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“Mixed Feelings” 4 of 5 stars
Review of College Hotel

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College Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Roelof Hartstraat 1, 1071 VE Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Museumplein)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #172 of 344 Hotels in Amsterdam
Cheshire UK
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Mixed Feelings”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2006

I stayed at The College Hotel with my partner between 25th March '06 - 27th March '06. This is the third time I have stayed in the hotel simply because of its sheer beauty as a boutique hotel. It is contemporary with a nod to the classical, very comfortable and incredibly relaxing. Just to give you an insight I have stayed in the Radisson, The American, NH City Amsterdam, Sofitel Demure Grand and The Pulitzer and can easily say The College Hotel is much more intimate, personalized and enjoyable than any of the above. The Location is great, close to great shops and good tram links right outside. If you like museums then they are just a short walk away but probably be better to get a map from the tourist info as the hotel only has really small ones with no road names on, what's that all about?
When I arrived at the hotel (9am) understandably our room was not ready as check-in is 3pm, no worries we dumped the cases and wandered over to Cafe Luxemburg on Spui which does great breakfast overlooking a small square and great place to people watch! After some good shopping and lunch at Cafe PC (on PC Hoofstraat which is just fab but may need to book) we headed back to the Hotel for about 3.30pm. We got to reception and they advised our cases were already in the room so they led us to our room on the second floor (205). On entering it was like a shoebox, I explained to the girl who was pretty sullen and almost never smiled that I booked a room that was 33-39 sq metres she said that she would go back to reception and look into it. I booked this room directly with the hotel so not sure why they got it wrong but hey. After about 10 minutes still nothing so I went down to reception to find out what was going on. They apologised and said that they had put us in the wrong room and led us to a room I had booked. Back in the lift onto the 1st floor to a room that had twin beds, again not what I booked so back down to reception to see the Reception Manager. She then took us to a third room which hadn't even been cleaned, at this point we are at 4pm and not happy at all! We were finally taken to room 107 which was ready and had a double bed and was much bigger as booked, finally they brought our cases and we were able to settle in. Not the best way of dealing with it but she was the only manager in at the time. Be warned though not all rooms have a shower, they have a bath with a hand held shower attached to the tap, strange eh, and some rooms only have a shower cubicle.
Down to the bar, the last time I went (6 months ago) the bar staff were useless you would wait about half an hour for a drink but this time they were much more slick, quick service, smiles and regularly changing nibbles! It is a great artmosphere in the bar with cool Fashionistas and most of the Dutch Glitterati. The staff lack finess with service though as one guy literally spilt candle wax all over his suit when changing the candles.
The restaurant is however very different. Continental breakfast (€17.00) is pretty dire with banana milkshakes in a thimble like glass, very thin pieces of apple in sherbet, some smoked salmon, tiny pastries and a very small selection of cerials, all looks pretty but only good if you have a very small apetite in a morning. We went for the cooked breakfast option at €21.50 my partner had smoked salmon and scrambled egg, v nice apparently and came pretty quickly, I ordered blueberry pancakes with maple syrup which came 10 minutes after my partner had finished their breakfast! Apparently the chef had burnt 2 lots, worth waiting for? - not really, would always go out for breakfast in future, Cafe Luxemburg to the rescue! This was really the icing on the cake I asked to see the Hotel Manager who was apprently on the phone but would come out asap, so we waited in the lobby with the beautiful silk walls, comfy chairs and roaring fire which flickered in time with the array of scented candles as the chill out music was playing. The Hotel Manager arrives, very pleasant and at last A SMILE!! I explained the situation fully and straight away the breakfast was taken of our bill along with a discount to our room rate for both the nights due to the inconvenience. Result. Would I go back to the hotel? Yes I would, I can see that the bar has improved since last time so I am hoping that everything will follow suit now the new manager is from the Blakes Hotel Amsterdam. Just remember to book a good sized room, request a shower or bath whichever you prefer, dont take breakfast there and any problems make your feelings known because they definately listen to them.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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315 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
New Jersey, USA
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2006

My husband and I have travelled to Amsterdam for 8 yrs. straight. We've stayed at Hotel L'Europe, The American Hotel, NH Amsterdam Centre and Radisson SAS. I cite these hotels just so you have an idea of the standard we are using when rating the College Hotel.

This hotel is by far the most luxurious hotel we have stayed in Amsterdam. The hotel is very chic and oozes a New York Soho/Tribeca vibe. From the entrance to the lobby to the bar...everything is crisp, clean, chic, gorgeous.

We stayed here for 2 nights (March 12-14, 2006) and wish we'd stayed for longer. The room we were in (room 101) offers the most space of any Amsterdam hotel I've been in, including the spacious suites at the Hotel L'Europe. The bed was very comfortable, the bathroom huge and flanked by 2 sinks. There was a comfortable seating area, beautiful windows reaching the 18-20 ft. ceilings.

