Disclaimer: I was leading a student tour of Europe, so my reveiw is based on the types of hotels we frequent with 28 middle and high school students, chaperones, and family members.
If you are looking for a hotel to use as a base for Amsterdam, this isn't it. We spent at least an hour driving into and out of the city. The convenience of location was not optimal. There was a grocery store just outside the door of the hotel, but the hours of operation were sketchy. For the most part, it was closed.
The hotel was relatively new and modern. The lobby is large which made handing out keys to our group convenient and easy. The hotel claims there were computers on the 1st floor (European), but I never found them. The same 1st floor had a lovely bar and breakfast room. The breakfast was excellent. They offered both hot and cold options, cereal, breads, meats, eggs, etc. We were sequestered into a different room on the first day (common for large groups with teens), but the food was the same, and on the second morning, they let us eat with the "real" guests.
The service was solid. The bar was willing to provide me with ice in my ziplock bag to bring down the swelling in my ankles. Due to old ankle sprains, I get horrible cankles when I fly long distances, so I need ice to bring down the swelling. The bartender was very accomodating both nights. I never expect European hotels to have ice machines, so I am at their mercy. In my reviews, I always comment on the availablity of ice. However, in Europe, my expectations are much different than in an American hotel. I was thrilled that the bar was so generous with their ice. My ankles were very grateful. I spent my evenings in my room propping my feet up on pillows covered in bags of ice while I watched the World Cup. Not too bad.
The rooms were large enough, but the lack of air-conditioning was a problem. It wasn't so hot with the window open, but my room was just above the vents, so the smell of hot dog water washed over me when I opened the door to the Juliet balcony. The room smell was bad enough before opening the window, but it only got worse. I had to choose between hot, stuffy room with musty smell, or slightly cooler room with a breeze of old hot-dog scent. Also, the door had no screen on it, so any random flying insect could visit my room all night.
Due to leaving the balcony door open all night, I got to hear the sound of screaming people on the street at random times in the night. This was not the best way to recover from jet lag. At first, I thought they were my students, but then I checked on them and eliminated them from blame. Just some drunk twenty-somethings making noise. Arg.
The bathroom was clean and functional. The tub is a bit too high off the ground and doesn't really have a flat surface, so you have to balance a bit while showering. Also, the mirror is right across from the shower and the shower door is clear, so you will have a lovely view of your dough-y naked self in the shower. After flying for 13 hours, this was not pretty. Also, the bathroom has no outlet but for the hairdryer/shaver appliance. The only outlet in the room is on the desk by the television. If you're sharing, you want to bring an extension cord with additional outlets. I wish hotels would take outlet location into consideration when designing their rooms. Rooms need outlets near the bed for plugging in your phone to use as an alarm clock, then other outlets for cameras, tablets, hot-rollers, etc. The outlet was serviceable, but with no mirror nearby, I had to unplug my rollers after heating them and bring them into the bathroom to use. It seems trivial, but when traveling on a schedule, you want the mornings to run as quickly and smoothly as possible.
In the end, the hotel was okay. For a student tour hotel, it was fantastic, but for random travelers visiting Amsterdam, you might want to find a place that's a bit closer to the city. I hear Lelystad is an attraction on its own, but it looked like a non-descript suburb of Amsterdam, and I never found out why anyone would visit this town other than to stay somewhat close to Amsterdam in a group travel situation.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Apollo Hotel Lelystad City Centre is situated in the city centre of Lelystad. The 4-star hotel is easily accessed from Amsterdam, Almere and Utrecht. Lelystad lies in the heart of the former Zuiderzee district, has the longest coastline in the Netherlands and is nestled in the middle of many historical cities around the expansive IJsselmeer area. From here, you can easily visit the Walibi fun park, the Dolfinarium, the Aviodrome and Bataviastad. Boat enthusiasts can truly indulge themselves in the Bataviawerf and take to the water on the Oostvaardersplassen. Lelystad also encompasses several museums, including the Nationaal Ruimtevaart Museum (space travel museum) and the Aviodrome Luchtvaart Museum (air travel museum). It is also possible to see the replica of the VOC ship "de Batavia" for yourself. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Apollo Hotel Lelystad