Within a microworld of 25 connecting Golden Age canal houses, iconic is just a word!
Getting lost in a hotels’ microworld does not usually imply an actual microworld -well in Pulitzer Amsterdam Hotel‘s case it does. One of the city’s most iconic hotels consists not of one, nor two, but 25 interlinked canal houses from the 17th and 18th century, located in the heart of the city. A must-visit spot for eclectic travelers, this one of a kind luxury hotel blends history with new-age hospitality, celebrating traditional and modern Dutch craftsmanship.
History of the buildings
In the 17th century, the Netherlands was the place to be, with wealthy merchants boosting the economy, painters like Rembrandt making history and beautiful buildings we still admire being built.
The movers and shakers of Amsterdam’s influential upper class lived in the canal houses closest to the old town, while the warehouses were located along the outer canal rings. This is why the Pulitzer buildings along the Keizersgracht are more opulent than the ones on the Prinsengracht. Over the course of thirty years the hotel grew from twelve restored canal houses to twenty-five. Pulitzer Amsterdam continues to collect elements that add to its unique and vibrant character: the intricate maze of historic houses, the exclusive restaurant, the gardens and the annual floating concerts on the Prinsengracht.
The Canal Houses interiors
The hotel’s decoration is inspired by the history of the buildings and who may have occupied them over the last 400 years; from the Golden Age to mid-century. Elements and features that tell a range of stories that inspire and intrigue guests and visitors define Pulitzer Amsterdam’s aesthetic, enhancing a romantic feel about the history of the building and how it gradually grew to take its most recent look. Every room and every corner portray hints of the past. Original and historical features include some architectural beams in some rooms, plaster wall and ceiling details on the Keizersgracht side, a grand wooden staircase in Saxenburg, ornately carved fireplaces in the Saxenburg Room.
Amsterdam brick methods have been used to create the typical understated look, while each canal house is identified by using a different wall color and a different carpet color as you walk down the corridors. Τhis way you know you are going from where one building ends and another one begins. Focus is on the fun of becoming lost in the labyrinth of houses as it is part of the Pulitzer experience, making every part of the discovery special, not revealing everything at once. Also, *this* entrance. The two buildings, where the entrance and lobby are currently situated, were typical Dutch warehouses in the 18 century. The new entrance building is the first new building in the Amsterdam UNESCO world heritage zone since 2011.
The secret garden
The jewel in the Pulitzer crown is the unexpectedly large garden between the Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht sides with a great view of the Westertoren. Light metal-framed glazing corridors open up the garden. The landscape design is created as a casual park-like space encouraging guests and visitors to explore and make it their own. The benches are easy to move around so no one is intimated by the space and can move away from the formality of it. The garden has been split up into five areas by the glass corridors. The garden next to Pause has an outdoor lounge feel to it. It overlooks the largest part of the garden with a view of the Westerchurch.
To the right of the Pause garden is another garden next to the lobby, where there is a hanging sculpture frame; a baby blue framework with a hanging chair. The last space is outside of restaurant Jansz, allowing these guests to enter a park-like garden when walking through the restaurant as an extension to their stay. When entering the lobby, a flower shop is located on the right-hand side. As flowers have always been a large part of the Dutch culture, it creates a welcoming fresh local arrival for national and international guests.
Art and Books
Pulitzer’s most renowned piece: “Hals Brunch” by Thierry Bruet. The 6×2 meter painting was created specifically for the Pulitzer. At a distance it bears a striking resemblance to Frans Hals’ masterpiece “The Last Supper
An artsy feel is all around the hotel’s atmosphere, enhanced by the decoration details. A large antique black piano hangs from the entrance ceiling by metal cords creating a theatrical arrival experience, while the lighting of the lobby is inspired by old Dutch master paintings. The hotel also contains two suites related to art and books. Let’s mention here that the creator of the hotel is Peter Pulitzer, grandson of Pulitzer Prize founder Joseph Pulitzer. The Art Collector’s Suite, was inspired by the enormous collection of art gathered through the years by the hotel and it features pieces are of all eras and different styles. A gallery-inspired wide hallway, paintings and artsy antique furniture make the perfect environment for the showstopper piece – a beautiful modern version of The Last Supper covering the entire hallway: “Hals Brunch” by Thierry Bruet.
The Book Collector’s Suite
The BookCollector’s Suite is based on the Amsterdam houses with beautiful book collections and nice vintage bookstores in the city. The room is the home of a romantic book collector, an explorer and intellectual, featuring a dark and atmospheric color palette, dark-colored walls and herringbone and wooden oak floor. The centerpiece of the room is the dramatic floor-to-ceiling book display in the bedroom with old and new books from bookstores in the Nine Streets. More books and collected items, such as a typical Amsterdam bicycle, are stacked above the wardrobe, while a large antique mirror, an oak writer’s desk with a vintage leather armchair and an eye-catching patchwork Persian rug by Piet Hein Eek using vintage Persian rug sections with borders made from disused military tents complete the “look”. The hotel also features an Antique Collector’s Suite and a Music collector’s Suite.
Pulitzer Amsterdam has a deep passion for elegant culinary craftsmanship. Restaurant Jansz. serves simple yet beautifully crafted dishes inspired by classic European cuisine. The entrance to the restaurant has been moved to what historically used to be a pharmacy on the Reestraat, one of the Nine Streets of Amsterdam. The historic and protected paneling and architectural details have been restored and brought back to life, giving a visitor a generous arrival experience.
This monumental building is a hidden gem that is not well-known, creating a beautiful arrival. It gives the connection that the restaurant is part of the Nine Streets with a shop entrance on that side. The restaurant has an understated but sophisticated feel that works for breakfast, lunch and dinner. An atmosphere suitable for all times of the day. The different rooms of the restaurant show simplicity and elegance; this pairs with the food offerings of the restaurant – sophisticated but simple meals: all your favorite classics. Jansz. has a richness and lightness to it. The restaurant has 3D diamond paneling on the wall which was inspired by the canal house doors.