Going To Amsterdam

Going To Amsterdam

Westcord Art Hotel

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Jctravel1983 on September 12, 2011

I went with my girlfriend a while ago to the Amsterdam Art Hotel Westcord. We went from the Amsterdam Central Station by bus "line 48" travelled to the hotel. The bus stopped neatly in front. The only problem we had was to do that bus stop was on the other side of a proper busy road without crossing opportunities for pedestrians in the evening so we had four lanes to cross. And this is obviously not useful if you have luggage with you. However it is a nice building to the outside on the street and seeing some nice cows painted as well as Spiderman and Superman.

Once crossed, we were quickly noticed by the reception and gave us good information about the area and gave us a handy city map of Amsterdam with it. The Art Hotel has two building, a 3 star building and a 4 star building. We had our room booked at the 4 **** building. And the entrance and reception is in the building.

When we were about the corridors of the building and our room 4 **** walked in we were amazed. The rooms are very modern. We had a room with a double bed, which fortunately had been made and received. The bedroom, bathroom and toilet were all separated. And almost all worked well in the room. Was in the bathroom was a table, bath and shower. And was separated by glass from the bedroom. This gave a romantic effect great for couples, but if you go with friends, this is not done very practical. There is also a mini bar in the room with everything you need filled. There is also a drawer where there is coffee and tea in a kettle and capable. We were very surprised how clean the room. There were just holes in fire probably burned by cigarettes in the bank but for the rest, I personally do not find a speck of dust or hair, and everything smelled fresh. We had a wooden desk and closet with hangers in the room. also there was a beautiful purple carpet on the floor and sat by the window sits a purple sofa with pillows in it tasty. In the room you'll find a lot of purple and red but this gave a nice effect. In the evening we slept quite well in our opinion, the mattresses were very good. For us the pillows were too soft. In the evening I woke up a lot because it was very hot in the room that was also true in the corridors of the hotel. The air is very bad and we therefore have a single fan who obviously have to ask again a pretty noise.

From our window we could see a swimming pool, reception, we asked if we could make use of it and could. We could buy tickets at the reception but did you or through outside to walk to the entrance of the pool. Also we noticed that the hotel's parking garage. charges can be parked there.

My girlfriend and I have no use for breakfast or the restaurant. We do have about an hour sitting for a drink. What we noticed was that there is sometimes the staff is nowhere to be found. And we had a very long beer and wine await. The staff is also very friendly and always took the time to answer our questions.

The center is very accessible from the hotel. The bus "line 48" takes you to Central Station and from there everything is easy to do with the foot or possibly by public transport easily accessible. In our opinion this is one of the best hotels we have ever booked a stay and I can therefore recommend to anyone in the building of the 4 **** Fashion Hotel to stay. The price quality ratio is good. Only the minibar is very expensive, therefore we have food and drink from the supermarket it taken.
WestCord Art Hotel
Spaarndammerdijk 304
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Sail Amsterdam

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Jctravel1983 on December 13, 2010

Sail Amsterdam

Sail Amsterdam was created to celebrate the 700 anniversary of Amsterdam in 1975. It was such a success that it was worth repeating, since 1975 is held every five years. The event offers an impressive array of Tall Ships from around the world, but there is still much more to do.


Only since 1990 the city of Ijmuiden has been really involved in the evement: Pre Sail IJmuiden. On 14 and 15 August, the festivities starts with the Portfestival IJmuiden. There has been a naval review of old fishing boats and you could see modern commercial ships. Culturally too, there was much to see: classical music, soul, sailor choirs, street performers, children theater and so on. On August 18, during pre Sail you could admire the ships in port.

SAIL IN Parade

August 19, was the day of the SAIL IN Parade, you could along the North Sea from IJmuiden to Amsterdam to enjoy 50 tall ships and hundreds of other special vehicles. It is an impressive spectacle: the Tall Ships, replicas, modern ships and naval vessels. The participating ships were introduced into the Sixhaven greeted with a salute protocol, first as the ‘Clipper Stad Amsterdam’ with the Dutch Prince Willem Alexander on board. From 10.00 hours the first ships departed from IJmuiden, from 13.00 hours they arrived in Amsterdam.

