In comparison to other hotels in the area (including Alkmaar and the coast), this is probably one of the best. And I have started to return more often, and I feel comfortable here, so it is not all bad. And the single-biggest issue that prevents me giving 4 stars - when compared in the context of the Netherlands - is probably a little unfair, because in comparison this is a 4 star hotel.
And that issue is Service!
The older rooms are OK, but the deluxe rooms (actually misleading, because they are only one level above the basic in quite a long hierarchy) are comfortable and pleasing: good work area, lighting, good TV (and selection), comfortable bed and excellent bathroom and shower.
The food is from an industrial kitchen (wait until you see the size of the catering operation), but is surprisingly good considering, and the menu is large and varied enough for a frequent business traveller.
But back to the service: it's not a lack of people! Reception is always well-staffed, and the restaurant is teeming with servers.
It's just something strange that is seems like they are trained to ignore guests as much as possible. I mean, why walk three times past a customer's table and not look to see if a glass is empty? Or a plate needs clearing? Maybe they are worried I would like another drink and they would have to do some extra work?
Even the restaurant managers, walk by ignoring customers.
And reception, while moderately efficient (long business processes, but they are efficient at dealing with them), has an air of superiority that makes me feel like they are doing me a favour.
But I would have to say that the service - when given - is genuine and friendly.
And maybe I should ignore the minor details: e.g. it's five days after the clocks have changed, but no one has changed the clocks in the rooms (on the coded TV, so not even possible for me to change); some room TVs have BBC, but others don't; the beautiful shower (and it is), but with taps and controls that can't be used with wet hands; the shower tray that is a grid and everything falls through it; the lack of a housekeeper to check rooms (although mostly the cleaning staff do a reasonable job).
So, bottom line: I keep coming back. And at least it is consistent. And I've been working in the area for 18 months, so I feel somewhat qualified in my comparisons with other hotels. Also, if you have a family or are with children, then this is definitely the place to come.
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