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Banks Mansion
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Reviewed August 16, 2009

In searching for a hotel in Amsterdam this hotel came up as “recommended” on various travel sights. I also skimmed through the reviews here on Trip Advisor and honestly, I was not very impressed with the pictures which I saw but then again, pictures from other hotels in Amsterdam were even less impressive. Given the 'somewhat decent' price, location and promise of "free" amenities (unlimited access to the lobby bar, free in-room mini bar and 50min free daily internet access) I decided to go ahead and book it. I just accepted that Amsterdam isn't known for having world renowned hotel brands (no Westin, Hilton, Hyatt etc. in the city center) and fairly sized hotel rooms. I just prayed the Banks Mansion isn’t really the Haunted Mansion

The trip into Amsterdam (from Paris) started by me almost getting ripped off by the taxi from the train station (Amsterdam Central) to the hotel. Do yourself the favor and just carry your luggage a few more steps on to the tram (name for local metro) which has a stop next to the hotel. The hotel is only 1.6 miles from the train station.

When I arrived at the hotel the check-in process was easy enough and the staff was friendly, even though their cordiality didn’t come across as being genuine. The front desk seemed to be managed by the cast of The Stepford Wives who were good with scripted responses and fake smiles. I checked in after the hotel check in time but was told that the room was clean but the mini bar had not been serviced yet. I had a ‘deluxe canal-view room’ which was small even by European standards; I hate to see their standard size room. Upon entering the small room, I saw a table top full of open beer bottles and the room had a faint smell of cigarette smoke (supposed to be non-smoking). The room also had little flies and some mosquitoes in it (a sign near window advises to keep it closed since the canals attract insects). This defeated the purpose of paying extra for a canal view.

The bed and bedding were left to be desired. They offer a pillow menu with different types of pillows which is nice but it doesn’t help the fact that the bed feels like an IKEA futon mattress. Also, they only put one comforter sheet on the bed which didn’t feel good and made me dream about bed bugs. The TV in the room was a joke; it was no bigger than a computer monitor, about 18” small. I get a larger picture on my IPod. This is a shame given the fact that the hotel does have a good selection of channels including free porn - if that gets you going. I also had to reconnect the cable to the back of the TV. It was half way out causing the picture to go in and out. It took me a few minutes of tinkering with the TV before I realized the problem (the front desk couldn’t figure it out).

After blasting the air conditioning the room seemed to quickly clear up (bugs & smoke smell). When I returned later in the evening the mini bar was serviced but the free bottles of gin and whiskey were not replenished and near empty. Also the bottles were not sealed, so I was wary of even drinking out of them (if I could bring myself to drink cheap liquor).

My first shower (no bathtub) proved to be a daring act as within minutes of my shower the shower hose busted and scalding hot water shot out on to me (aimed at the worse part for a man). I was on the verge of looking like Freddy Kruger after that experience. I complained to them about this and they were generically nice about it and did fix it quickly. Luckily (for them) my bodily discomfort was very temporary and I didn’t have any lasting damage to my um… skin.

The next day I had their complimentary breakfast in their “kitchen” which was okay. The “chef” that morning was a woman who had an ugly attitude which was reflected by her face. She couldn’t even give the name of the cheese she was putting the omelets. The “French Toast” she made was just some stale bread slices with a fried egg on them. This made all of us guest in the ‘kitchen’ think “what is this mess?... at the very least put a dash of powdered sugar and cinnamon on them". I highly doubt she was a real chef. She was more like the maid whose turn it was to fry the eggs. The rest of the breakfast offerings were decent - cereals, breads, breakfast meats. The juice and milk were in open containers and left out which made them warm and not so desirable either (but better than the French Toast). The 2nd and 3rd mornings of the stay there was another “chef” who was much friendlier but you won’t find her cooking at any 2 star restaurants either (maybe just eating in them).