A nice spot

This event is always recommended to not use the car as much and leave the banks by foot, bicycle or public transport.

* The Dutch Railways had extra trains. From the station Beverwijk, Zaandam and Amsterdam Sloterdijk you could go with regular buses to different locations along the North Sea. From station Zaandam there were shuttle buses to and from the canal dike.
* Did you come by car, you had to take into account limited traffic capacity.
* People with a disability had access to designated handicapped spots.

The visit of the Tall Ships in port

It's great to see the ships sail past by, but it's also fun to visit. Almost all Tall Ships on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (20 to Aug. 22) were are open to the public between 10.00 hours and 16.00 hours.

A few impressive ships

* Kruzenstern: This four masted barque was built in 1926 in Hamburg and has a length of 114.5 meters. Kaliningrad is the homeport and the ship has the Russian flag. The ship is already one of the few authentic tall ships of this size still in service, as a training ship.

*Sedov: This is the largest sailing yacht ever built as a German freighter, now it is used as a training ship. The length is 118 meters, it’s home is Murmansk, built year: 1921. Like the Kruzenstern this ship is restored in the eighties. The name comes from the Russian Sedov oceanographer and polar explorer Georgy Sedov (1877-1914).

* Mir: despite her young age, the ship was built in 1988, a truly classic windjammer: a ship designed to sail fast. The ship is used for sail training and education in marine science and oceanography.

People in a wheelchair

It has this year an additional focus on opening up the event site for people in wheelchairs. Each cluster has a disabled toilet, on certain parts of the route has given an alternative route, when such as a bridge is too narrow. You can borrow a wheelchair for a fee of 5 euro’s (bring a valid ID). Furthermore, there are people present who can help with the ADL, they are recognizable by jackets with a wheelchair logo. ADL stands for Activities daily necessities, these are all activities that everyone needs to accomplish the days to come. On the website of SAIL, you can download a wheelchair friendly route.


On Friday, August 20 from 12 hours you can enjoy home-built boats in canals. They have a requirement but one: They must float.


Each day ends with a fireworks show at SAIL. You can enjoy it every evening at 22.15 hours only on Saturday will start at 22.00. It takes about fifteen minutes.

My opinion

It is a fantastic event and glad we were in Amsterdam to participate! The Tall Ships are beautiful and impressive to see, but all small boats are worth seeing. It is very busy around Amsterdam and IJmuiden but there's always a spot for you. We were incredibly lucky with the weather! Good atmosphere and friendly people. Hope to be there again next time!
Sail Amsterdam Tall Ships and Events
Kattenburgerstraat 7
Amsterdam, 1018
020 6811804


Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Jctravel1983 on December 13, 2010

This pizzeria is located on the beukenplein, which is an square in Amsterdam East (near the Wibautstraat, Oosterpark and the OLV Hospital). The building is located on the corner of Beukenplein and half Oosterparkstraat.

The Restaurant

From the outside the building has a nice red color. As you enter, there will be a few tables, but that's more the takeaway department. When it is very busy they will also use this section, but basically you will be brought to the next room. I think it was two old buildings that they have broken through. In the restaurant are about 12 tables, all wood with wooden chairs. It all looks very attractive from. For people with small children they have high chairs available. During dinner there was classical music played, I found them not quite fitting the mood and style of the restaurant. The music is very soft, but in the background. Later it became a bit more poppy.


After they took the order for our drinks, we immediately got a menu and a basket of bread with butter on the table. The bread is homemade and Italian, not hot but very tasty. The butter was in a decent amount.

The menu offers all salads, pasta dishes and pizzas. There is a menu clearly differentiates between vegetarian (it begins with one), meat and fish (applies to both pastas and pizzas). I found the choice very extensive and prices very okay. We chose a pizza with pineapple and cheese (€ 6.90), a pizza with ham and mushrooms (€ 7.50) and a rocket salad (€ 5.95).

