...and find a better location and a friendlier hotel: There are plenty in Amsterdam. ITEM: When my husband and I arrived by taxi from Schiphol I heard a rumble behind a wall that separates the hotel back entrance from... the railroad. While the taxi-driver unloaded our luggage I again heard that rumble. Our 20-day-stay was prepaid, convenient but also a problem if you dislike the hotel. I asked at Front Desk what floor we had been assigned to. The boy in charge said: "The 3rd. " Rooms at the "Tree" are divided into 'Guest', 'Executive' and 'Suite'. 'Executive' and 'Suites' have a view "to the city", 'Guest' have a view "to the bay". "The bay" is the deep river IJ (pronounced "eye") but between the "Tree" and the IJ there are some 150 m. of railroads used 24/7 by beautiful trains producing a not so beautiful noise. I told the boy that we'd be at the "Tree" 2O days (normal stay is a weekend, a week tops) and we couldn't stay 20 days in a room we hated. The boy called a nice girl who called a senior girl who said we could move to an "Executive" room paying the difference. I told the 2nd. girl we had already payed ALL we wanted to pay and she vanished. The nice girl then worked her computer till she came out with a "Guest" room on the 9th. floor and offered to have it shown to me. ITEM: I visited the room by myself and stayed a while waiting for the trains that obliged presto. The rumble was a murmur on the 9th. and I decided for the room. It had a lovely bathroom well supplied. It was middle-sized, with a window floor to ceiling for admiring "the bay" (I mean "the railroad"). The closet was so small I had to look for drawers. There weren't many of those either but I discovered hidden in one a coffee-maker, paper cups, tea and coffee which were not mentioned as an amenity but I considered useful, the appliance leaked and had to be emptied as soon as used in case it had the idea of electrocuting somebody and why not me? There were also an iron and ironing board, a safety-box, a refrigerator (empty, this room wasn't much used) and a desk with a monitor, keyboard and mouse. TV had some 30 international channels (but not the useful "Weather Channel"), radio, info etc. The twin beds were on wheels and they rolled back and forth narrowing the walking space. Decor? some mirrors and one wide black and white photo of a shipyard. When I finished inspecting went down and my husband had received the warm "chocolate chip cookie" (one per guest). The purpose of the cookie escapes me. The first question in the Hotel's "report card" was "if one had received the cookie". Yes, we did. My husband is very simpático so we got two cookies. ITEM: The room was serviced unevenly and not vacuumed daily. Once it was serviced at 4:30PM and once not at all. Front Desk received my complaint and I was told "I'll make sure it will be serviced tomorrow" to what I answered "And if not somebody will be in deep problems". I swear I said "problems". To make up a room took between 10 and 20 minutes and the teams were shifted between floors which, according to one I talked to, the maids disliked. ITEM: Sheets were changed every 4th. day; for the 2nd. change one of mine had a plum-sized hole, I folded the sheet as to exhibit the hole and it was replaced the next day . ITEM: On the 9/17 we had an early tour and requested an early call that never came. My circadian rythm saved the day but in the evening I went to Front Desk and explained that missing a tour is relatively important but missing an early flight (as we'd have on 9/25) was tragic. I was told the Manager would be informed. Next day we had on our desk a fine fruit plate and a handwritten apology card from the Manager promising an early call on the 25th. No, the call never came but the fruit was good. ITEM: The weather instead was bad (rain, fog, strong winds 17 days out of 20) and taxis don't abound in Amsterdam. Front Desk informed me I could phone for a taxi if needed, but that "taxis don't come to the 'DoubleTree'". The back entrance is narrow and dark (nice place for a mugging) and it is logical that no taxi came to the kade voluntarily. The front entrance allows bikes but no cars. ITEM: "DoubleTree" is not far from the magnificent Amsterdam Centraal Station but not "next to it" or "3 minutes on foot". To get to the Station you pass several lights, a million tram tracks, buses, and bikes. Now: if the "Tree" is next to the Station: how come a taxi from Schiphol to the Station (or vice-versa) is €40 and to the "Tree" it is €50? Next? Ah! You mean next island! The Station is built on 3 artificial islands and next artificial island (or two) holds the "Tree", the great Amsterdam Library, the Conservatory and one restaurant of the "Vapiano" chain. ITEM: This island stands between the Ij and a wide canal and there's nothing to stop the gusts of wind, the Oosterdoksstraat was often littered with umbrellas turned inside out by the gales. ITEM: The "Tree" includes a Starbucks, a 'City Café Restaurant' downstairs, and a SkyLounge on the 11th. floor. There's also a seceded Lounge for 'Executive' rooms and 'Suites', which excluded those "with a view to the railroad". There was an "offer ticket" from the 'City Café' in all rooms everyday. The "offer" was for the room, not the occupants: one person could use the "offer ticket" and the other had to pay full price. My husband likes a single malt before dinner so we went to the 'Café' with a "ticket" for a drink. But... the drink had to be beer or wine; since he is so very simpático they called the Manager who granted him a small blend, and sent over an amiable Chinese hostess who explained it all to him. Understood. Please let's see the menu. ITEM: The menu included a whole fish with "chimichurri" (a barbecue sauce for meat) and "flan de dulce de leche" (I wouldn't eat either if starving) which told us somebody from Argentina, and not precisely cordon bleu, worked there. I never returned to the 'Café'. My husband did, alone, on a stormy evening and they overcharged him €20; he objected twice and the 3rd. ticket was correct. Therefore: at the 'DoubleTree City Café' check the check with the greatest care. ITEM: Every hotel anyplace has a note pad by the phone. Not the "Tree". My husband requested one at Front Desk which transferred the request to Housekeeping which left him a USED ONE the following day. My husband was disgusted and bought a pad Downtown, I kept the used one as a souvenir.
Was there anything I liked about the "Tree"? Yes: the building is remarkable from the outside, a sample of modern Dutch architecture; the elevator battery has 4 for 25 people each, they are very fast (I mean the elevators although we also identify some fast guests), it helped that, except during 2 meetings, they were always empty; Front Desk personnel are very polite and capable. Would I recommend the "Tree" to a friend? No, but I would consider an enemy. Would I ever return? To Amsterdam, always (this was our 5th. trip). To the "Tree"? Never would be too soon.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Right next to Central Station and within the historic city centre, is the impressive, newly-built DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam Centraal Station. The rooms and suites at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam Centraal Station feature a variety of facilities to make your stay as comfortable as possible such as individually controlled air conditioning, windows that open, and an iMac system which functions both as a TV and computer. High-speed internet access and Wi-Fi is also available free of charge throughout the entire hotel. ... more less
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