In Conversation With Alexander van Gastel GM of Amsterdam’s Pulitzer

Set in 25 restored 17th- and 18th-century canal houses, the Pulitzer Amsterdam is a unique blend of traditional and modern Dutch craftsmanship which results in the creation of an authentically elegant hotel. General Manager, Alexander van Gastel, shares his thoughts on the hotel’s authentic new look which launched earlier this month.

There’s a lot of history to the buildings making up Pulitzer Amsterdam, how has this been appreciated in the hotel’s new design?

Over the past year, we’ve had a team of highly skilled architects and designers working with incredible craftsmanship to restore and enhance the 400 year-old canal houses that make up the hotel, and celebrate the history and heritage of the buildings.

To create rich character, our Creative Director, Jacu Strauss, has thought of those who may have lived in the buildings throughout the years – from trade merchants to flamboyant Dutch aristocrats – they’ve all inspired the new design to capture the traditional essence of the capital.

Exterior - 3 Gables

The hotel’s maze of secrets and hidden surprises are what makes Pulitzer Amsterdam unique. We’ve stripped back the buildings’ modern influences to provide the canvas for the new design concept and have concentrated on blending historical elements with contemporary style.

What can loyal guests of the former Hotel Pulitzer now enjoy at the new hotel?

We’re really excited to introduce both guests to our new venues, Jansz. and Pulitzer’s Bar. New restaurant Jansz has a focus on simplicity and elegance. Our Executive chef, Cassidy Hallman, has created a menu of beautifully crafted modern classics using quality produce and ingredients. Each dish surprises with an unexpected twist. With a view on the well-known Nine Streets and canal of the Keizersgracht, the historical buildings have merged into one accessible restaurant where the elements of the past and future blend together.

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The renewed Pulitzer’s Bar will tell a modern tale of cocktail history through a classic menu and an effortlessly elegant atmosphere. A kind of place where the glasses weigh more than your shoes and sitting on the leather lounges feels like a really good man-hug.

Both areas have been designed with both locals and hotel guests in mind and we’re thrilled to have had a really positive response so far.

Tell us about the new guestrooms.

Due to the nature of the twenty-five canal houses, all rooms are unique and have their own layout. They are inspired by guesthouses of Amsterdam – original elements such as wooden beams and fireplaces are combine with an eclectic mix of rare pieces of vintage furniture and modern items from renowned Dutch designers

Brass detailing is an aspect of our signature style and the shape of each headboard reflects the gable of that room’s canal house. All colours are influenced by Amsterdam paintings found throughout the city; a base pallet with several accent pallets in the furnishing.

Rooms - Generous King

Rooms - Classic King Canal View

We’re excited to be working with Le Labo to provide in-room amenities and guests will also find a bike repair set in each room to continue exploring the city in the best way possible. The 1930’s style minibar is made of a domestic drink trolley taking away the formality and enhancing the homely feel.

Business travellers will have everything they need to stay with us in comfort too, including a beautiful work desk and in-room safe. Free wifi is available throughout the hotel.

Hotel business in the city is booming, what makes Pulitzer Amsterdam stand out from its competitor luxury hotels and other new openings in the capital?

We wanted to create the feeling of a traditional guesthouse with modern amenities, offering luxury on a human scale with authenticity everywhere and the finest creature comforts. The atmosphere will be welcoming, and guests can expect to feel relaxed in a sophisticated environment.

Four exceptional themed suites influenced by these elaborate characters have been revealed this February. These suites are all totally unique, with private entrances and canal views to create the feel of an Amsterdam apartment and will enchant our culture-seeking guests.

Our Book Collector’s suite is your own private library with books from the neighbouring Nine Streets and a literary oasis. A vintage oak writers’ desk overlooks the canal – the best inspiration for any author

Pulitzer Amsterdam - Book Collector's Study

The Antique Collector’s suite will showcase antique furniture and objects collected from near and far, including a wall of vintage and modern mirrors with a centrepiece from Anouk Beerents. The suite itself also has a beautiful antique ornate ceiling.

The Music Collector’s suite features a wall of trumpets, a vintage record player and a huge collection of framed records; whilst the Art Collector’s suite is adorned with art collected by the hotel over the years including a spectacular nine-metre modern version of ‘The Last Supper’ painting.

Suites - Music Collector's Suite

Our loyal employees are another unique quality about this hotel. They are the ambassadors of Pulitzer Amsterdam and always go above and beyond to make every guest feel right at home during their stay in Amsterdam. Over a third of the ambassadors have been with us from ten to forty years. As a General Manager, it is a privilege to work with such an enthusiastic and passionate team.

Why would you recommend that visitors to Amsterdam should base themselves at Pulitzer Amsterdam to explore the city?

Pulitzer Amsterdam is the perfect base of relaxed sophistication for an authentic experience of the city. Our fantastic location in the Amsterdam UNESCO World Heritage canal district lets guests explore the best of city; top attractions such as the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, Dam Square, the Van Gogh Museum and The Anne Frank House are all within easy reach. It’s a chic neighbourhood here and we’re at the centre of the city’s social life – the fashionable Nine Streets, colourful shops of Jordaan, flower market and the Royal Palace are all a short distance away.

We have an exceptional concierge team who know every nook and cranny of this city. They’re always there to happily assist our guests with insider tips to discover the real Amsterdam. Their private walking tour lets guests see the city through the eyes of a local where they share remarkable stories, hidden beauty and local treats along the way.

Exploring the city by canal is always a memorable experience and we are proud to own a beautiful salon boat from 1909, ‘The Tourist’, that has all of the classic characteristics you’d expect for a stylish way to experience the city. Daily trips and private tours are available.

Amsterdam is a city much loved by couples and our elegant Pulitzer’s Suite, one of the designer’s favourite rooms, caters for anyone looking for a romantic break or couples celebrating special occasions.

What’s next?

The second phase of the restoration has now begun, and we’re looking forward to celebrating our Grand Opening in late 2016 when the Prinsengracht canal side will reopen. With our full hotel open we will have 225 guestrooms and suites including five additional Collector’s Suites.Additional areas due to be unveiled include the decadent lobby with lobby bar, a new hotel gym, a retail concept store and the jewel in the Pulitzer crown, the extensive Pulitzer inner garden – a serene hideaway.

Lead-in rates at Pulitzer Amsterdam start at £235.
For further information and hotel reservations, visit

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