The pizzas were fine, thin crust, fresh ingredients and warm. The salad was a side dish rather than a main course. There was a lot of cheese and different species. We have no further ordered dessert. For 3 meals, 3 drinks and 3 cups of coffee / tea we had lost a total of € 30.30.


The toilets are located on the first floor of the restaurant. There is nothing but a men's and ladies' room. In the vestibule is a sink with soap and towel. I found the bathroom very clean look.

The Service

The ladies are very friendly, at the entrance and exit you will be greeted. It comes with meals on time and everything is OK, without further intrusive. The service staff is a mix of Italians and Dutch.


The restaurant is large enough for people in wheelchairs, but the toilets are on the first floor. This makes it a bit more difficult here for disabled people to go.


You can pay in cash, debitcard or with creditcard.
Ferrara Pizzeria
Beech Square 22-24
1091 KH Amsterdam
T: 020-6933555

My Opinion

The quality of the food is fine, but it’s no culinary delights, but for what you pay it is perfectly fine. Personally I find it very nice when you can eat for a normal price and you also enjoyable sitting. It shows again that you do not always have to pay the high prize if you go to a restaurant; we were now ready for a tenner per person. A really nice good pizzaria.
Ferrara Pizzeria
Beukenplein 22-24
Amsterdam, Netherlands
020 6933555

Crowne Plaza

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Jctravel1983 on May 8, 2011

A short trip to Amsterdam in November and we spend two hotel nights in the Dutch metropolis. I wanted to be relatively centrally located and explore the city on foot. In that regard we choose the Crowne Plaza hotel which looked prefect location wise.

The Crowne Plaza Amsterdam is located in the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal which is 400 meters from Amsterdam central station. The shopping street Nieuwedijk begins at the hotel and the most important tourist attractions are reached on foot even though it is sometimes half an hour along the canal. A car is not needed here and you can park your car near the hotel but costs 40 euro’s per night! From Schiphol Airport you have regular service trains to Amsterdam Centraal Station and from here it’s just a few minutes walk.

The hotel has 270 rooms from the outside is not quite as great as it is. It is spread over several buildings, older buildings that is on the ground floor together. The two main buildings are six-story red clinkered building. One enters the building from the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and after a few steps or a ramp through a revolving door you get in the lobby. The lobby is a little further inside the building at the entrance there are some seating and meeting rooms. There is a small area with an espresso machine for the entertainment of the guests in the nearby meeting rooms. There are three places to check in guests who are not behind a fixed counter, but rather designed as a service desk, as it is becoming more modern.

The rooms wings can be reached by one or two lifts to the respective wings. Side of the reception it goes to the lounge "Living Room" and the restaurant "New Dorrius. There is also the Club Lounge which is open from 06:30 to 23:00 clock, and is open to guests who have booked club lounge access.

In the basement of the hotel is a business center. It's small, has two computers and printers.
The fitness center is also in the basement, but quite small and has only a few devices, but to my delight also a multifunctional device for training the upper body. There is also a treadmill, a stepper and an ergometer. Towels and water dispensers are also available. In the sanitation sector is integrated into a small sauna. Separated by gender, this area is not very attractive but there is no particular way to relax after the sauna. In that regard, here is more suitable for short muscle relaxing after a workout in the gym.

We arrived around 12:00 clock in the hotel. The normal check in desks were occupied, but the separate check in for guests with state was free and so was for us not to wait. The reporting form was already filled and it had to be submitted and we only had to give the credit card. There were two vouchers for a drink at the restaurant or lounge.

The 270 rooms are divided distribute to regular rooms, those with club access, junior suites and regular suites. The suites are usually in the upper floors and integrated into the historic or older buildings of the hotel. As a safety feature you need already on the ground floor room card to open the door or the elevator to request the elevator.