The location of the hotel is OK (I qualify this later). The hotel is located in Ouid Zuid and not in the city center. So to reach Leidseplein, Muntplein, the Flower Market, the Dam or Koningsplein you have to be prepared for a HEFTY walk of at least 20 -25 minutes. In warm weather I am sure it is wonderful but in chilly/brisk weather you will feel it. And it may not be a walk you want to be dealing with late at night. That said...the tram 5 and 24 are located a 1/2 block from the hotel and will bring you to the city center within 10-15 minutes. And the trams run very frequently - at least every 10-12 minutes. Therefore if you do not mind travelling daily by tram then I def. recommend this hotel and forget about the location comment. Within the immediate area of the hotel there are restaurants and it is a very nice safe neighborhood; it's just not as lively as the city center and the famous canals are not abundant here at all. If your main reason for visiting Amsterdam are the museums and concert halls then def. stay here - they are within a 5 to 10 min. walk. And the famed Hoofstraat shopping street is nearby with all the high end boutiques like Gucci and Louis Vuitton etc. My only qualm about the location would really be for a first-time Amsterdam visitor who's visiting for only 2-3 days...do you really want to be dependent on trams every time you want to go somewhere?

Moving on...yes the staff are all students. There's supposed to be experienced staff on hand for guidance but they must be hiding behind the curtains. These students all appear to be anywhere from 16 yrs. old to early 20s. We had breakfast in the restaurant the first morning and although the meal itself was fine for the price we paid (40+ EU) we would have expected better service. We had about a 15 min wait for an order of eggs with bacon...and there were only 2 other tables in the entire restaurant and 3 servers. There were no questions such as would you like more coffee, is everything OK, can I get you anything else. When we asked for the bill it took about 10 mins. to arrive...and when it did and we handed over a credit card...it took another 15 mins. And at no point was there acknowledgement about any delays. But the staff seemed to have plenty of time to congregate by the workstations and chit chat. And that is something you will find often at this hotel...a scene that looks more like young teens at a mall than eager students in a learning environment. We had drinks at the bar one night and the bartender was very sweet but noticeably nervous; she was the only bartender present; maybe it was her first time alone. One thing...since these are students...at the bar all the liquor is poured using measurements so be prepared to have a very exact shot or measured drink for your 9 EU. One morning our toilet was running and since we were leaving for the day we didn't want to risk an overflow so we reported it and when we returned later it was all taken care of. That was a plus. No inconvenience whatsover.

We paid 198 EU per night and I would pay that same amount to stay here again. The hotel is beautiful; the location very easy to get to (assuming you're familiar with the area and aren't always pressed for time) and the space of the rooms worth every EU! If you accept that not everything is going to run smoothly then come stay here with an open mind and you won't regret it. Afterall once you close the door to your room it will be so heavenly that you will forget about the kids downstairs.

P.S. It was my husband's birthday on the 15th and the hotel had laid out on the desk in the room 2 tickets to the Rembrandthuis as a gift. Very thoughtful. kids or no kids.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2006

Hotel Location: Excellent... its near the posh shops and all the big Museums. Its also close to the airport and there are a couple of trams line right outside the hotel.

Hotel Design/ Rooms: we really loved it... very modern, quite dark even on gothic. Beatiful old building, huge windows, high ceilings, fantastically restored. The Room itself was listed as 33-39 square metres.. which we thought would be quite big, but because its an old building it didn't feel overly big as the design was a little awkward. Probably best to get as big a room as you can afford.

Service: Yes we had a few problems and occasionally the staff can be a little awkward. But overall we found them very helpful and everyone spoke great English. You just need to go prepared to have to ask for a few things twice. Its really no big deal. If it is for you ... go stay somewhere else. For everyone else i'd highly recommend it.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2006

We have just returned from staying for one night at the College Hotel. We had read the reviews before we went, so new what to expect.! How true they are too!

You arrive to find plenty of staff, but nobody knowing what they should be doing, no smiles have you had a good journey etc when you check in, then you are taken to your room, where you have to spend an hour trying to work out how the lights work. We had no remote control for the TV, and when we rang to reception they insisted that there was one in the room, after explaining yet again there was not one, the receptionist (who needed to go to charm school) said someone would come up with one, which took another phone call and finally arrived 15 mins later.

Breakfast I would agree was a complete joke, it took 30 ins for our 'cooked' breakfast to arrive, ( the restaurant was very quiet too!) when it arrived it was cold and quite revolting, to be honest a motorway service station could do better, our tea and coffe were cold too, we had to ask 3 times for milk but they insisted on giving us cream. As with the rest of the whole hotel there were plenty of staff, all just standing around and not being helpful at all. Surley if it is a training hotel, somebody should be training them!!

The positive parts are, it is a good location, and the rooms are not so bad, the sheets were crisp and bed comfortable. The coctail bar too was lively at night and the service there was very good.

