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Check In, Check Out: Hotel de l’Europe in Amsterdam — Hotel Review

When Alfred Hitchcock shot “Foreign Correspondent” (1940) in Amsterdam, he chose the Hotel de l’Europe as the backdrop for some of its most important scenes. The hotel still has the continental sophistication and glamour that must have appealed to Hitchcock, and its recent $85-million renovation has assured comfort and high style. Rooms start at 339 euros, or about $540 at $1.34 to the euro.


The Heineken family, the hotel’s owner, chose the Dutch firm Dam Partners to redo the property. The De l’Europe has retained its classic tone: a doorman in a top hat and tails greets guests, and three-tiered glass chandeliers sparkle in the red-walled entrance. The interior now mixes the traditional with the whimsical, with a hip Dutch nod to kitsch. Behind the lobby’s comfortable white sofas and armchairs upholstered in red hang huge copies of portraits from the Rijksmuseum. The team redid existing rooms and created 23 suites with separate sitting rooms known as the Dutch Masters wing. Each room has an enlarged copy of a masterpiece, and the palette plays off that: white, red, gray or blue.


On the Amstel River and the Muntplein, one of the city’s busiest squares, the hotel is sufficiently central that a visitor can arrive by taxi, tram or water taxi or make the 15-minute walk from the Central Station, a key hub in a country small enough to make train travel more practical than flying. And one can easily stroll from the hotel to the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and P. C. Hooftstraat, one of the city’s main shopping areas.


Our superior deluxe room was 376 square feet and had a pair of capacious beds covered in dark red fabric. The oversize headboard gave the room a feeling of grandeur, as did the burl wood writing desk. The tall windows offered a decent view of the canal, and the room had free Wi-Fi and Internet access, a Nespresso machine, many choices of teas and up to 60 minutes of free calling worldwide.


It has been redone in white marble with a deep tub and ample shower. The magnifying mirror actually magnified, the floors were heated and there was a plethora of Blaise Mautin products. The only mystery: how the tiny orchid, tucked in a marble crevice, had managed to survive.


We ordered breakfast the previous evening, but a half-hour before the delivery time, we decided to push it back so we could lounge longer. Still, the eggs, pancakes and coffee arrived hot, and a request for more syrup brought an almost immediate response.


The hotel has added a small gym that looks over the Amstel and lets you watch boats along the river while working out. There is also a new blue mosaic-lined pool with a Jacuzzi and a jet stream. The plan is to complete a new spa and steam rooms this spring. The De l’Europe has several dining rooms: including the airy Hoofdstad Brasserie with its open kitchen, pale woods and myriad mirrors. In the afternoon, one can have tea in the lobby where a pianist and singer entertain. And Freddy’s, the hotel’s bar, with rich woods, mirrored bars and brass-topped tables, is popular with locals as well as tourists.


The hotel has a quirky slant on Dutch luxury and coziness in the heart of Amsterdam.

Hotel de l’Europe, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 2-14; (31-2) 05-31-17-77;


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