Sorry for the long review.. hope it is helpful.. I tried to cover the hotel and a little bit about Amsterdam. If you are debating visiting Amsterdam (no matter how old you are) just go and you won't be disappointed. This was my third trip to Amsterdam.. I've done the partying weekends there when I was in my 20s and this was more of a laid back trip. It is nice to remember everything this time :)
Fusion Suites is ranked #1 in Amsterdam on TripAdvisor for good reason. The reviews on this site give an accurate picture of the property and service. Our room (#1) was huge, with a great bathroom and stocked minibar. The entire building is very well maintained, very clean.. the kitchen where you eat breakfast is awesome. The rooms have a very nostalgic feel that you just don't get in many hotels.
Fusion Suites is a bed and breakfast and it is very quiet.. but this wasn't a bad thing for us. We never heard any other guests and to the best of my knowledge we never bothered anybody - and we were likely a bit loud when we returned from the cafes and bars at night.
There is a small lift for bags and for older people who have problems walking up lots of stairs. You might not find a lift in all B&Bs.. so definitely ask for this when looking at other places. Those tall skinny Amsterdam houses usually have very many steep staircases.
This was the first B&B we've stayed at in Europe (we typically prefer nice 4 or 5 star hotels with bars, room service, etc..) and I was definitely a little concerned about it being small and quiet, etc. My girlfriend and I stayed for 4 nights - we are in our early 30s and we do still go out and drink and have fun and stay out late when on holiday so I wasn't sure if this place was for us. However, it turned out better than I could have imagined. That being said, this place is definitely meant for couples, small families, or single business travelers - not for younger people or stag parties looking to tear it up for a weekend in Amsterdam. This would be a good place to stay if you are traveling with another couple, with each getting their own suite.
With the wireless internet access, minibar, and excellent breakfast (bigger, better, and faster then you will ever get in a restaurant) all included in the price, the rates are actually very reasonable. The rates seem high at first, but consider how those room service, wireless internet (typically expensive in Europe), breakfast tabs, etc.. add up at a hotel - its nice knowing that the price quoted for the room is the price you pay when you checkout. There is also a computer in each room with internet access that is free to use, so if you didn't bring a laptop there is no need to go to an internet cafe.. this is a very good thing for those who don't like to travel with a laptop.
Amsterdam is truly a great city to visit for people of all ages. It seems to me that it has a bad reputation across much of the US.. as many people think Amsterdam is dirty (its not at all) and all about hash bars and hookers. Well, both are indeed there but they are not thrown in your face and easily avoidable.
You can't drink in 99% of the coffeeshops (hash bars) any more so people don't typically stay there very long and get wasted. Most people just stop in, buy a joint and a coffee or hot chocolate, smoke the joint and then leave happy and get lost walking around the canals - or go to a nearby cafe for a beer. Its generally normal people on holiday from across Europe and the US stopping in the coffeshops and not as many hippies or younger kids as you'd think. But if the coffeshops aren't your thing, they are easily avoided.. although you should at least stop by one to check it out.
As for the prostitutes, they are not all over the city and its not advertised all over like it is in Vegas (where its not even legal). Its legal in Amsterdam and its very controlled and mostly centralized to one area. Admittedly it is pretty crazy walking around the red light district and seeing them all in the windows. Lots of sex shops and sex show theaters down there as well.. but its mostly tourists walking around just to see the area. Its not at all scary - and definitely something you won't see anywhere in the US. I wouldn't want a young female friend walking around down there at night by herself - but this can be said of most cities in the world. In general its not a threatening atmosphere. There always seems to be lots of British guys down there on stag parties having a blast.. pretty funny stuff. All in all its worth checking out in the early evening (or even in the day time if you are timid) just to see the spectacle. But again.. easily avoidable if you don't stay in a hotel in that area.
To me Amsterdam is about the canals, flowers, walking around at night looking at all of the lit up bridges, really nice art and antique galleries, and the cafes. If you are a museum person (I am not) there are many and I hear they are some of the best in Europe. Of course there are lots and lots of bikes - you can't comprehend the amount of bikes until you visit - they are everywhere. Amsterdam in general is a very clean city. The people are laid back, most speak English, and most are tall and skinny! Amsterdam is pretty small (at least the parts you'll visit) so you can walk or bike around almost everywhere. The trams are easy to use, but watch out for them as they run on the streets - which is actually very convenient as opposed to the underground subways in London and other cities where it takes 10 minutes to get back to street level.
Definitely take a boat ride through the canals, but try to get the smaller open top boats (if its nice out) instead of the large canal buses. The large canal boats might be a little cheaper but they are packed full of tourists and you really can't see out as well. The small open boats are great, you can bring drinks and the driver will tell you all about what you are seeing. Good way to get lots of pictures.. definitely worth the extra money. In fact, if you have lots of money, you can rent out a private canal boat that comes with a driver and drinks/food and cruise the canals - go in the late afternoon/ early evening as its getting dark and bring a sweater.
Fusion Suites is very close to Vondel park, and I recommend walking over to the Film Museum in the park (you can see this place from the front of the hotel) and sitting in the cafe up on the large balcony. We never actually went into the museum, just had some nice drinks in the cafe - great view. Its really nice in the park during the day, and a good break from the nearby Leidseplein area which can be very crowded and a bit touristy (certainly not a bad area though).
Definitely rent a bike for a day or longer (there is a place very close to the hotel) and ride through the whole park and the museum areas. Then if you feel brave enough ride through the canals.. but start in the park to get comfortable. Check out the Remplantplein area for the cafes and the Jordaan area for walking around the canals and seeing where people actually live. In my opinion the best parts of Amsterdam are the least touristy.. and consequently the least crowded.
Taxis can be expensive, they are all very nice Mercedes, so try to negotiate the price upfront before you go anywhere. Sometimes they are worth the money (at night if the lady has on high heels and have a ways to go) other times its better to take a tram or just walk.
Thank you Alex and Sharmila for a great stay, we will certainly be back soon. If you ever come to LA for a holiday let us know and we'll have you over for dinner and drinks!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.