What a fantastic place to stay.
Jackie O's is a true bed and breakfast that is quaint, cozy, comfortable, and quiet. Tucked away on Bloemgracht, a sleepy canal in the heart of the Jordaan, this place was among the best places I've ever stayed in Europe.
Jackie herself was quite welcoming when we arrived and warmly guided us through all of the informative materials waiting for us in the room. Maps, lists of recommended restaurants and bars, things to do, etc. She had forgotten to get us fresh flowers for the table before we arrived and refused to forgive herself, bringing us fresh flowers within hours of our settling in. A bottle of wine was waiting for us in the fridge, and she also had a sweet and friendly dog, Ziggy, who came down to say hello (which was welcomed as our animals were thousands of miles away).
73 Bloemgracht is a small canal house with four apartments. Two belong to residents, one on the third floor was Jackie's private residence, and one on the second floor was the single B+B room. Living there for a few days was a real taste of living as a local in Amsterdam as opposed to a touristy hotel experience.
The room is very spacious with a large queen-sized bed (split mattress, unfortunately), a kitchenette with a little dining table (a true breakfast nook if I've ever seen one), a bathroom, and a cozy chair for reading. The entire north side of the apartment is windows looking down onto the canal with a padded bench seat.
The kitchenette came prepared with a fridge, sink, microwave, dishes, and coffee/espresso machine with little single-serve packets. We opted for the breakfast option our first day. Unlike a more traditional B+B where breakfast is a fully prepared affair, Jackie simply goes to the market and returns with a whole array of local foods to be prepared in the room on your own. This turned out to be a terrific thing. Fresh breads in a basket, ham and local cheeses, yogurt, milk, orange juice, eggs, jams, a big thing of chocolate sprinkles, etc. It was a surprisingly large amount of food and it actually lasted us a few days.
The location of this place is untouchable. Jackie O's is in the heart of the Jordaan, a quaint and upscale neighborhood west of the heart of Amsterdam. Walking to the central station or the red light district, for example, could take about thirty minutes. But as we explored town on bikes, which is by far the best way to explore Amsterdam, everything was mere minutes away. Also the more we explored the more we wanted to explore the Jordaan. The interior of the city (Centrum) is as dense and bustling as any other major city with lots of people and lots of shops and lots of noise. The Jordaan, by comparison, is chock full of little shops and restaurants that were top notch but hidden away. As the majority of the buildings are residences the streets were quieter and zipping around the Jordaan on bikes to find an ice cream parlor or a curio shop was the most fun thing we did. It really felt like true Amsterdam as it is experienced by the locals every day, not the touristy veneer one would find in Centrum.
Quick aside - across the canal and a block or so down is Bike City, a very affordable bike rental place with simple black bikes that were comfortable and very practical. Fifteen Euros a day. If you stay at Jackie O's this is far and away the best way to get around town and the close proximity to the apartment made getting and returning the bikes very simple and convenient.
Well before we left I knew we would be back to Amsterdam (because it such a charming city) and that when we return we will definitely be staying at Jackie O's again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Jackie O's B & B consits of only one room for 2 and is located on the first floor (up one stair)of a listed building on the quiet Bloemgracht, the bustling heart of the Jordaan district. The room with a fantastic view of the canal has a separate entrance, a fully equipped kitchenette and a private bathroom. Upon request, the fridge is stocked with all the ingredients for a hearty breakfast and a morning fresh bread and fresh orange juice to put the door. LCD TV, free WiFi and sound system (including I-Pod and I-phone) are available At 5 minutes walking distance you will find the famous Anne Frank House, Wester, the shopping streets of the 9, tram and bus station and supermarket. ... more less
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