This was our third stop in our 2 week trip in Benelux. We took a train from Ettelbruck and got to Haarlem rather than Amsterdam. When I visited Amsterdam 15 years ago, my friend and I went to Haarlem for a day trip and found it to be charming. Rather than booking an expensive hotel in an undesirable area, I thought it was more practical to base oursleves in Haarlem and go into Amsterdam as there are many trains to Amsterdam. After reviewing Triadvisor comments, I booked a room in March with Reineke and thought all was set. We got to Haarlem and followed Reineke's direction to Wherels without a problem. Reineke told us that we would be staying at Around the Corner. I didn't really have a problem with this, but I wish she had told me the change of room prior to us arriving. Around the Corner is another Dutch house and here lives Hendien, who is the owner of the house.
Reineke showed us a map of Haarlem and areas of interest as well as many restaurants. AH is a supermarket and it is literally right around the corner from Wherels and runs parallel to the direction that you take when you get out of the Haarlem station. There are lots of places to eat in Haarlem. Reineke told us that Hendien would bring breakfast to our room. So, we climbed up the steep stairs and the first floor (in the US, it would be 2nd floor) was our bed room, kitchen and the bathroom. Reineke set up another bed for our 3 yer old and even had some toys and books for our son but the room was tight with another bed. There was a kitchen with a coffee maker, tea kettle, and a small refrigerator. There was cold water and juice waiting for us. There was also a small roof deck for us to use which was accessible from the kitchen. Bathroom was interesting. There was no shower curtain, so you just take a shower and use a squeegee to mop off the shower area. The toilet flushed twice and made a funny noise every time we used it.
All in all, it was real Dutch living. We stayed here for 4 nights. For the stairs, we blocked off the stair way with our suitcase so our son wouldn't fall down (he didn't) and it was an interesting situation. The beds were very comfortable. Our son's pillow was the best pillow because it was so comfortable. We were still in a heat wave. One day, it reached to 96 degrees, and we asked Hendien for a fan. What a relief it was when she lent us her fan.
Every morning, Hendien came up to our kitchen with our breakfast which was filled with bread, cold cuts, fruits, juice, yogurt, etc. There was plenty to eat. Hendien told us that her English was not so good, but we understood her without a problem. She was a great hostess.
We made our daily trips to Amsterdam and then stayed in Haarlem to explore this wonderful city. Frans Hals Museum should not be missed. It is a real gem.
All in all, our stay here was fine. It was charming in its own way and Hendien tried really hard to make sure that we had everything we needed. We were also able to use Reineke's washer and dryer as she gave us the keys to Wherels as well as Hendein's.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- ‘Where Els’ is ideally located in the heart of Haarlem. A great base from which to explore the Netherlands.This cosy houses suit very well for couples, groups and families.This typical Haarlem huis is located on a small street with no traffic, which is surprisingly quite considering the location - even during the night. Just steps away from shopping, restaurants and the famous Groote Markt (centre square).There is always a lot to do: many local theatre, music and dance events take place in Haarlem.Day visits to Amsterdam and The Hague are very easy. Where Els is a short walk to the train station where six trains per hour depart to take you straight to the centre of Amsterdam (15mins) and to The Hague (40mins). The North Sea with beautiful sandy dunes and beaches are just 10 minutes by car or 30 minutes bike to the west. The coastal towns of Zandvoort and Bloemendaal are great places for lunch or dinner by the sea. Your day will start in the breakfast room where you will get a sumptuous breakfast with fresh biological produce from the local market. All rooms are fully equipped with snacks, drinks TV, DVD, CD, wifi internet, cool, clean, comfortable bedding and a private ensuite bathroom. Note: Just a 15 minute drive from Schiphol international airport. ... more less