Lets hope they take notes of the reviews!!

  • Stayed March 2006
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2006

Man, some people need to stop hating on the College Hotel. I stayed there for a total of about 20 nights over the past year (work took me to Amsterdam frequently) and have grown to really really love the place. You can read the other reviews for all the positives: beautiful (albeit cozy) rooms and lovely public areas, excellent food at the restaurant, etc. I, however, would like to address three common concerns people have expressed in other reviews.

First, the hotel's location. It's totally true that the hotel is not smack dab in Dam Square or the Leidseplein amongst all the tourist hubbub. In all honesty, unless you're 19 and in Amsterdam for the first time, the scene gets pretty old pretty quick. It's fun to visit the tourist areas and fun to hang out there, but it's also nice to get away from it after you're done enjoying yourself there -- maybe I'm just getting old. To be fair, the hotel is about a 5 minute walk from the Concertgebouw, 10 minute walk from the Van Gogh museum, 15 minute walk from the Rijksmuseum and a 20 minute walk from the Leidseplein. Wanna go closer to the center? Take the #5 tram which runs outside the hotel about every 10 minutes. Or take a cab -- you can go all the way to Centraal Station for about 15 euro. Or better yet, rent bikes. Amsterdam is a small city anyway (it's really just a big village) so getting anywhere is pretty fast and cheap.

Second, the hotel's service. Okay. The hotel's service is definitely quirky. No question about it. The "interns" get a bit confused and flustered sometimes, and they will make a little mistake here and there, but overall it's just totally not a big deal. Another reviewer commented that it's even a bit endearing, which I agree with. Some things to consider, they're young, they're learning, and they're Dutch -- I'm not treading any new ground by noting that Nederlanders (Amsterdammers, in particular) are not exactly known for wildly competent or cheery customer service, that's just the way it is. It's not a bad or onerous thing, you just get used to it. I really can't complain about the service at the hotel. I think they double-charged me for a mini-bar Coke once. OH MY GOD!!!

Third, to the people who are disappointed by the hotel's value for money...are you kidding? Seriously? You can generally get rates under 200 euro per night on their website (always go to their own website for the best deals). The rate sometimes even includes breakfast. For that price, this hotel is a real gem in Amsterdam. The only other hotel that's this unique and luxurious in the whole city (in my opinion) is the Dylan where rooms start around 450 euro per night. Wonderful place -- for more than double the price. The hotel offers some some very special touches, too...a selection of marzipan candies in your room on arrival...complementary bottled water in the room...luxury toiletries...a personalised note from the manager on arrival...the ubiquitous chocolate on the pillow during turndown...the list goes on.

So to sum up...if you're a chill person looking for a fantastic, unique, luxurious boutique hotel in Amsterdam that represents excellent value for money and you can handle minor, inconsequential potential hiccups, the College Hotel is the hotel for you. Chill people will be blown away by this place, as I was and still am.

(And no, they didn't pay me to write this review! I did however receive a nice book as a New Year's gift at the beginning of my last stay -- bad service?)

  • Stayed January 2005, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2006

THe College Hotel is recomended by Wallpaper magazine, presumbably because it has beautifully renovated rooms. Unfortunatly their web site does not make it clear that this is very much a student run hotel. The majority of the students had just started the day before we arrived, which mean't that service was pretty much non existent. The service we recieved was inconsistent and mostly way below average. Shame as it could be a brilliant stay if the students were more supervised. There is an obvious lack of teachers to the over supply of students doing nothing. This is a cluster fumble and I definatly would not stay here again. We are paying full price to be practised on by students who just cant get it right. Oh sorry! There was one student who did call us taxi unfortunatly she sent us to the wrong place. Oh Well! In a nutshell, Imagine being waited on by a 16year old child with no idea.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2006

To be completely honest, I really understand why some people are amazed by this hotel at first glance. After all, the place is completely beautiful! The interiors are contemporary but relaxed - sort of "boho-chic". The bar is cool, and both the restaurant and rooms are truly stunning when it comes to style.

However, style only gets you so far. Good looks does not really help when you are pissed off by the level of service. Ok, I know that this is a "school hotel", but I honestly didn't think that the students started their education just yesterday. Most of them where - honest to god - completely USELESS! Drinks were crap. Concierge knew NOTHING about what was happening in the city. Restaurant was mediocre. Room was not cleaned. Bill was printed out wrong three times. Breakfast is a JOKE. I can go on like this forever with minor details, that when all added up, creates a picture which is less than flattering.

Now, I haven't stayed in 2-3 star hotels since forever, but as I remember it - they usually presented a FAR better level of service than this useless place...

  • Stayed November 2005, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about College Hotel

Address: Roelof Hartstraat 1, 1071 VE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Location: The Netherlands > North Holland Province > Amsterdam > Museumplein , Stadsdeel Zuid
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #172 of 344 Hotels in Amsterdam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — College Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 40
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