1. LOCATION. This hotel is situated on a quiet street, with some other hotels, and right at the end of the block is the Rijksmuseum. If you walk just a little farther, there is the Van Gogh museum. Both are top-notch and the Rijks is a must-see. There is a park on the other side of the block, near the Van Gogh museum, and I saw there was ice-skating going on. Very, very appealing. Restaurants (I recommend Canaleto) as well as luxury-brand stores are also close by. If you cross the canal going towards the center of the city, there are more inviting (that is, less elite) shopping and eating opportunities. In short, the location is ideal -- a 30-minute walk from Amsterdam Centraal and the Anne Frank museum. Not good if you have tons of luggage, I suppose, but I was able to walk all over town with my 3-days worth of clothes, etc. without too much pain. Amsterdam seems planned-out with pedestrians and bicyclists in mind. It was great, and easy to figure out even for a first-timer.
2. SAFETY. I am 22 years old, female, and a solo traveller. It was my first time in The Netherlands, so I was very happy to see I would be completely safe staying at this hotel. You give the front desk your keys whenever you leave, and there is someone there 24/7. They have a camera to see who approaches the entrance, so when you come back, they buzz you in and there your keys are, waiting for you. You are allowed one guest, if you specify whom beforehand (I stayed in the small, single room -- perhaps you get more guests if you are with a larger party, in a larger room?), so nobody comes or goes that they don't know about. There was, however, a door from my room leading outside into a courtyard, which I initially found a little alarming; but I simply locked it and drew the heavy curtain over it at night.
3. VALUE. This was not a very expensive, super-fancy hotel, but it was very professional, and had a very homey feel. They all speak perfect English, of course, and like all the Dutch I met on my trip, they were friendly and kind. My small one-person room was equipped with a television with approximately 20 free channels with a few in English, wardrobe, nightstand/bedside lamp, desk, single bed; the bathroom was likewise very basic. There is a shower but no tub, and a hair-dryer provided. The only soap that you get is from a dispenser on the wall, like at a public toilet -- there is one above the sink and one in the shower to be used on your body AND your hair. This I found slightly unusual, but the only hotels I have ever stayed at before have been in the US. Overall, no big deal. Bring your own stuff if you are fussy. As far as the appearance/layout of the hotel, it is perfectly respectable in every way -- small, but very nice.
4. FOOD. There is a very good breakfast upstairs from 7:30am to 9:00am. You can help yourself to cereals and milk, tea, breads, croissants, eggs, etc. They will offer you coffee as well. Nothing too elaborate, but a very nice dining room and pleasant service. Downstairs is a bar with alcohol, some sodas, and some minimal snacks (candy bars and potato chips).
5. NOISE. If you stay in one of the two downstairs rooms, you will probably hear people thumping on the stairs all hours of the morning. They are slightly steep steps, so this is likely why. However, the neighborhood itself is virtually silent (I stayed in February, so this is based on a winter experience -- it may be different in the summer when more people are on vacation).
6. Was there anything that went wrong with my stay? Well, the pen on my desk was quite useless. The phone in my room was not connected until I mentioned it to the front desk, but they quickly remedied that. Oh, and I started out with two pillows, until one disappeared the next day, which was disappointing, as I like having two pillows to sleep with.
In conclusion, I will certainly stay here again. I love Amsterdam and the Hotel Aalders was perfect for my situation.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Small, family owned 3-star hotel in southern part of the city centre containing 28 rooms of different sizes and types, with it's own unique character and personal attention towards guests. Certified member of HoReCa Nederland and ANWB Hotel classification guides. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aalders Hotel Amsterdam