we travelled to amsterdam for a 4 night trip in July, with two sons 12 & 15. we wanted a nice hotel, but with a pool to amuse kids after a long days walking around! This really limited our choice to Amrath or Victoria in the centre and we chose Amrath and glad we did. location was better (we thought) away from the traffic, noise and grubbiness of Damrak. first impressions were ok - yes we did have to carry our bags up 5 steps, but so what! staff at reception were very welcoming. We thought that this was a feature of the city - not just our hotel, but everywhere we went shops/waiting staff/museum staff were really naturally helpful and friendly, more than in any other big city we have visited. I think maybe the slightly laid back Dutch nature might not fit in with some expectations of "5 star service" but we thought they were great! The building is slightly strange - a real maze - and the staircase a bit spartan with its bare tiles and vinyl, but you are in a historic building which has been preserved as it was. Quirky and interesting, but not "dazzling"!
Rooms were fine - we were at the back of the hotel in a July heatwave, with temp over 30degrees, but found rooms perfectly comfortable. Free mini bar was a great idea and a nice treat after a long day out. We had been a bit concerned about location and proximity to red light etc, but it was absolutely fine. Even the infamous Zeedijk, which I had been warned to avoid like the plague on my last visit here (almost 25 years ago!) was relaxed and fun, with its many restaurants and bars. This became our regular shortcut toward Damrak and the station. We ate out every day and there are lots of restaurants around. We went to the nearby Oggi and Eat Me which were both very good and of course the Sea Palace, which was over priced but worth it for the novelty. For breakfast try Dwaze Zaken on Prins Hendrikkade 50 at the station end of Zeedijk - it was really nice and much less crowded than the more touristy places just around the corner from it. Boys liked Dutch Porridge!! The pool was good - never busy (in fact hardly ever had to share it in the evenings). All in all a good hotel, I can see why some say not 5 star - but we have stayed in 5 star hotels and enjoyed them less, just because they can be a bit too formal. We liked this and at risk of repetition can't emphasise enough how pleasant and friendly the front of house staff were. Definitely would stay here again. For things to do - canal trips, Ajax experience (for 12 year old would be Messi), Scheepvart museum (really good for adults and kids). Out of town we visited Volendam and Zaanseschans - both well worth going to.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The newest five-star deluxe hotel of Amsterdam in the monumental Shipping House. You can find us on the Prins Hendrikkade in the city center at only 500m from Central Station and 1100m from Dam Square. We have 165 rooms, of which 25 suites offer complimentary wireless internet, free minibar and from free access to the wellness center. Facilities furthermore include restaurant Seven Seas, meeting rooms and a bar/lounge. ... more less
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