The standard rooms are classically divided the base area but rather smaller. Again there is a central switch for the lighting of the room in which one must insert the room card. Thankfully the outlets are not controlled on this point so that you can charge your laptop while you are gone. After entering the room you are in a small hall, which houses the unit with a suitable laptop safe, iron and ironing board. In addition to the cabinet are the all-electronic mini-bar and out of the kettle for coffee and tea in the room. The prices were very civil (Tonic 3.50 EUR; beer 4,50 EUR (0,35 l respectively), nuts 2,50 EUR).

The bathroom is also rather small, has a sink, toilet and bathtub. The shower head, such was with rain showers and massage function, as is the shower curtain in good condition. The sink was flush with the sink and there was plenty of storage space. A hairdryer and a vanity mirror were also present, Bathroom Amenities (lotion, shower gel and shampoo) were available and were replenished daily. Towels were available for two persons, with the change but only a towel was replaced, but this was corrected promptly to a notification. Nice, the mirror was heated and was therefore not under the shower.

The bathroom was dark and covered with dark granite-like tiles, with a range of sets with small turquoise tiles on the toilet for a nice accent. The room had two beds with intervening night table. The area behind the bed was covered with wood. There, in addition to a regular lamp and a small spotlight was placed as a reading lamp. Outside the window stood two chairs with a small round table. A reading lamp provided a means of illumination. On the wall opposite the bed by the window was the rather small desk with telephone, LAN connection and reading lamp. Plugs were present, here with two European plugs, a British and an American plug with 110V.

All in all a pleasant stay. The advantage of the hotel is its location in the city and the possibility of all major attractions within walking distance and the train station, so that we here can safely dispense with taxi and car. The hotel itself is renovated and the rooms kept in warm colours and in good condition, even though the standard rooms are a little small. The service is friendly and attentive, from small points apart. Slight disadvantage, at least for me, is the rather small gym and a small sauna, but that the equipment in the gym is modern.
Crowne Plaza Amsterdam City Centre
Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 5
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Hard Rock Cafe

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Jctravel1983 on May 16, 2011

I have to say I had never been in a Hard Rock Cafe so that I do not have the comparison and apparently there are two Hard Rock Cafes in Amsterdam, one of which is probably a fake. I was in the vicinity of the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum.

Noon to about 13 clock so I'm gone with 7 mates to the café and at the entrance we were asked what we wanted. The cafe extends as far as I have seen over 3 floors, in the middle to get in and then you can either go up or down.

Even outside on the menu we have seen the extortionate prices, so we really wanted only an Amstel (beer) because it is the cheapest. The bartender told us that it is a beer without alcohol, but that took us not quite fit so we took a Heineken. The 0.33 bottle costs whopping € 3.25. Besides beer, there are also still several cocktails and a wide selection of snacks. Although a few of us have smoked, it was in the room not stuffy or anything. The music was a bit noisy but not too loud, eventually you could still have a good time even if the person is not right next to you. The music they played was of course Rock and indeed different (eg The Beatles). It was striking that many old songs were played.

On the walls are all objects of celebs. Drum hits from Metallica's drummer, a pair of pants by Aerosmith then guitar, shoes, pictures and more . On the televisions are music video’s played.
So I found the atmosphere quite well. By the way, the bartender, we converse in English and Dutch.

The bar stools are comfortable, not too high and stable. The decor is somewhat rustic with wood, but still feels modern and not old fashioned. We have spent over an hour quite nice. Next door, a small shop of the Hard Rock Cafe was here and of course you can buy the famous T-shirts, but the selection was quite small.

While it was surprisingly empty, which was probably because of the time, but the atmosphere was quite good. The music was of course top and the "Star-goods' are impressive. Otherwise, the cafe is decorated very nice and comfortable. The Hard Rock charge more, I have been annoyed that it is expensive but I didn’t expected it was that expensive. For me four stars.
Hard Rock Cafe
Max Euweplein 57-61
Amsterdam, Netherlands


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