Once the setting for Amsterdam's big-money merchant trade deals, the canal-lined corner of Nine Streets in the Jordaan now distils the essence of the city's cool, creative side. Just twenty minutes' walk from Amsterdam Centraal station - where Eurostar passangers disembark five times a day - it's prime territory for a sustainable city break.
Right in the heart of the area (though you'd hardly know it from its unassuming exterior) is Pulitzer Amsterdam, a 225-key boutique stay spread across 25 17th- and 18th-century classic Dutch canal houses. Originally opened in 1970 by Peter Pulitzer (grandson of Pulitzer Prize founder Joseph), the hotel has been extensively renovated in recent years by architect Jacu Strauss, who slept a night in each and every bedroom during the process to feel out their individual character.
Sensitively marrying contemporary design with the hotel's literary and musical roots, interiors are characterful and elegant in equal measure. There's a piano suspended from the ceiling in the entrance hall, a lofty library to its left, and most bedrooms feature a series of coffee-table books artfully arranged across the wall. Venture outside and you'll find yourself in one of Amsterdam's prettiest neighbourhoods, peppered with a good dose of vintage boutiques, markets and sleepy cafés all ripe for exploration.
The property's gardens, left, and a suite
There are 225 rooms that come in a ragbag of different shapes and sizes, spread across 25 houses, all linked by a warren of stairways and passages. Each room comes with a bicycle repair kit, gilded antique mirror and drinks trolley, vintage telephone and tea and coffee set complete with sweet caramel stroopwafels, with many of them overlooking the waterways. The bedroom interiors are aligned with the colours of Dutch masters - deep greens, rich blues and sumptuous plums - while the bathrooms are gleaming white.
This year, the hotel's suites are having an update - they'll be available to book from 2024.
What's for breakfast?
A buffet-style breakfast is served daily in Jansz. and the spread includes fresh fruit, cereals, pastries and an extensive à la carte offering (try the eggs benedict or French toast). If you're in a rush, you can grab a coffee and croissant from the lobby café.
How about lunch and dinner?
The restaurant's design is muted, allowing the canal and surrounding streets to flood in. Chef Arnout Van Der Kolk produces simple yet compelling seasonal dishes that include smoked ribeye carpaccio, pea ravioli and miso-glazed cod.
The Pulitzer Suite, left, and a hotel hall
Is there a bar?
The Pulitzer's old-fashioned bar has a clubhouse feel, and is as popular with locals as it is with hotel guests. Sip signature juleps in the shade of Golden Age portraits and stacks of vintage books.
Library, florist, free WiFi, free bicycle rental and a vintage canal boat offering tours of the city.
How about their green credentials?
Pop a card on your bedside table or bathroom and the team will know to skip changing your towels each day.
What about accessibility?
Due to its maze-like network of stairways and passages, this hotel doesn't score too highly in terms of accessibility, although both restaurants are on the ground floor and easily accessed.
What's the crowd?
A healthy mix of hip creatives, staycationing couples and professionals, plus a decent handful of locals in the restaurants and bar.
Within a short walk you can find…
Amsterdam's most famous cultural landmark, Anne Frank House - a museum dedicated to the 15-year-old Jewish wartime diarist and victim of the Holocaust - plus, the Stedelijk Museum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Rijksmuseum. Also nearby is the Nine Streets shopping area, home to bookstores, coffee houses and on-trend boutiques including We Are Labels. And there's Venus & Adonis - a cosy bar and grill dedicated to surf and turf.
Things I should know
The place is a puzzle so be prepared to get a little lost trying to find your room, especially after a night out. Be sure to book a tour on The Tourist, the Pulitzer's canal boat, which was built in 1909 and retains its original teak interiors, quilted leather seating and Tiffany lamps. Winston Churchill toured the city aboard the boat in 1946.
This article was updated 31 March 2021.