If you are looking for an excellent, clean budget hotel, then Hotel Aspen is for you. We look for good reviews on a very basic hotel in a good location and save our money for the sights. Yes, the steps are very steep so if you have mobility issues it might not be for you. However, Esam and his wife and their assistant are wonderful and are there to make your stay as comfortable as possible. We were on a seven weeks stay in Europe. Three of the weeks was to be in a motorhome, so we had one large suitcase with items for it. Esam's wife helped us get it up the steep stairs, and Esam had his assistant get it down the stairs when we left. Plus, it was fine with him for us to store it in his office/sleeping area. We stayed from April 19th - April 25th and couldn't have had better hosts.
We asked for a room on the first level and was very pleased. There were four rooms on our floor, two of which had their own bathroom. Therefore, we only shared the shower area and toilet area with one other room. They were always spotlessly clean, and we never had to wait for them. The shower had plenty of pressure and hot water.
Our wifi worked really well, and we even skyped with family from home which was great. Our room had a closet with hangers and a sink which had a shelf above it. Small cakes of soap was provided, but you will need to bring your own shampoo which was no problem for us because we always bring our preferred ones. ...and hey, Aspen saves you money, so bring your own shampoo. The sink was very handy, so we could brush our teeth and wash our hands and face in the room. We had taken a small hotpot and could make coffee, tea, and hot chocolate in the room.
Our bed was comfortable and we always got a good night's sleep. My husband has a bi-pap machine and had no problem plugging it in. One hint is to ask for a room in the back, where it is so quiet. The front rooms have a great view, but there is road noise. For me, one plus is you are very close to Westerkerk Church. When we got there, I heard the lovely chimes and bells and wondered if it could be the ones Anne Frank listened to while she was in hiding. On the day we were scheduled to go to her house, I was very touched to find that we were only five minutes from it, and yes it was the Westerkerk! I hated to leave knowing that I wouldn't be hearing the chimes and bells again. Each time, I listened to them I got chills knowing where they were coming from. It was cold at night, and our room was always warm. The maid made our bed and left clean towels each day. We couldn't have been more pleased.
Esam even exchanged our money to Euros. How much more accommodating can a host be? He also explained how to find the Monday Market and even looked for us there while he shopped. While I am mentioning it, my favorite souvenir of the trip was a large antique plate I bought there. It has a special place of honor hanging in our home.
There is a grocery store and bus about five minutes away. It took us about twenty-five to thirty minutes to walk to Centraal Station, but you can take the tram I believe. We just enjoyed the canals, houses, and cobblestones as we gawked about so the time went quickly.
There is a bike rental shop next door.
Amsterdam has a lot of enjoyable sights to visit along with wonderful English speaking people, and we feel that Hotel Aspen is the perfect hotel for us since we travel on a budget. Esam, who is very friendly and helpful, does a wonderful job managing a home base for people who don't have a lot of money to spend but want to travel. We will go back and will recommend the hotel to our friends. Thanks to all the TAs who recommended it to us.
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