We booked 4 nights at the Frankendael Apartments, but unfortunately only got to stay one night! The neighborhood is great. Very safe, easy access to the tram right into the city and train station, and lots of conveniences like a supermarket, nice cafe, and a terrific ice cream shop on the corner. There is also a nice park right across the street. I also enjoy being a little bit away from the center of the city, which gives one more of a feel for what everyday life is like in a city. The Frankendael Apartments are great for giving this sense of being a "local."
The hotel was actually very nice--our room was clean, modern, and nicely furnished. We were a party of five and there was plenty of room for all of us. The kitchen was well-equipped, and the air-conditioning worked great, too. The owners were very kind, and even had a bottle of prosecco waiting for us when we arrived in the room. For the money, Frankendael Apartments is a great value.
Anyway, we stayed one night, and the next morning received a visit from three men who were Amsterdam city inspectors. They said that they were doing a routine check of hotels in the neighborhood. We answered a lot of questions and they wanted copies of my passport, hotel bill, etc. It was all very strange, but of course being in a foreign country we complied and tried to be cooperative. So they left and we went about our day exploring the city.
When we returned to our hotel at around 9:00 p.m. that night, we were surprised to find that the key to the room did not work. We found the owners downstairs, and they (very apologetically) explained that the city officials had shut down the entire hotel and "evicted" all the occupants! They explained that the officials had found some very minor fire code violations, even though they had all the necessary permits, etc. The problems, they told us, were things like doors opening in instead of out, lack of a fire escape (the latter didn't seem so minor, but again, they said that they had all the permits, so someone must have signed off on it regardless), and other minor infractions. "Where's our stuff?," we asked. The owners explained that they had tried to call us (they had left a message, but we did not have service in Amsterdam) to ask us to vacate the apartment by 5:00 p.m, but that since they didn't hear from us, they moved all of our things so that they wouldn't be locked in the apartment and therefore inaccessible to us. Our belongings were neatly gathered into a room and kept together (and of course nothing was missing). Needless to say, the whole things was very bizarre, and somewhat surreal. We were still jet-lagged, so it added to the weirdness! Anyway, as I said, the owners were very kind and extremely apologetic about the whole thing--they were clearly embarrassed and sincerely sorry. They had arranged for another hotel (3 rooms for our entire party) nearby and even drove us there.
So, while the hotel was great, and we loved the room, we did not get to stay there for the entire time we had booked. Because this whole incident was (presumably) not the fault of the hotel, I rate it "very good" as opposed to "excellent." Also, I thought the owners handled it as best they could. If they get their inspections/permits in order, I'm sure it could be "excellent"! I'm not sure if the hotel is open for business again, I hope they are, but I would check on the status before I booked!
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