On line it looked perfect; quaint, quirky, old and family run. Just the sort of place for us on a short city break. We had read that "some rooms" shared facilities but this had won the 2014 award and therefore should be excellent in all areas. The hotel is superbly positioned on one of the atmospheric main canals of Amsterdam and in walking distance of everywhere. The most dangerous aspect of all streets in this capital are the many thousands of cyclists that speed everywhere having no regard for dreamy tourists enjoying the atmosphere and this is as true on the doorstep of this fine building as any where in the rest of the city.
We were two middle aged couples and on arrival one of the owners instantly assessed our physical agility and decided for us which rooms we were having. One, was up a precipitous single flight of stairs off the main lower ground floor, (where everything happened) but ours was up 3 flights of narrow spiral stairs passing though the office suite of a local advocate emerging on a landing of a communal toilet and shower rooms sharing with a number of rooms. I am sure this was made clear before reservation but I did not find this information and I have to admit that a few nights of pleasure away, do not include sharing my ablutions. I gave that up many years ago. I have to say that we did not encounter any queues for facilities during our stay although a very heavy footed group seemed to be awake above our heads for many hours of the night. The room was adequately furnished with very utilitarian flat pack cheap pine furniture and a pedestal basin scoured to an extent that an elephant could file its claws . There was no telephone but a TV, the free WiFi had a very poor signal and the view from the mesh sealed picture window over residential Amsterdam was pleasantly filtered. On the wall were two notices; one, simply informing guests that anyone caught smoking would be instantly evicted day or night and the other saying that this was a cash only room and full payment was to be made the evening before departure. We were therefore a touch grieved when on the morning of our departure, we witnessed some Australian guests paying using credit cards! This late notice of transaction threw our budgeting out somewhat!
The moaning is now finished. The family who own and run this fine 17th century canal side hotel are friendly, welcoming and attentive to the aspects of the bed and breakfast service they offer. Breakfast is a social and replete event with every possibility of excellent pastries and omelette being on hand cooked by the brother of the lady who met us on our arrival. The matriarch of this hotel was their mother, Mary who at 80 was still firmly in command of this one time jewel. The problem for us was that it was embedded in an era of post Second World War Europe and needed seriously modernising and on our part, we would have dearly paid more for the potential this fine building and location could have offered. If hotel seekers are elderly, infirmed and want comfort, look elsewhere but if you are happy for a few nights of simplicity, then give it a try.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our seventeenth century canal-house is located on the picturesque Keizersgracht in the historic heart of Amsterdam. The house was built in 1672.And is a registered monument with original features as the spiral staircase, exposed beams, monumental outside steps and original fireplaces Between 1906 and 1920 the house was frequently visited by members of the Dutch Royal family, among which our Queen,Juliana who used to play here when she was a little girl. Our hotel has free WIFI in all rooms Behind the hotel you will find our peaceful backyard with an abundance of flowers where, weather permitting, we serve you an excellent Dutch breakfast. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Keizershof Hotel Amsterdam