I've just returned from staying at this hotel for 3 nights (24-27 December) and wanted to write a fair review while all the details were still fresh in my mind.
I chose this hotel because I have stayed in it several times before and I truly love the outstanding decor, architecture and location of the hotel.
On this occasion I booked a deluxe duplex (room 519) on entering it was spacious, light and just how I remembered. Unfortunately there was a very strong musty/drainage smell present in both the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms. After calling guest services they sent a maintenance man who let himself in and tried to resolve the problem. We went out for the afternoon and came back to a smell which was much worse than before. After discussing the issue with Floris De Wit on Reception he offered to change our room and at the same time upgrade us which was a nice gesture. We moved to room 801 which is a rooftop suite, spacious, beautiful layout and most importantly odour free!
We settled in and started getting ready for dinner when all the lights went out! It made it somewhat tricky to get ready in the dark but we mentioned it to reception and on our return everything was fixed and back to normal.
Apart from the couple of issues we experienced everything with the room was perfect, a lovely note and bottle of wine and chocolates were left in the room from Floris which was a nice touch. It wouldn't put me off from returning because the issues were dealt with professionally and in a timely manner.
I want to move onto the other areas that I visited in the hotel:
The pool area is beautiful, everything was exceptionally clean and I love the dried fruit and nuts, the water and the towels / slippers / robes they offer. It really is a place to relax and rejuvenate.
The Tunes bar is dark and atmospheric with an amazing selection of drinks. The service was hit or miss which is disappointing when there were 4 or more members of staff in what is quite a compact area. It seems quite a popular place for locals to have a drink so it can get pretty busy.
The Lounge (which is the area in between reception and the brasserie) is where I think the hotel has its biggest flaws. The area acts as hotel lobby seating and also a place for snacks and drinks, somewhere to 'lounge' and relax, maybe pre or post dinner but the area is too small and there isn't enough seating for it to accommodate all of these different requirements and all of its guests who are staying in the hotel or non residents. I found it difficult to even get a seat at any time of the day and was told by one waitress that I couldn't reserve, reservations were only for large parties. It was at this point that I decided to complain and they managed to find me a seat about 30 minutes later. This I appreciated as I didn't necessarily want to sit in the dimply lit Tunes bar. The layout of the seating is rather interesting, and I understand the concept but you will find yourself sitting on a sofa or in very close proximity with other people, so I guess it's not the place for a romantic drink or a business chat.
The brasserie is where I ate at breakfast which has a good selection of cold cuts, fruit, pastries etc. I couldn't say its amazing and at 24euros for continental I think its very overpriced. For 6 euros more you can have some hot food cooked to order, which was good but at 30 euros I would expect it to be! I asked for some yoghurt one morning and didn't get it, service on the whole was a tad slow and disorganised and the carpet was messy with food. Coffee and juices seemed to take quite a while to arrive which was disappointing and tables weren't cleared or cleaned even though there seemed to be quite a large number of staff. I also had Christmas day dinner here and I have to say that the service was much better and a really enjoyable experience. The food was good, there was live music/singer and the service was better although again the carpet wasn't cleaned, there were dried crackers and crayons on the floor and under the table. We also ate a late lunch there on the 27th Dec and the food was good, service was poor and the floor had food / crumbs all over it yet again. It's sad to see it in this state.
I mentioned all of my points to the person on reception when we checked out after he asked about our stay and he was apologetic and sincere in his response, however, he also said that the hotel is open to non residents because its such an old beautiful building and they want to give something back to the people of Amsterdam by letting them view it after the massive renovations. I though it to be quite sweet, however, the hotel is a business, not a charity, I understand it's there to make money, get people in and order drinks etc but please pay some preferential attention to the guests that are paying $500 + a night to stay there, and make sure there is enough seating and excellent service is delivered in all areas of your hotel.
I would return for sure as long as I got a good rate.
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