Disneyland gets spooky
October 8, 2017
Sipping Belgium….
October 8, 2017

Amsterdam Adventures

Time to “Go Dutch”

Arriving in Amsterdam on KLM, we headed off to the Sofitel The Grand Amsterdam Hotel– a fantastic, historic property situated perfectly for exploring the city.  The hotel was once a monastery, and it’s been several things over the years, including the property of the major shipping company in centuries past.  They used it as a luxury hotel for their visiting executives and other dignitaries as far back as the 16th century.

Grand from canal

It was also the city of Amsterdam’s City Hall.  In fact, up until 1988, it still was.  At that point, I guess the beurocrats moved out and the property was sold.  It underwent a major renovation, and was turned into the Sofitel hotel.  They claim it has been a ‘hotel’ (at least off & on) since the 1580’s, which is pretty incredible.


The King and Queen were even married at the hotel.  







We checked in and were advised that we had been upgraded to a lovely suite…..complete with breakfast every day and an English-trained butler.  Yes, you read that right.  Our very own Jeeves!  But what on earth would we do with him?  My husband was a bit frightened!  What were we supposed to do with a butler? Have him press RB’s boxers?  Draw us a rose petal bath after a long day of exploring Amsterdam?  Make tea?  Well – evidently these English trained butlers are capable of just about anything – and are known for their incredible resourcefulness and of course, discretion.  He was quite lovely, however, and promptly took us up to the suite and gave us a tour, and made sure we had everything we needed.  He brought us two flutes of Dom Perignon, some incredible ‘pearl truffles’ inspired by the famous painting, and then left his card with his private number.  We were instructed to call him should we need anything.  And with that, and a ‘ta ta,’ he was gone.  Off to wherever Butlers go …. to wait for a call from a demanding and slightly neurotic celebrity guest.


What a beautiful suite! 















And now to the shower part of the story….

If you’ve been to Europe (or just followed along with our Europe posts over the years), you’ll know that bathroom situations in different places can vary wildly.  In our suite at The Grand Amsterdam, our bathroom was lovely, with a separate tub, and a rain shower.


The bathtub also has a TV on the wall by the way.

tub with TV

Unfortunately I couldn’t get the shower to switch over to the handheld wand.

So I get RB to try to figure it out.  Nope.  Still can’t.  So I get out of the tub, get dressed again and do what every civilized hotel guest would do.  I called the butler.  I must have sounded like an idiot!  “Um, hello.  Carlos?   I’m having an issue with the shower.  I’m sure there’s just a trick to it, but can you come up and assist?”  And then I thought that must have sounded pretty nutty, so I dug deeper, “I can’t get the water to switch to the hand held wand, so can you pop up to help me?  Oh dear, I should say I’m not IN the shower at this moment.!”  Well, right.  Anyway – thank you, Carlos.”

So the doorbell rings and we let him in.  You need to see this scene.  Here’s Carlos, in his uniform (tails and all!) and he’s now in our bathroom to investigate the problem.  He must be thinking, “Who are these hicks?”

And then he gets in my shower (in his tux & tails) and turns it on, but of course, the rain shower thing comes bursting out like a fire hydrant, and I’m in there with Carlos with water all over him, and he calmly (as he would) just shows me the button to press to change to the hand-held wand.  I’m not even kidding!  My husband and I both tried everything and couldn’t figure this thing out….but Carlos saved the day.  I apologized profusely for the trouble and vowed not to bother him again.  He smiled, brushed the water off his suit and said, “Not a bother, madam. That’s what I’m here for.  At your service.”

And with that, he made his way out (shoes squishing slightly) and we burst into laughter the moment the door closed.

Butler service is just one of the many luxurious options you can enjoy at this Sofitel.

AJ Williams
AJ Williams
‘CAO’ (Chief Adventure Officer) is A.J. Williams, a travel blogging, food & wine lover who writes for various print and online publications. She's never happier than when she's dragging a bag through an airport (no really!) heading off on another adventure!

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