Luxury Hotels

AMSTERDAM – 3

There are many who, with reason, are at the least sceptical of any so-called ‘top hotels in the world’ list, especially when that list is compiled by an industry publication that is not global but very much of, and about, the USA. Be that as may, for some inexplicable the first hotel in the list compiled by HOTELS magazine is The Lore Group’s Pulitzer in Amsterdam. And Girlahead can confirm it is truly memorable.

Enter a darkened, recessed alcove on Prinsengracht to be greeted by outsized paper flowers – see above, in a pose with Lore Group’s Amsterdam boss, Bart van der Brug. The floral artist, by the way, is the same who did flowers in a glass cloche at sister hotel Riggs, in Washington DC.

Here at Pulitzer, the main lobby is also quite dark: stand-outs are the Delft tiles covering the standalone check in desks. There are also some noticeable framed ‘ancestor portraits’. In one the woman featured appears to have bondage chains across her face but in fact the painting was dropped and suffered a slit.

The real lineage of this 225-room hotel? It is said Peter Pulitzer, grandson of the Herbert Pulitzer, after whom the Pulitzer Prize is named, formed the six-floor hotel in 1970 to appease KLM, which wanted a stylish sleeping place for longhaul air travel.  Times have moved on since then. Other buildings have been added to the complex. There are additional specialty suites.

Girlahead was in #175, named for a anonymous Art Collector. Whoever this person is, he/she sure had/has eclectic tastes. There are framed works covering most of the walls of the sitting room and bedroom. A long corridor, running parallel the length of the suite, leads to #175’s private ‘back door’, opening directly to Keizergracht. Along the uninterrupted side of this corridor hangs a brilliantly humorous pastiche of a typical Rembrandt (the Riksmuseum is only 2.5 km away).

There’s art, and colour, everywhere in suite #175. A black metal table in one corner of the sitting room has a tulip-yellow table lamp, next to A4 sheets of paper, green, white, pink and yellow, for room service and the like. But, honestly, it is the colour in the would-be Rembrandt, below, that elicits most emotion.