The Amsterdam Marriott is an old standard in this historic city for both business travelers and tourists. The hotel has undergone some major facelifts recently, not the least of which are a new, modern lobby and a completely revamped, elegant executive lounge now transplanted to the ground floor. The new looks share some elements with other hotels in the company's stable, including the creative lighting and ambiance found at the Seattle Waterfront Marriott and the Southport Renaissance in Boston. As with other properties, modernization extends to the rooms with relatively new bedding, re-done bathrooms, and LCD televisions. No surprises there.
All this investment speaks well to Marriott's intent to provide some very nice accommodation adjacent to Leidseplein and Vondelpark, two of the liveliest locations in Amsterdam. Nevertheless, when you check prices and Marriott's ranking of this as a Category 6 hotel, do not be led to think this is a luxury hotel by today's market standard. The Amsterdam Marriott is a lovely hotel, but rates over 175 euros per night are simply not competitive given the many other options in the area.
Upon my arrival -- my first stay here for several years -- the place had a familiar sense about it. Surprisingly, I didn't find the doormen particularly friendly as I have found at the Amsterdam Renaissance hotel as well as others, where the greetings seem genuine. The ground floor layout is somewhat confusing for a weary traveler. After a minor diversion and a U-turn, I found reception. The desk staff were on the ball, though. The clerk easily accommodated my request for a check-in two hours early and even provided an upgraded room on the 11th floor. (Even though I'm an elite Marriott Rewards member, I often have difficulty with early check-in, about which many international travelers complain. Airlines and hotels seems to have different ideas about the need to sleep.) The clerk took my details, explained the differences in the hotel since my last visit, etc. I often make it a point to ask questions of hotel staff, in part to get a "local" perspective on the area, but also to gain a sense of how committed the hotel is to meet travelers' needs. This hotel passes the test, and the staff overall were very quick to share advice and information.
My room was spotless, very comfortable, and well-equipped. The bedding was perfect for this weary traveler to rest up for a long journey home. As I said above, the lounge is really quite elegant with modern decor, yet I found it spacious and relaxing at the same time. For convenience, I had breakfast at in the lounge twice. The offerings were a bit meager, and I was surprised to find the overall quality and freshness only marginal. This is a huge faux pas in a city well-endowed with food suppliers. The hotel could do much, much better here. On the other hand, in the evening the staff and bartender in Sorel's Midtown Bar and Lounge served up some wonderful dishes and adult beverages with an international flare. Sorel's is cozy and casual, and I found it well-suited for either business lunches or as a launch pad before hitting the city at night.
Location, location, location. Many trams crisscross Leidseplein, just across the street, for easy access to anywhere in the centrum. Taxis and even canal rides are a few steps from the hotel's front door. The hotel is within easy reach of Schipol Airport, too. Several options are available. When arriving, you can take a train from the airport to Centraal Station, then catch the 1, 2, or 5 tram and alight at Leidseplein. It can be a hassle to travel via tram with large suitcases, though, and the relatively new chipkaart system used on the trams will be confusing for newcomers. The Connexxion shuttle bus is another option, which costs 15 euros one way and takes about 30-60 minutes, depending on stops and traffic. I considered this when leaving, but the concierge at the hotel tipped me to an even better deal. There's an express bus (#370), which stops across the street and costs EUR 4.80 and takes out 30 minutes to/from the airport.
The Renaissance Hotel used to be my favorite stop in Amsterdam, but after a couple of disappointments there, I decided to try the Amsterdam Marriott again. I was pleasantly surprised, and I will not hesitate to book there on my next trip, rates permitting. The location is unbeatable, especially for tourists, and the comfort level is a cut above. The hotel offers a number of packages and special offers, so check their web site before booking.
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- Also Known As:
- Marriott Amsterdam Hotel Amsterdam
- Amsterdam Marriott