This is a lovely hotel just outside the hustle and bustle of the city centre. We took the Metro to Weesperplein (51, 53 or 54 lines all stop here) from Centraal Station and it's only a short 5-10 min walk once you get your bearings. Later we found that there are tram stops near the hotel which are even closer than the Metro, however if the weather is decent it's also not a great distance to walk to the museum square and other points of interest.
We arrived well before the 3pm check-in time but had no problem getting our room when we arrived. Reception staff were extremely polite, welcoming and helpful during our entire stay. We didn't expect the 50euro holding fee at check-in as most places just take your card details for any extra expenses, so it would have been nice to know about this before arriving- mostly for our own budgeting purposes!
The hotel decor is fantastic and has been done well throughout. We stayed on the second floor which has a landing area out of the lift which needs some tlc, but other than that it has a consistent quirky/gothic but modern feel. The room we stayed in was just about big enough for two of us on a 3 night stay. Great value for money, clean and quiet enough. There were small details in the room such as scuffed walls and door and the tiling in the bathroom that with a bit of tlc would really make the room that extra bit nicer. The bed was too soft for our personal liking, and the radiator made a constant noise resembling that of a trickling tap (which I personally found quite soothing but my boyfriend not so much!) but it was nothing to knock it down for. The shower was the best part of the bathroom after we got used to the tinted glass 'walls'- which we didn't mind but as others have said, other people might!
Breakfast every morning was fresh and well laid out buffet, with a lot of choice if you want to fill yourself up with a cooked breakfast or want something a bit lighter like yoghurt, muesli, fruit, etc. I really recommend trying the fresh loaves of bread which are to die for! We didn't eat at the hotel otherwise as we found the menus for the bar and restaurant a bit limited and pricey. We were surprised when we wanted to order room service on one of the nights that the menu brought to us was the same as the restaurant evening menu, with dishes like wild duck and veal which personally wasn't what we wanted to eat in bed after a full day out in the city! We were hoping for a lighter 'bar snacks' type of menu with perhaps some sandwiches or a burger here and there.
We checked out on our day of departure and left our suitcase and bags there with absolutely no problem. When we went back to collect our bags in the afternoon we stayed for a warm drink at the bar before leaving for the airport. The hot chocolate was absolutely delicious especially after getting drenched all day!
Overall our stay at Hotel Arena was great value for money and we really enjoyed it. A few details which were mostly down to personal preference let it down, but I would definitely recommend it and would return again if were to visit Amsterdam in the future.