The Pulitzer Amsterdam is the city’s iconic modern luxury accommodation housed in a very classic setting. It offers a stylish luxury hotel experience, 225 rooms and suites created within 25 Golden Age canal houses. The preserved 17th and 18th century exteriors provide a wonderful contrast with the bordering-on-funky interiors. Style and luxury are nothing without a good location and the hotel is on the Prinsengracht canal in the trendy Jordaan. Some of the city’s best shopping and dining is just outside your door. Museums and other tourist sites are also a short walk or tram ride away.
You know something’s up when you look up and see a piano hanging from the ceiling in the hotel’s entrance area. Immediately upon entry, you’re greeted with the hotel’s very cool style. The lobby has black brick and white brick walls with exposed concrete beams and a dark floor. There are gold, silver and purple couches. I was surprised as although I’ve visited Amsterdam many times, this was my first visit to the storied Pulitzer. I was expecting a stuffy, five-star hotel with ornate interiors and 17th century furnishings.
The independently owned hotel (it is part of Preferred Hotels & Resorts) first opened in 1970 as a Howard Johnson’s. Interestingly, like many luxury hotels in airline hub cities, the hotel opened in connection with Dutch airline KLM. And yes, it’s the same Pulitzer family name from the famous literature and journalism award. The prize is named for publisher Joseph Pulitzer, grandfather of Herbert Pulitzer, one of the hotel’s early owners. The hotel was a Sheraton for a long time and then a Starwood property before becoming independent in 2015.
This video shows a tour of what the hotel calls one of their “Classic Generous Rooms.” Room 505 faced the front of the hotel and had grand views of the Prinsengracht through period floor-to-ceiling windows that opened to a princess balcony. The room is considered generous as it had a second-floor loft bedroom. The bathroom was very luxurious with white subway tiles, a marble floor and Le Labo amenities.
There’s a large cafe in the lobby, with an outside patio area, called Pause. The hotel’s Pulitzer Bar is one of the city’s best, classiest and most popular with some seriously skilled barmen. Jansz. (the period is part of the name) is the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, offering a modern Dutch menu with classic dishes. If you visit on the last Sunday of the month, you can join their monthly Family Sundays. An early dinner is served with a wide range of dishes and amenities just for kids.
The River Cruise
I visited the Pulitzer and Amsterdam at the end of a wonderful Viking Rhine river cruise. The cruise started in Basel, Switzerland and ended in Amsterdam. Although I visited the Pulitzer on my own, the hotel can be booked as part of a post-cruise experience with Viking and most river cruise companies.