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by Ed Hahn
Hong Kong, China
August 9, 2005
This refurbished apartment building has a nice lobby bar with free Internet access, helpful clerks, a breakfast terrace for our complimentary continental breakfast, and, most importantly for bag-schleppers, an elevator that worked almost all the time. We didn't drive, but I understand that it has limited parking.
It has cleaning and laundry services, but they are very expensive. We spent 85€ for a couple days’ laundry and cleaning.
The staff is very knowledgeable about the city and its attractions and dining sites near the hotel. They not only answered our questions, but offered additional information, a skill we rarely found on this trip.
On the negative side of the ledger, when we get to our room on the fifth floor, we find it is even smaller than our Bruges accommodations, disappointing considering we are paying about twice the price. The "Internet disconnect" also kicks in, and we find that, although they have free Internet access in the lobby, if you want to connect from your room, it costs… and costs…and costs.
I had read that rooms in Amsterdam were more expensive than almost anywhere else in Europe, but I am shocked at price/size ratio. We have a delightful view of the canal across the street, that is, if we stand on our tiptoes to look out the window, which is set in the roof - so much for website truthfulness.
I may never get used to the size of European hotel rooms. Our hotel is rated at three stars, but the room is barely large enough for both of us to be in it unless one of us is in bed. It's almost as bad as our first hotel in Japan. We stayed in the Ueno prefecture at a so-called "business man's hotel" because it was very reasonable and carried three stars. Hah!!!! The bed was situated so that the only way on or off was via the foot of the bed. The bathroom was organized so that the only way to sit on the toilet was to situate your knees under the sink and leave the door open. We learned our lesson in Japan. It takes us a while to learn our lesson in Europe.
I'd like to rate the place higher since the people were so wonderful, but unfortunately, it's a good hotel, but not a great value.
From journal Amsterdam - City of Art, History, and Contrasts
March 18, 2006
From journal Our First Trip to Amsterdam