Hotel De L'Europe, Amsterdam review: The new Dutch masterpiece

Read our writer's views on this property below

A great way to see Amsterdam is from the grandeur of the Hotel De L'Europe, writes Susan Bredow.

AT SOME point most travellers get a feeling of deja vu when they wake up in a hotel, because many quality hotel rooms are generic.

No such problem when you come across an inn such as Amsterdam's Hotel De L'Europe, which is truly unique. Little about its glamorous, generous-size rooms is predictable.

The hotel is on the Amstel River right in the heart of Amsterdam. The corner canal site has had a hotel on it since 1638.

Director Alfred Hitchcock shot Foreign Correspondent here just before World War II but it's a different place today.

Extensive renovations have taken place, the latest of which was completed in the middle of last year, transforming an adjoining former bank building in order to create a new Dutch Masters wing.

Each of the 23 luxury suites has a copy of a masterpiece from Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum.

Although the giant works by Rembrandt and his contemporaries are reproductions, there is a sense of grandeur about the place.

Staying here is more like visiting the home of a wealthy family than being a guest in an all-suite five-star commercial establishment.

Everything is unexpected including a colour palette of lemon and burnt orange with mustard and cherry red accents apparently plucked from the canvas on the wall and extending the master's work throughout the suite.

There is a large entry hall, which leads to both the bedroom and bathroom. Because of the unusual shape of this room overlooking life on the river, the furniture and inclusions are unique.

The writing desk is a masterpiece with cherry gloss laminate and sensual curves also perhaps taken from the buxom women in the painting above.

The television is in a mustard-coloured unit at the end of the bed. Should guests get tired of looking at it - either on or off - they need only press a button and it glides into the cabinet and out of sight.

The bathroom is large with entrances off the bedroom and the entry hall, which, with the use of a sliding door, effectively gives you a separate toilet.

There's a second television at the end of a big bath and the mosaic floor is heated, which is delicious underfoot on a cold morning. If you need to get up in the night, sensor lights come on to guide you to the bathroom when your feet touch the floor and go off once you're back under the doona.

The wi-fi works without fuss and is there whenever you need it so there are no frustrating lapses in service or waiting for sign-in pages.

Small Bosch speakers high on the ceiling above support an iPod dock and CD player that produce the sort of sound you wish you had at home. Lie in the bath and soak up magnificent music.

There are at least a dozen towels hung and folded around the bathroom. When the Hotel de L'Europe's owners decided their Bulgari toiletries were becoming a little too common, they introduced Blaise Mautin products from France and ensure the room is stocked with generous amounts.

There is much attention to detail, such as a jewellery storage box in the safe, free telephone calls for up to an hour each day and the chance to get two items pressed each day.

Do you need to leave your room at the Hotel De L'Europe? Most definitely - to eat.

The hotel is well known for its good food, including the open-kitchen Hoofdstad Brasserie and fine-dining Bord'eau restaurant.

Or for a charcuterie platter and tasty prawn salad with a glass of the palest rosé bottled under the hotel's own label, head to the waterside Terrase restaurant. The essence of this lovely city is found right there, sitting watching life on the water. There are more canals in Amsterdam than in Venice.

Seasoned travellers might pine for something different to the predictable styling of the larger hotel brands. Here at Hotel De L'Europe in Amsterdam they have found it.

Trip notes

Where Hotel De L'Europe, 2 Nieuwe Doelenstraat, Amsterdam, Netherlands +31 205 311 777,

How much Rates for a deluxe one-bedroom suite start from €1199 ($1485) a night.

Top marks Central location and the unique decor means five-star or not, you are never going to feel you are in just another hotel room.

Black mark There are a few steep stairs to some rooms.

Don't miss The fine-dining Bord'eau restaurant is one of Amsterdam's best.