The name tells you exactly what to expect: waterfront accommodations in Amsterdam from a Portuguese luxury-hotel chain. But the Pestana Amsterdam Riverside is rather more impressive than the sum of its parts. It’s housed in a pair of spectacular Neo-Renaissance buildings, once a town hall and archive — together considered a national historic monument — and two contemporary annexes. The grand lobby, with its coffered ceilings, soaring archways, and marble fixtures, feels like a museum.
Guest rooms are sleek and modern, somewhat minimalist in design, with king-sized modern canopy beds and pristine white bathrooms with walk-in showers. Some come with kitchenettes, living rooms, and views over the Amstel River. Unusual layouts are a fact of life in Amsterdam; here some suites have mezzanines, and many on the top floor, up under the eaves, have sky-facing windows.
And while many local hotels feel cramped, the Pestana, with its modern additions, is relaxed and spacious. Public spaces include a beautifully illuminated indoor pool lined with pale stone, a greenhouse-like cocktail bar encased in glass, and a lively restaurant, the upscale modern-Dutch ARCHIVE, set in a light-filled atrium space that opens onto a sidewalk-facing terrace.