Amsterdam is a city of contradictions. While it notoriously attracts ‘stags’ and ‘hens’ (bachelors/bachelorettes) in their droves, looking for a wild time in the tourist-trap bars and strip clubs of the red light district, it also lures sophisticated travellers looking for a relaxing (albeit still fun) weekend sampling cool eateries, museums and shopping. The two worlds are just streets away, but strangely never seem to clash. it’s as if there is an invisible wall, or perhaps it’s just that the revellers lack both the imagination and the inclination to look beyond the end of their coffee shop- bought joints or overpriced beers. Whatever the reason, we weren’t complaining when we arrived in the genteel canalside Prinsengracht, home to the Pulitzer.
It’s a cliché to talk about stepping back in time, but that’s exactly how it felt opening the door of our Antique Collector’s Suite, filled as you’d expect with an eclectic array of objets d’art. The homely atmosphere was accentuated by having our own door opening onto the canal. The suite once formed the ground floor of a 17th-century house – one of 25 similar properties that make up the Pulitzer – incidentally owned by the family who first awarded the eponymous literary prize.
The room also included breakfast in the hotel’s exquisitely designed restaurant Jansz, which is also a fantastic spot for both lunch and dinner, serving up modern European fare and casual, brasserie-style favourites. We recommend starting with a cocktail in the equally sumptuous bar.
One of the best ways to explore Amsterdam is of course by water, and the Pulitzer has its own vintage boat, which once transported Winston Churchill. We sipped on champagne while enjoying an excellent historical tour from the elegantly dressed captain. Fed, watered and rested we were inspired and set to explore the delights of this charming city.
Prinsengracht 323, 1016 GZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands