Tried & Tested

Hotel review: Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Amsterdam

6 May 2024 by Hannah Brandler
Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Amsterdam Evening Image supplied by Anantara

Background

Part of the Minor Hotels group, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas opened its first hotel in the Netherlands in 2022, though the property has been within the Minor Hotels group since 2000 – first operating under the NH brand then a 451-room NH Collection property.

The hotel is highly historic and dates back to 1856 when Polish tailor, Adolph Wilhelm Krasnapolsky, opened a coffee shop on Warmoesstreet – part of today’s site. Over time, Krasnapolsky acquired more buildings, added rooms for rent and later expanded the property into a 125-room hotel in 1883 – the city’s first hotel to have hot water and phones in each room.

Today, the property is made up of 55 canal houses and has six wings. The property had a soft launch in April 2022 but its official opening in May 2023, following a refurbishment which saw the former 451 rooms reduced to 402 to elevate the product and allow for bigger suites, along with a new spa and gym.

The Anantara brand was founded in Thailand in 2001, but has been growing across Europe since its debut in Portugal’s Algarve region in 2017. The brand has since added properties in the Amalfi Coast, Budapest, Dublin, Marbella, Nice, Rome and Vienna.

Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Amsterdam - view from room of Dam Square (image: Hannah Brandler)

Where is it?

Very central, located on Dam Square, facing the Royal Palace and National Monument. The location is very useful for setting off on foot or borrowing one of Anantara’s complimentary bikes to explore the city’s canals and quaint cobbled streets.

The square itself and surrounding streets are crowded with tourists so I recommend venturing out to the more picturesque, labyrinthine alleys.

The hotel is a 30-minute drive from Schiphol Airport, or a short walk from Centraal Station where you can get a train to the airport in 20 minutes or catch the Eurostar to London.

Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Amsterdam - photos by Arden (image: Hannah Brandler)

What's it like?

While the property is historic, the lobby has a contemporary feel with a dark, glossy open-plan space. It can feel a little dark, though natural light filters in through the street-facing Grand Café Krasnopolsky.

The hotel skilfully combines the old and new, showcasing black and white images as well as striking contemporary photos of the canals and local area by photographer Arden – don’t miss the ground-floor hallway which doubles as a gallery for his work.

It’s so historic that various areas within the hotel also have national monument status – from The White Room to the Wintergarden (more on these later) – and museum-like glass cabinets display menu cards and photos through the ages.

Given its expansion over time, the property also has six wings and an equal number of lifts – but there’s great signposting in the lobby to the various areas. Your keycard holder also lets you know which lift is easiest for your room, though the lifts are small so you end up waiting for long periods of time.

There were four staffed desks for check-in, plus two concierge members, as well as comfy seating areas and a VIP lounge. Check-in at 3pm was busy, with the hotel fully booked on an April weekend, but staff were very welcoming and gave me a room in the interim – which makes a huge difference when you’ve just landed from a flight.

Check-out is usually at 12pm but I was able to get a late check-out until 5pm – again, a huge relief when you have an evening flight. I had a transfer to the airport booked and, as a suite guest, was able to wait in the VIP lounge – a quiet space beside the entrance with complimentary tea, coffee and water plus some mini stroopwafels.

During my visit in early April, spring was also in full bloom and the hotel was showcasing tulips aplenty – the hotel has even created its own tulip in collaboration with Tulip Experience Amsterdam, harvesting 10,000 bulbs last year. The hotel gifts them to guests but they are also available to buy via the website.

Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Amsterdam deluxe room image supplied by Anantara

Rooms

Rooms range from 26 to 50 sqm, with suites from 38 to 150 sqm, and all feature sleek, contemporary interiors in a timeless palette of beige, white and browns.

Some rooms include terraces, and standout options include the Canal View Suite (78 sqm) and the presidential suite (95 sqm) with a private roof terrace. Note that street-facing rooms can be a little noisy on weekends due to the bars on Dam Square.

Features include parquet flooring, spherical lights, and plenty of nods to the city – from black and white imagery to Delft house figurines, vases of tulips and Taschen tomes on Rembrandt and Van Gogh. My room also featured my headshot and the front cover of the Business Traveller April issue in chocolate – an impressive gift which shows the kitchen’s technical and creative prowess.

Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Amsterdam - BT magazine in chocolate (image: Hannah Brandler)

I stayed in a Dam View Suite on the fourth floor – a wonderful open-plan 58 sqm space, which felt residential. Flatscreen TVs on either side of a floating wall separate the living room and bedroom spaces, with the former having a more laidback residence-like feel with a coffee table and sofa plus a kitchen-style counter with bar stools.

