My wife and I have just returned from a 10-day trip to Amsterdam and we stayed at the Herengracht 21 B&B for a total of 7 nights. We stayed three nights in the canal room and four nights in the 'back room' so we're in a good position to evaluate both options.
Apart from the fact that the Herengracht 21 looks cosy and typically Dutch, the main reason I chose it as a place for my wife and I to stay was because pre-departure, Loes, the owner's e-mail communication was excellent. Always friendly, always business-like, always prompt. Right from the start, I got the impression that Loes ran a tight ship. And so it proved to be.
Husband and wife team, Loes and Ton, are simply the perfect hosts. They are both passionate about their home and their city. They can help you plan your day trips and your walks around Amsterdam and they offer an extensive library of guide-books on both Amsterdam and Holland, which you are of course welcome to borrow.
The cooked breakfasts are excellent. (cheeses, bacon, eggs, fresh orange juice, rolls, croissants, etc) and Ton - being a keen sailor - even has a small boat moored in front of the house. Our trip around Amsterdams canals with Ton at the helm was something we'll never forget.
"Our home is your home" sums up Herengracht 21 perfectly.
So what about the two rooms on offer? The back room is a two-floor duplex with a living room on the first floor and a comfy bed, shower and toilet on the second. We liked this room better because it was like having your own self-contained flat in the heart of Amsterdam. The only thing it lacks is a view of the canal, which of course the canal room has. To open the curtains and gaze on to that lovely stretch of canal is a perfect start to the day. It's a very close call, but I think the back room just edges it.
You are also just a short walk to Centraal station and from there you can be in places like Delft, Alkmaar, Hoorn and Haarlem in 15-45 minutes thanks to the excellent Dutch rail network.
There are plenty of markets, restaurants, shops and bars within the vicinity as well.
Stay at the quirky, cosy Herengracht 21 and you are getting a feel for Amsterdam that I don't think you would get staying at some five-star hotel chain.
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