer, Gen­eral Man­ager of the Wal­dorf As­to­ria Am­s­ter­dam. In an in­ter­view, we dis­cussed the his­tory of the ho­tel, the un­der­stated lux­ury of the in­te­rior de­sign, the two-star Miche­lin res­tau­rant on-site and much more.

Tell me a lit­tle bit about the his­tory and lo­ca­tion of the Wal­dorf As­to­ria Am­s­ter­dam.

The Wal­dorf As­to­ria Am­s­ter­dam com­pre­hends 6 mer­chant palaces of the 17th and 18th cen­tury in the Golden Bend and is the first canal ever built; ‘the Heren­gracht’ or ‘Gen­tle­men’s Canal’. The palaces have been in­hab­ited by key fam­i­lies of the coun­try and all the his­tory can be found in the lit­er­a­ture of the Gen­tle­men’s Canal. The area is in­cluded in the UNESCO her­itage. The palaces have been re­stored in a con­tem­po­rary style but all orig­i­nal de­tails have been main­tained like the hall and the grand stair­case de­signed by the ar­chi­tect of King Louis XIV, Daniel Marot, or the din­ing room of the Hooft fam­ily painted by Ja­cob Mau­rer.

How would you de­scribe the de­sign and dé­cor of the prop­erty at large and in par­tic­u­lar, the sig­na­ture suites such as the Van Loon Suite?

Un­der­stated lux­ury is the term that can be used to de­fine the in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tion of the ho­tel signed by GA London. All orig­i­nal de­tails have been main­tained and be­came part of the in­te­rior.

Rooms face the Gen­tle­men’s Canal or the pri­vate largest gar­den of Am­s­ter­dam.

Four sig­na­ture suites and three loft rooms are sec­ond to none hav­ing used the orig­i­nal struc­ture and dé­cor to em­pha­size the past while the rest of the in­te­rior shows a con­tem­po­rary style.

One of the most orig­i­nal suites is the Van Loon suite, with de­tails from the 17th and the 18th cen­tury in them and a paint­ing of the an­ces­tor ‘Willem van Loon’ fel­low founder of the VOC (United East In­dia Com­pany). The lofts are unique as they fea­ture beams dat­ing back to the 17th cen­tury.

In terms of din­ing, how would you de­scribe the at­mos­phere and menu of Lib­rije’s Zusje Am­s­ter­dam and Goldfinch Brasserie?

Lib­rije’s Zusje re­ceived its 2 Miche­lin stars af­ter 7 months of the open­ing. Lo­cated in the lower part of the ho­tel fac­ing the gar­den and con­tem­po­rary dec­o­rated, it has a very per­son­al­ized menu, signed by Sid­ney Schutte. The menu can­not be de­scribed as all the recipes con­tain the var­i­ous ex­pe­ri­ences of Sid­ney around the world and most of the prod­ucts are lo­cal. A unique ex­pe­ri­ence for a food lover.

The Goldfinch over­looks the gar­den and with its con­tem­po­rary 20 seats is an in­ti­mate lo­ca­tion for a less elab­o­rate lunch or din­ner. The menu con­tains dishes like steak tar­tar, ham­burger or a Wal­dorf salad but still su­per­vised by Sid­ney Schutte.

With re­gard to en­joy­ing a leg­endary cock­tail at the ho­tel, what makes the Vault Bar so unique?

The vault of the bank, which was pre­vi­ously lo­cated in the premises, is the dé­cor. Award win­ning and clas­si­cal cock­tails are served. The menu in­cludes a wal­let where the de­sign of for­eign cur­ren­cies shows a spe­cific cock­tail of the coun­try they rep­re­sent.

One of the most lux­u­ri­ous of­fer­ings at the ho­tel is the Guer­lain Spa. What spe­cific treat­ments might you rec­om­mend for guests ar­riv­ing af­ter a long jour­ney?

The Guer­lain Spa is the only one in the Benelux and in­cludes 3 treat­ment rooms. All prod­ucts of Guer­lain can be bought and treat­ments are given by 5 Guer­lain-trained ther­a­pists. Spe­cific treat­ments in­clude the Orchidee Im­pe­rial Mas­sage, the ul­ti­mate face and body treat­ment, a unique­ness of Guer­lain.

What other ex­pe­ri­ences and ac­tiv­i­ties might guests be able to or­ga­nize while stay­ing at the Wal­dorf Am­s­ter­dam to en­joy the city more broadly?

The ho­tel is lo­cated in the fo­cus point of the city. All the ma­jor mu­se­ums, the opera, the con­cert hall are at walk­ing dis­tance. The street ad­join­ing the ho­tel is used by the lo­cals for their shop­ping but of­fers a va­ri­ety of restau­rants and lo­cal shops. Lunches and din­ners can be served in clas­si­cal sa­loon boats for a tour through the canals and lo­cal en­ter­tain­ment can be found close by.

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