The quality of room cleaning is also questionable. At 6pm they still had not provided more towels or washcloths as they were “still in laundry”. The floor wasn’t vacuumed and the room wasn’t dusted (during the whole stay). All the maid did was make the bed. The bottles of water, which I drank the night before, were taken out of the trash can where I had placed them, and left on the nightstand next to the bed. What the...? I put them in a plastic bag and placed them in the hallway where they sat until the next morning. The cleaning cart used by housekeeping which I saw in the hallway was no bigger than a hand basket and had a bottle of Windex and two cleaning rags in it. It’s obvious that housecleaning only did the bare minimum when cleaning the rooms between guest and even less during one’s stay.

Given this was the 3rd hotel on my trip through Europe this hotel fell far behind the others in quality and comfort. The hotel was nothing more than a high priced hostel. They try their hardest to make the hotel feel high –end and to make their guest feel “at home”, which I’ll give some credit for, but I guess they think feel at home is in a housing project.

When I return to Amsterdam I will look for other hotels to stay at. The location was good and the “free” amenities were good (even though you do pay for them within the nightly rate). However, the quality and comfort of the rooms and maid service probably do not outrank those of a low end room in the red-light district. Overall, I was disappointed and had higher expectations for the price paid.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Da_Criticizer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2009

I normally stayed in NH hotels when I went to Amsterdam. This time I decided to try the Banks Mansion for a change. The hotel is in an excellent location along a very nice, fairly quiet canal. My room was large (for Euro standards) and had a very comfortable bed. I had room 206 on the front of the hotel ( I believe 106, and 306 are the same), odd shaped but good size and plenty of room. The windows overlooked the canal. During the day the street was a little noisy, all I had to do was close the double windows and it was quiet. At night I would open the windows. The shower in the bath was great, an overhead shower that dumps on your like a waterfall, it was so nice it made it hard to get out of it every morning. Also it had a separate large soaking tub that also was nice to chill in late at night before bed. The included drinks/snacks/wireless were great. It was nice to have Cappuccino in the AM, water throughout the day, and beer whenever I wanted. The room also had decanters of liquor that I did not use because they were in unsealed bottles. How would I know if anyone tampered with them prior to my stay, no thanks. The Breakfast was terrific, very good cooked to order eggs, bacon, sausage, meats, fruits, cheeses, bread, and more. I ate so much for breakfast that I seldom ate much more the remainder of the day. The staff is great, especially Phillip. I was met at the door and given royal treatment on my arrival. I felt right at home and pampered immediately. The staff was available whenever you needed them and were always very helpful and courteous, thank you. I will be back in Amsterdam and I will stay at the Banks again.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled solo
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1  Thank Bill F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2009

This is a superb hotel in the center of Amsterdam. As we traveled with a 3 year old kid they were very atemptive and gave us a corner room (bigger) so that we felt confortable. The breakfast superb and the receptionist very kindly. The all inclusive concept is a must and how nice it is to return from a tour in the city late afternoon and grab a snack and drink something from the bar. Just a suggestion: Improve the room service. We asked for a cup of milk the first day we arrived and when we left 4 nights later the cup was still in the room! Nevertheless a perfect stay in a trendy and superb hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank Jorge037
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2009

even prior to getting to amsterdam I had been emailing with the staff to help set up museams, bike rentals, dinner res. they were great in getting it all done..once there it just continued.; our room overlooked the canal...small rooms but typical for a non chain hotel. very comfortable though..nice to have the comp friged in the room as well as liquer out in crystal bottles...the breakfast was great as well..after a long day of wondering the city or biking etc it was really nice to come back to a laid back happy hour with pate, cheese, meats out with wine, proseco or beer. the staff was very helpful..we can't wait to go back again....

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ellenwk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2009

Just back from a lovely 4 day break in amsterdam,which was made even better by our choice of hotel.We are seasoned traveller's and have stayed in most citys in europe.what made our stay in the Banks one of the best was the friendly staff who couldn't do enough for us from start to finish,however we didnt feel like they were in our face all the time.The breakfast was great and so was all the free drink and nibbles.The banks is situated over looking the beautiful gentlemans cancel in one of the nicer areas but very close to everything (we walked to most things).Everything about our stay was great i would difinitly recomened the Banks.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank raymo990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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