Regular readers of Loyalty Traveler may understand why I am excited about the W Amsterdam opening last week. The hotel sits atop the Albert Heijn AH Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal supermarket, one of the largest grocery stores in central Amsterdam.
Many times, many years ago I made those walks regularly from the 17th century canal houses of Starwood’s Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam to the big Albert Heijn by Dam Square carrying bags of beer and food back to our Prinsengracht canal view room. Hotel Pulitzer left Starwood Hotels for Preferred Hotels Group in April 2015.
Out with the old Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam and in with the new W Amsterdam, now the only Starwood Hotels property in central Amsterdam. And it sits atop a grocery store.
W Amsterdam will have 238 rooms and suites in two separate buildings. The main W building seen in my photos is across from Dam Square and called the ‘Exchange’ from when the building housed a telephone company. This is the portion of the hotel open and it houses the majority of guest rooms with 172 rooms. The Exchange portion of the W Amsterdam hotel features a rooftop pool.
The other building, known as the ‘Bank’ is across Spuistraat and borders the historic Singel Canal, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Amsterdam Canal District. The Bank will house 66 rooms when it opens early 2016.
W Amsterdam ‘Exchange’ building is located across from Dam Square, the main open square of central Amsterdam. Dam Square is the urban place for winter carnivals and fairs and summer fairs and celebrations. The smell, feel and taste of oliebollen, Dutch doughnuts, is sensory remembrance as I think of Dam Square in winter.
W Amsterdam is located in building on right with many rooms facing the Royal Palace Amsterdam with the sculpture of Atlas.
This is a graphic rendering of W Amsterdam from Starwood Hotels website.
W Amsterdam is located in two buildings on the right side of road. My photo taken in February 2015 was not taken with the W Amsterdam in mind. The W hotel is in two separate buildings on both sides of Spuistraat. I don’t know if the building in my photo in the foreground right is the the same as what will be the W Amsterdam Bank building portion or if there is another building to its right. The website renderings show the entrances to the two hotel buildings on Spuistraat, the road running between them.
The address of W Amsterdam is Spuistraat, pronounced kind of like the English word pow, beginning with an s. The letter combination ‘ui’ in Dutch as in the Dutch word ‘uit’ is pronounced similar to ‘out’ and a word you will see marking exit doors of buildings in the Netherlands. Here is a funny blog post about a multilingual woman learning Dutch with its subtle distinction between pronouncing uit and out.
Spuistraat is nice when walking right from the intersection where W Amsterdam is located toward Leidseplein, the main shopping and entertainment center of the city to the right. Spuistraat to the left towards the train station used to be an alley with coffeeshops, bars and side alleys with licensed prostitutes in the largest area of prostitution outside the main red light district for Amsterdam. I did not walk down Spuistraat on my trip to Amsterdam last February.
W Amsterdam is listed as SPG category 6 at 20,000 points per night; 25,000 points during peak season.
Starwood W Amsterdam Opens Press Release (October 22, 2015)
A quick check of room rates for February 2016 shows 390 to 410 EUR per night as starting rates. Looks like my visit to W Amsterdam might be limited to a beer or two in the bar.