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Amsterdam's Prized Pulitzer
By Elise Juska

From the outside, it looks much like any other charming canal house in Amsterdam's quaint, quiet neighborhood of Jordaan. But once my Hideaways colleague, Sharon Welch, and I stepped beyond the characteristically Dutch facade, we discovered that the Hotel Pulitzer is one of a kind.

A modern maze

Set between the picturesque Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht canals, the Hotel Pulitzer is a subtle feat of modern architecture. The five-story hotel comprises 25 fully restored, creatively interconnected, 17th- and 18th-century canal houses. In the center, an outdoor courtyard is sprinkled liberally with fountains, lampposts, tables, benches, trellises, and contemporary sculpture.

Our reception couldn't have been warmer, beginning with the Delft-tiled fireplace glowing in the lobby. We settled easily into the cozy, flower-scented sitting area, surrounded by low, wood-beamed ceilings and eclectic artwork. We found the service just as warm; when we asked for an impromptu peek at the rooms, the Pulitzer's staff more than obliged us with a detailed, friendly, hour-long tour.

Exploring the Pulitzer felt something like roaming through a brilliantly designed funhouse. The original canal houses are linked by a labyrinth of windowed walkways and pretty outdoor courtyards. One moment we were on the ground floor, admiring statuary in a garden; the next, we were traversing a glass-enclosed corridor with a bird's-eye view of nearby rooftops. Everything was in tip-top condition, thanks to an extensive renovation completed just before our visit.

Spring 2001

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