The bedroom, meanwhile, features a sumptuous king-size bed and a large desk for working. There are USB sockets throughout, as well as EU plug sockets and a UK socket at the desk – though mine didn’t work.

Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Amsterdam - Dam View Suite (image: Hannah Brandler)

A vast bathroom features an inventive mirror wall behind the basins – the panels can be folded open onto the bedroom area or kept closed if you prefer privacy. I had the choice between a bathtub and a separate, soothing rain shower, and the bathroom also includes useful amenities, Amouage toiletries, cotton slippers and bathrobes.

Amenities across all categories include a Nespresso machine, a flatscreen TV, complimentary water bottle and cookies, a safe, high-speed wifi, air conditioning and a telephone. You can also order various items from the portal, accessible via a QR code in the room.

Suites have a few extra benefits for guests, with a complimentary minibar for non-alcoholic drinks and snacks (drinks are refilled daily), the pressing of two garments, and a complimentary diamond polishing service (if you’re so lucky to own one in the first place).

Anantara grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Amsterdam breakfast Wintergarden image supplied by Anantara

Food and drink

The 19th century Wintergarden is a spectacular Belle Epoque conservatory-like space, featuring soaring glass ceilings, Impressionist-style turquoise frescoes on the wraparound balcony, and monochrome tiled flooring. The venue is used for buffet breakfasts and events.

Breakfast is generous, with live cooking stations for various cuisines – from Middle Eastern to Chinese and Dutch – though I felt that the service was a little laissez-faire. It took time for my table to be cleared, and staff don’t come to take your coffee/tea order.

Facing Dam Square is the Grand Café Krasnapolsky. This three-in-one venue boasts a cake shop with premium products and incredible chocolate showpieces, an all-day restaurant (which is also famous for its afternoon teas), and a Champagne bar.

Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Amsterdam - The White Room restaurant (provided by Anantara PR)

On the other side of the property is the suave The Tailor bar which nods to the founder’s craftsmanship through its interior design – the carpet is designed to resemble a suit pattern, bartenders are called ‘tailors’ and the bar features a tape measure design.

Standout, however, is the Michelin-starred The White Room, overseen by acclaimed chef Jacob Jan Boerma – see our standalone Tried and Tested review here:

Restaurant review: The White Room, Amsterdam

Meetings

Despite attracting plenty of leisure guests, the hotel is also well-equipped for business meetings and events, with spaces that can hold up to 1,500 guests. Indeed, during my stay there were two conventions on the go.

The Wintergarden can cater to 600 for cocktail events (or 320 for a banquet), and can also open up into the Grand Ballroom behind – which itself can host up to 700 people theatre-style. The Wintergarden is a great choice for gala dinners or awards ceremonies, previously hosting celebrations including King Willem IIIs marriage to Princess Emma.

The hotel also boasts 14 additional meeting rooms of various sizes and layouts, with AV equipment and LCD displays.

Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Amsterdam - Grand Ballroom Banquet Setting (provided by Anantara PR)

Leisure

The hotel has a small spa with three treatment rooms, a couples treatment room, an infrared sauna, steam room and hammam. There’s also a gym with Technogym machines, free weights and a climbing wall.

Instead of staying inside, sign up for one of Anantara’s excellent local experiences. We loved the Dutch Heritage Gastronomy experience, a three-hour bike tour of the city’s foodie highlights (though you can go on foot if you’re not confident on a bike). Our warm and knowledgeable guide Karin greeted locals as we explored the city’s cuisine – from Puccini chocolate to cheese samples, herring and apple pie.

While it’s marketed as a gastronomy tour, you’ll also learn about the city’s historical landmarks – from Anne Frank’s house to the smallest house in Amsterdam. The tour is also bespoke, so Karin tailors it based on your likes and dislikes – we missed the licorice stop-off, for instance, and opted instead for some hummus and baba ganoush. The tour is available daily between 10am and 6pm for groups of up to six people (from €380 for two people).

Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Amsterdam - Gym (image provided by Anantara)

Verdict

Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky is a grand dame hotel in the bustling city centre, complete with starry dining, excellent service and a great balance of the historic and contemporary. The hotel also boasts great meeting and events facilities, with comfortable rooms and suites for remote working.

FACT BOX

  • Best for Five-star service in the heart of Amsterdam
  • Don’t miss A gastronomic cycling tour of the city
  • Price Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in June start from £264 for an entry-level room
  • Contact Dam 9, 1012 JS Amsterdam, the Netherlands; +31 (0)20 499 0163; anantara.com
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The cover of the Business Traveller June 2024 edition
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