I recently returned from a family vacation in Amsterdam. The five of us stayed in two adjacent rooms at the Banks Mansion. Our experience was uniformly positive and I doubt I will even look at another hotel when planning my next trip to Amsterdam.
Location: Very central on Herengracht at Vijzelgracht. 10 minutes walk to major museums, Jewish quarter, Nautical Museum, De Pijp. 15 minutes walk to Central Station. 20 minutes walk to Anne Frank House. In a week we never needed to use public transportation - we walked everywhere.
Physical plant: The property is immaculate. It appears recently renovated and has art nouveau touches that enhance the look and feel of the place without showing off. The hotel calls its lobby a "living room" and it really does emulate an apartment living room. It's not large and there is no conventional lobby bar, so this is a great use of public space. The guest rooms are generous in size, especially by European standards. The bathrooms are not large but are intelligently laid out. They would not look out of place in an apartment. Fixtures are high end and both towels and bath products are plentiful and of high quality. The decor of the rooms and baths is modern and tasteful. A/C blows as cold as you can stand. Although the hotel is a screaming bargain there are no cut corners to be found anywhere.
Amenities: The hotel is unique among city hotels I have visited (or even heard of) in that virtually everything is included in the room rate. Not just wi-fi and breakfast but in-room movies, snacks and drinks (including beer, wine and spirits) in the well stocked lobby and even the minibar. Each room even has glass decanters with Scotch, Gin and Cognac, which housekeeping tops up as needed. Breakfast is very good and includes an egg/pancake station as well as the usual breads, meats and cheeses. There is a Nespresso Pixie in every room.
Service: I was able to query availability by email and received a prompt response in excellent English. I had a further question and spoke with a manager on the phone. She not only addressed my concern, she emailed me screen caps of her reservation system to show that the problem was resolved. At the hotel, service was uniformly helpful, knowledgeable and extremely friendly. The morning of our departure one of the desk staff reminded us of the time window for our airport shuttle (it could leave 15 minutes before or after the time we booked). When we started to approach the end of the window he volunteered to call the shuttle company to make sure they were on their way.
Value: Unbelievable value. Our trip came together at the last minute and only a few hotels had two rooms available. Our choice came down to the Banks or the nearby Ambassade, which is another 4* that looked great and has a very responsive reservations team. However, the Ambassade's room rates were considerably higher than the Banks' and did not include breakfast (@ EUR 15 pp). No knock at all on the Ambassade, but I am very glad we chose the Banks.
Things to improve: The only thing I can think of is that it would be nice to have more than two Nespresso capsules in the room. I'm sure they would have provided more if I had asked but it would be great to have a few more on hand. If that sounds like a minor criticism, it is. This is a really excellent hotel.
Overall: Top marks in every category. The "full service" concept just makes a good hotel better. I don't see the point of a 5* hotel when traveling with my kids, but I can't imagine the additional star could greatly improve on what the Banks provides. I realize that standards are high in Amsterdam and that many hotels offer high quality property, service and amenities. Nevertheless, this was an outstanding hotel experience and an exceptional value.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Exceptional Hospitality Founded on the concept of personalization our goal is to ensure that everything about your stay suits you. The intimacy of the hotel allows for greater personal attention, incredible service and an eye for detail by our staff. As a guest of Banks Mansion, at any given moment you are entitled to enjoy all of the beverages and appetizers offered to you in "The Living" along with complimentary breakfast, complimentary private in-room bar, complimentary in-house movies, complimentary Internet-access in our business corner and 24/7 free premium WiFi. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Banks Mansion Hotel Amsterdam
- Banks Mansion Amsterdam