Although it’s a modern hotel, the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht makes plenty of references to the past, which its designer Marcel Wanders cites as a major inspiration in his work. Examples of the historical influence can be found in the lobby, with a carpet bearing an antiquated map form the glory days of Dutch naval exploration and commerce, and Wanders’ huge bell chandeliers. Look further upwards and a glittering constellation of stars shine down from the observatory, recalling maritime navigation and serving as a light source for the space below. There are also several nods to the history of the building, which was, until 2007, the Amsterdam Public Library.
Guest rooms feature striking wallpaper, splicing two seemingly incongruous objects together, imagined as a metaphor for the free-thinking spirit of the city in which visitors will find juxtaposition wherever they look. Handily located between two of the most picturesque of Amsterdam’s canals and within a reasonable walk of the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank’s House and some of the less culturally important delights of the city, the Andaz is a smart choice in every department.