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Hotel review: Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Amsterdam

Simon Calder’s Travel

One of the ‘grande dame’ hotels of Amsterdam continues to impress more than 150 years since opening, mingling the historic and contemporary with aplomb, offering distinct experiences for a memorable city break, and serving Michilin-starred cuisine in an incredible space


It doesn’t get much more central than this spot on Dam Square, the city’s historic core and the original dam on the Amstel River. The hotel overlooks the National Monument cenotaph, a soaring pillar of travertine, and is opposite the Royal Palace, a Classicist monument from the Dutch ‘Golden Age’ and the 15th-century Nieuwe Kerk (New Church). A short stroll around the corner is De Wallen – the tourist-heavy red light district – but walk 10–15 minutes west and you reach Jordaan, a pretty neighbourhood of on-trend bars, cafes that spill into the street, galleries and markets; it’s an area beloved by Amsterdammers and not overwhelmed by tourists.

The hotel is 10 minutes on foot from Centraal station, where there are regular trains to Schiphol airport (the journey should take no more than 20 minutes). On foot you can reach the Rijksmuseum – where you’ll find work by Rembrant and Vermeer among 8,000 pieces – in 20 minutes, or the Anne Frank House in 15; on two wheels, in true Amsterdam fashion, you’ll halve that time.

The hotel has a prime position on Dam Square (Anantara)

The vibe

The hotel grew out of a small coffeehouse opened in 1856 by Adolph Wilhelm Krasnapolsky, a tailor by trade, and rooms were added as its popularity grew. A traditional facade instantly gives way to a sleek, contemporary design on entry, blending Scandi furnishings with modern, circular lighting that bounces off polished surfaces.

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The Anantara now spreads over 55 canal houses, which lends slight differences between each part; you will likely get lost in the labyrinthine hallways, and can easily find yourself at a dead end. The archives have been raided to create a display of artefacts over the last 150 years, including menus from the French brasserie that was once here, while modern art pieces, from shiny sculptures to quirky furniture, bring the property bang up to date.

One of the premium suites inside Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Amsterdam (Anantara)

The service

Pin-sharp, for the most part. Smooth during check in and out, then pleasant…

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