I recently spent several nights in a river view room. As part of the same vacation, I had previously stayed at the grandest old hotels in Stockholm and Helsinki. The Amstel is the lowest rated of the three on Tripadvisor, and I've been giving some thought as to why.
The hotel is physically beautiful and very well maintained. Housekeeping was excellent. The gym and pool area are fine by hotel standards.
The Executive Room was decent sized, the bed and pillows were quite comfortable and the air conditioning worked perfectly and quietly. The view of the river is fine. On the negative side, I could hear what sounded like walking in the room above late into the night, and I was woken up by something several times during my stay. I was put next to an elevator, but I'm not sure it was that. You could also hear doors slamming when people came in after midnight.
The vast majority of the staff are pleasant and courteous, however there were one or two rotten apples who could spoil the experience. Sometimes, a person who I reached at reception was unpleasant.
The breakfast buffet was quite nice. There was a decent selection and the staff were incredibly helpful and friendly, especially one nice young man (I'm sorry I don't remember the name). I rarely saw many people having the breakfast (perhaps because of the price), which perhaps accounts for the selection--which was more limited than those offered by the other grand hotels I stayed out, but where many more people could be seen eating there.
I had dinner at La Rive one evening. The food was very good, but I found one of the wait staff (not a Dutch person incidentally) unpleasant. When I came in, there were no other diners and he tried to put me at a table as far from the windows overlooking the river as possible. I considered just walking out, but asked to be moved--which he did after making a bit of a fuss. Someone else waited on me after that so the evening was a success.
The head concierge is a great gentleman--really knowledgeable, pleasant and without any attitude. The hotel is fortunate to have him.
The Amstel is located about 20 minutes from the core center of the city and some might think the location is a minus. I don't mind walking and I think it's a plus. The center of the city is jammed with hawkers and tourists and you really don't want to spend more than a day there. The big museums are not in the core center and it would be just as much of a walk if you stayed at one of the more "central" hotels. As it is, the Amstel's location is quieter and you're just 10 minutes away from some really nice shopping streets with wonderful cafes, restaurants and bars.
Maybe it was just me, but I didn't see very many people in the hotel even though it was August and presumably the tourist season. I can't say why either, but it seemed that quite a few of the tourists I saw were a bit obnoxious and entitled (and I note again that I've stayed at quite a few other grand old hotels in my travels). This is obviously not the hotel's fault, and the vast majority of the hotel staff are friendly and without a trace of attitude. Still, It's a matter I noted.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Since the day the doors opened in 1867, InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam has been revered the world over for its palatial grandeur and residential warmth. Located where the financial, cultural and shopping districts converge, the hotel is a short walk from the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Spiegelkwartier and the Royal CarrÃ© Theatre. The Anne Frank House and the 14th-century Begijnhof are easy to reach by public transport or taxi. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam Hotel Amsterdam
- Intercontinental Amsterdam