Perhaps a rather broad and fastidious quest it were for a dwelling of three mere nights, but I wanted to veer away from the days of old - desiring something novel, something new. Still beset by ironies from the past, cheap hostels and cramped quarters have made their mark on my soul no doubt and are certainly absent of regret, but for me, opposing angles and fresh perspectives will always hold the highest regard. For all intents and purposes, isn’t that what travelling is all about, or should be? I was also meeting up with my girlfriend though whom I hadn’t seen in nearly three months, so that too had much to do with pursuing a change of scenery.
Nevertheless, there we were on a Monday afternoon in September still proudly wearing the effects of a long weekend in Munich (for the famed “Oktoberfest”). The relatively short trek from Centraal Station to the Canal House were broadcast aloud as the rolling suitcase trailing behind seemed to lose its footing over each and every swollen cleft in the pavement, and there were many. The entrance, a bit subtle and somewhat puzzling until the gothic-like sign above relieved any doubt. A few steps up and through the solid black door was a light-colored entryway with art wrapped in irregular-sized frames lining the walls. The first corner we came to revealed the bar, which also served as the front desk. A friendly woman was there to assist with check-in and then proceeded to escort us to the room which to my surprise was actually downstairs. I was certain that when I had made the reservations over a month earlier that we would be staying in a “Great Room” with a canal view, but it turned out that I was perfectly fine having misunderstood. What we were actually given was what appeared to be the only garden view room with direct access to the garden (Room #2), as well as a semi-private patio with a table and chairs, a perfect place to relax and unwind after a long day of exploring the city on foot. The room was exactly as shown on the website (http://www.canalhouse.nl/), orderly, comfortable, with an intriguingly romantic undertone. Though we didn’t actually spend much time at the hotel, and ate (breakfast) there only once, there wasn’t a single thing that I could even try to be critical about. The staff was exceptionally kind, considerate, and always willing to thoroughly answer any questions we had. On the morning of departure, General Manager Wessel Krauss was kind enough to offer his insight and make a few suggestions for our next stop, printing out detailed maps with phone numbers and even called to confirm our reservations in Brussels. He then took me a on a brief tour, explaining the history and future plans of the hotel. Clearly he was passionate about what he did and genuinely took pride to ensure that the experiences of all guests were positive.
Without question, I couldn’t be more satisfied and delighted with our short stay at the Canal House. To be so bold, I think writing a review about it over three months later is a testament that it left nothing but fond memories tucked into the sub-cockles (if you will) of my heart and mind. Like anyplace, surely someone along the way already has or someday will have something contrary to proclaim, but I imagine the odds of that here are fewer and further between. It truly is an ideal location too, within walking distance to everything (unless you despise walking), yet far enough away to feel less like a tourist and more like a local. Glancing at a map it could appear to some as being a little too far from certain places of interest, but maps as they do, sometimes tend to mislead. Everything is actually quite close, and Keizersgracht (the street which the Canal House is on) extends throughout the main “central” part of Amsterdam, so it’s rather simple to get back on track if you get lost.
Nonetheless, if you as well wish for something a little more tasteful and refined, yet low-key and practical (common qualities of most “boutique-style” hotels) and are prepared and able to pay the higher rates, I think it would suit you right to end the search here and reserve accordingly.
Cheers and safe travels to you.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Canal House offers boutique-style rooms in the Grachtengordel-West district, 290 yards from Westermarkt tram stop. This design hotel features free Wi-Fi and grounds with summer house for private meetings.The rooms at Canal House feature sumptuous decor with dark woods and luxurious fabrics. Each room has an open-plan layout and includes a flat-screen TV, minibar and work desk.The Amsterdam Tulip Museum and Anne Frank House are less than a 5-minute walk from Canal House. Amsterdam Central Train Station is less than a 15-minute walk away. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Canal Hotel Amsterdam
- Canal House Amsterdam
- Canal House Hotel Amsterdam