First, the good – which is indeed very good! The location can’t be beat (smack in the heart of town, in walking distance of roughly everything). The staff is kind and responsive. And some of the décor almost flirts with greatness. They’re going for an Olde Europe vibe, mixed up with some modern touches and the occasional African mask. The public rooms downstairs feel like the work of almost great designer. However the guest rooms feel more like the work of that designer’s intern (definitely in the same vein, but rather relatively ham-fisted).
Alas, 717 face-plants on the small & simple things that are nonetheless important to modern travelers. Their wireless network is incompetently maintained, so plan to either pay up for data on your cell phone, or hit an Internet café. The breakfast offering is meager, and the service is glacial (it takes about an hour for your basic continental breakfast to trickle out in small bits & pieces). Lamps in the middle of your room are powered by cords that stretch right across your carpet (making bike-choked Amsterdam sidewalks seem pedestrian friendly by comparison). Two rival faucets in the shower share partial control over both the temperature and the water pressure, and getting a bearable shower requires that you first coax them through a maddening consensus-building process. Meanwhile the whole point of the private safe is undermined by the fact that the key to it (that’s right – no digital code) is lashed to your big, clunky room key, which you’re all-but required to hand over whenever you leave the hotel. I could go on (don’t get me started about climate control…) but you get the gist.
To be clear, 717 seeks to be an eclectic, old-school place, so no one should come here expecting iPhone docks and color-controllable LED lighting. But at these prices, you shouldn’t have to choose between old world charm and baseline post-Clinton conveniences. Prior to coming here, we traveled East Africa for a month, and almost everywhere we stayed blended authentic local flavor with functioning WiFi and electric plugs that didn’t snare our feet. This sort of balance is surely attainable in a place as stunningly modern & cosmopolitan as Amsterdam.
All of that said, let’s bear in mind that these ARE small issues, and 717 delivers nicely on most of the big ones. The mystery is why a super-pricey place that flirts with greatness is so careless with details that low-end Sheratons routinely nail. If 717 were in a significantly different price bracket, I’d write off its irksome quirks and give them five stars. And if you’re blessed with unlimited travel funds, this could still be an OK hotel choice. But if you just do occasional splurges in this price range, this is NOT a place to blow one of your precious silver bullets. Save huge money by choosing a mid-charm, mid-priced larger hotel (e.g. the Grand Krasnapolsky is in the bulls-eye center of the city & is quite underrated). You’ll still have full access to central Amsterdam’s charm and energy, and can later throw down the big bucks at a place that respects the importance of details as much as the value of a fancy address.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Exclusive private guest house in the heart of the city with Amsterdam's major attractions at walking distance. As our guest - either for business or pleasure - you will experience the unique combination of staying in a 19th-century building with all the contemporary amenities of today. Our main purpose hereby is to create a relaxed atmosphere and ‘A feeling of home away from home'. We look forward welcoming you! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel 7 1 Seven
- Hotel Seven One
- Seven One Amsterdam