After my Girlfriend and I spent three days previously in the Delft, we made our way to Amsterdam so we would be close to the Airport when we left and we still had much sightseeing to do. I had heard about The ALP hotel over the website booking.com where the rooms looked modern and relaxing. We booked a standard twin room with a balcony which was a reasonable price for the two of us. Each of us had been to Amsterdam many times before this stay, so we wanted something not to central, but still close by to all attractions as we wanted to see some more of the Museums and Churches.
We arrived at the ALP Hotel within the evening after visiting The Keukenhof Gardens, so we were both very tired. The ALP hotel is located on De Clercqstraat, which was a street neither of us had passed down before. After asking the VVV ( Tourist Information Desk ) at Centraal Station, we found what tram number we needed to take us to the Hotel. If anyone is staying here and is unsure of what Tram to take, take Tram 14 and listen out for the stop Marnixstraat, that will take to to De Clerqstraat. If you want dropped right outside the Hotel door, stay on the tram for one more stop and you will get off the tram at Bilderdijkstraat. When you get off at the Bilderdjikstraat, the ALP Hotel is right across the street. So, it may be a little out of the central, but still within distance to main attractions and there are always trams going up and down this street getting you to various parts of Amsterdam.
Upon arrival, the Receptionist greeted us with a warm and friendly welcome. We checked in straight away. We were given an welcome drink or we could help ourselfs to a large bowl of fresh fruit which was very nice. The receptionist was extremly helpful and polilte rather than a too formal. There was a small Bar area at the back with a selection of wines, a coffee machine and at the very back near the garden area, there was a small room with two computers, both with internet access and a number of English guide books. The Receptionist carried my heavy backpack to my room. Beware, those of you who have never been to The Netherlands/ Amsterdam before, the Dutch stairs are very steep and is a common feature to many Dutch Houses and Hotels. There was a small staircase and our rooms were on the first floor.
Our room was of a normal size, very airy and bright with two comfortable single beds joined together, again a common feature in European Hotels. On the wall there was a lovely new plasma TV with a good selection of Dutch, French, German, English and American programmes. There was a small table just below the TV for storage and there was a small bowl of fresh fruit layed out, which we could help ourselfs too and fresh bottels of mineral water. On our beds were two small bars of Milk chocolate which were delicious. At the side of the wall, there was again storage space, with hangers and a place to leave your clothes. If you had any valuables, there was a small safe to leave in your money, passports etc Beside the small table at the front of the room were two good sized chairs, perfect for relaxing in at night and chatting.
The WC was quite small, but again, perfect if you are just a couple travelling. There was a toilet, a sink and a mirror and to the right there was a large shower in the corner. The only thing I could fault was the shower door was broken, but this didnt really bother me as water didnt get out the shower. There was many clean towels for us, small bottles of showergel and bodywash and shoeshine towels if your shoes got scuffed from walking about too much. On the wall there was a very modern hairdryer that started automaticlly when you picked it up. This hairdryer I would say is designed for travel purposes, its small but more for people with shorter hair. If you are fussy about your hair and the way you style it, I would maybe advide to bring your own hairdryer. But it does the job. The shower had nice warm water, its just a shame the shower door had broke. When you finnished getting ready in the morning, there was a large full length mirror at the side of the wall back in the room.
As we stayed in the ALP Hotel in mid March, it was still slightly cold during the day, so we never really made much use of the Balcony. It was certainly nice to leave half open at night if the room got a little stuffy and it was good to walk out in during the early morning before breakfast. I would advide couples travelling in the Summer months to invest more in the twin room with the Balcony as it would be great for sitting out on in an early summer evening with something to drink. The balcony was very nice and over looked into a back garden with a view of Dutch apartments.
My Girlfriend and I usually went down for breakfast around 9am. The Breakfast was lovely and Continental. You could help yourself to a selection of cereals, fresh bread, butter and preserves,eggs, cold meats, fresh fruit, yogurt and warm pastrys. You could help yourself to the self service coffee machine which gave you a small selection of various coffees to choose from. If you like tea with your breakfast, there was a small selction of tea bags at the back. Beside the coffee machine were two large jugs of either apple juice, orange juice and fresh milk. If you wanted to read, there were some Amsterdam guide books at the Reception desk and a back-room with a bookshelf and magazines. If you wanted to catch up with the news, there was again, another large Plasma TV screen with CNN running so you could watch the daily headlines. There were no newspapers at the Hotel, although if you wanted to buy one, there was a shop just at the corner selling all kinds of newspapers. If your visiting Amsterdam for a short weekend, I would advise you to take advantage of the discount tokens in the Hotel that give you money off major attractions, not only in Amsterdam but in The Netherlands.
I was sad to leave the ALP Hotel as it was so welcoming and friendly. I believe the Receptionist was very informative and helpful with any questions regarding the Hotel itself or about Amsterdam. I must inform anyone who is staying at the ALP hotel and is leaving from here to please make good use of there Taxi service back to Schiphol Airport. You will find the number at the Reception Desk. If you have alot of luggage and you have to be at Schiphol Airport early in the morning, please ask the Receptionist to call you a taxi. Its a set price for only 12,50 euro each and it takes you direct to your terminal. The taxi wont come for you straight away as they only pick up at set times through-out the day. They do run from early morning to late in the evening- Please make use of this as you will probably pay more taking a tram and then a train back to Schiphol. The Taxi driver was very Polite. So, please make use of that.
the ALP Hotel is ideal for a short weekend break to Amsterdam, or even longer, you will feel very welcomed and taken care of. My Girlfriend and I will be back here in October 2009.