I stayed at The College Hotel with my partner between 25th March '06 - 27th March '06. This is the third time I have stayed in the hotel simply because of its sheer beauty as a boutique hotel. It is contemporary with a nod to the classical, very comfortable and incredibly relaxing. Just to give you an insight I have stayed in the Radisson, The American, NH City Amsterdam, Sofitel Demure Grand and The Pulitzer and can easily say The College Hotel is much more intimate, personalized and enjoyable than any of the above. The Location is great, close to great shops and good tram links right outside. If you like museums then they are just a short walk away but probably be better to get a map from the tourist info as the hotel only has really small ones with no road names on, what's that all about?
When I arrived at the hotel (9am) understandably our room was not ready as check-in is 3pm, no worries we dumped the cases and wandered over to Cafe Luxemburg on Spui which does great breakfast overlooking a small square and great place to people watch! After some good shopping and lunch at Cafe PC (on PC Hoofstraat which is just fab but may need to book) we headed back to the Hotel for about 3.30pm. We got to reception and they advised our cases were already in the room so they led us to our room on the second floor (205). On entering it was like a shoebox, I explained to the girl who was pretty sullen and almost never smiled that I booked a room that was 33-39 sq metres she said that she would go back to reception and look into it. I booked this room directly with the hotel so not sure why they got it wrong but hey. After about 10 minutes still nothing so I went down to reception to find out what was going on. They apologised and said that they had put us in the wrong room and led us to a room I had booked. Back in the lift onto the 1st floor to a room that had twin beds, again not what I booked so back down to reception to see the Reception Manager. She then took us to a third room which hadn't even been cleaned, at this point we are at 4pm and not happy at all! We were finally taken to room 107 which was ready and had a double bed and was much bigger as booked, finally they brought our cases and we were able to settle in. Not the best way of dealing with it but she was the only manager in at the time. Be warned though not all rooms have a shower, they have a bath with a hand held shower attached to the tap, strange eh, and some rooms only have a shower cubicle.
Down to the bar, the last time I went (6 months ago) the bar staff were useless you would wait about half an hour for a drink but this time they were much more slick, quick service, smiles and regularly changing nibbles! It is a great artmosphere in the bar with cool Fashionistas and most of the Dutch Glitterati. The staff lack finess with service though as one guy literally spilt candle wax all over his suit when changing the candles.
The restaurant is however very different. Continental breakfast (€17.00) is pretty dire with banana milkshakes in a thimble like glass, very thin pieces of apple in sherbet, some smoked salmon, tiny pastries and a very small selection of cerials, all looks pretty but only good if you have a very small apetite in a morning. We went for the cooked breakfast option at €21.50 my partner had smoked salmon and scrambled egg, v nice apparently and came pretty quickly, I ordered blueberry pancakes with maple syrup which came 10 minutes after my partner had finished their breakfast! Apparently the chef had burnt 2 lots, worth waiting for? - not really, would always go out for breakfast in future, Cafe Luxemburg to the rescue! This was really the icing on the cake I asked to see the Hotel Manager who was apprently on the phone but would come out asap, so we waited in the lobby with the beautiful silk walls, comfy chairs and roaring fire which flickered in time with the array of scented candles as the chill out music was playing. The Hotel Manager arrives, very pleasant and at last A SMILE!! I explained the situation fully and straight away the breakfast was taken of our bill along with a discount to our room rate for both the nights due to the inconvenience. Result. Would I go back to the hotel? Yes I would, I can see that the bar has improved since last time so I am hoping that everything will follow suit now the new manager is from the Blakes Hotel Amsterdam. Just remember to book a good sized room, request a shower or bath whichever you prefer, dont take breakfast there and any problems make your feelings known because they definately listen to them.
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