Sofitel has opened the first European outpost of its ultra-luxury Legend brand in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The French-owned luxury label inaugurated the Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam last week, marking the end of a two-year refurbishment which has transformed the property into a hotel to compete with the Dutch city's original grande dame, The Amstel.

According to Sofitel, the revamp has juxtaposed "ultra-contemporary designer guestrooms and suites" with the centennial halls of the property, which has a rich cultural heritage and served as the venue of the civil wedding of the Netherlands' Queen Beatrix.

'Ultra-contemporary' includes accessories such as Nespresso machines and walk-in rain showers for the 177 rooms, while the 52 suites also feature upgraded amenities such as BOSE audio systems and butler service.

Food-wise, the hotel includes the Netherlands' first "raw bar", serving oysters, carpaccios, tartars, lobster and seafood platters, as well as the Bridges seafood restaurant and two other bars offering champagne and traditional pub fare.

Although the hotel's location is definitely among the best of Amsterdam's hotels (arguably better than that of the Amstel) and stepping outside for a walk, run or cycle ride brings a different experience in nearly every direction, for those keen to stay indoors there is a high-tech fitness center featuring two spa baths, hammams and an indoor heated pool.

Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam is the second property to bear the Legend name, following the opening of Le Metropole Hanoi - several other properties currently undergoing renovations will join the club in the near future, including The Old Cataract Assouan, The Cecil Alexandria and The Winter Palace Luxor in Egypt, The Santa Clara in Colombia and the Fez Palais Jamai in Morocco.