On arrival at Schipol Airport go to tourist information shop to the far right of the airport passed the train ticket hall and buy a 72 hour GVB public transport pass this enables you to transfer by bus to the hotel using bus 69 which you get in Bay 15. It is about 30 - 40 mins depending on time of day and traffic we did it in 35 mins. The pass can be used on all GVB buses and trams and for €16.50 represents excellent value for money. We used €12 worth in one day. It is €2.60 for a single trip. The bus goes right by the hotel and stops about 3 mins walk from the hotel if you don't get off at the right stop which is just in front of the hotel.
The hotel is in a residential area with nearby shops, a small shopping centre and places to eat, ATMs so the location is convenient if you need to buy supplies i.e. snacks, fruit. Don't be put off by the area it is a quite and safe.
Now the hotel.The exterior was not very clean the autumn leaves made the steps up to the front door dirty, on entry my friend and I were surprised by the lobby area, so clean, bright and welcoming. Dana checked us in but we were very early, check in was 14:00 we got there about 11:30 and Dana managed to get our room ready and we were able to lie down for a few hours before tackling central Amsterdam. Dana also offered us a drink while we waited for the room to be ready which was about 15 mins not the 45 mentioned. Very pleased.
As I had read a few reviews about being able to choose our preferred room we chose a room on the first floor as previous reviews recommended this. We were pleasantly surprised with a large room with a tub as described.
The bed was too soft for me but provided a good night sleep. We entered to jazz music playing via the TV. So we were more than happy with the room. (When you turn on the tv it has a personal welcome message. Nice touch)
I decided to use the bathroom and found I could not get out as the door lock had jammed and I had to wait about 10 mins before I get get out. My friend had to call reception to get the caretaker to come and take the lock off the door! If I had been traveling by myself maybe I would not have shut the door but if I had I may have been there until the next day when the cleaner came to make the bed!! Also the bathroom has no heating and was freezing cold, plus the light switch was outside the door so it could have been a bad experience.
As mentioned in previous reviews, the 7 & 14 Tram/bus runs passed the hotel you can get the bus by turning left and walking towards the supermarket about 3 mins or turn right and walking in the direction of the Tram/bus and get the bus round the corner to the right about 4/5 mins walk just passed Aldi on your right.
If you get a chance you should check out the shopping centre, it has all the stores you would expect to find at home, Dutch versions of Holland and Barratt, Superdrug, Euroland, Spec Savers and the like.
The Tram take you to Dam Square (14) or on the outskirts of central Amsterdam (7) short walk to Dam Square. Also the 21 takes you to Centraal Station if you need to get to the station. About 20 -25 mins. Pick it up at the same bus stop (go right out of the hotel).
Back at the hotel we showered in the freezing cold bathroom, note of caution, the bath is high and slippery both my friend and I slipped I recovered myself but my friend fell out twice and bruised herself. When she reported this to the reception staff the next morning they said they didn't have an accident/incident book so she couldn't have it recorded and bath mats were only provided for elderly residents. Being 50+ wasn't a factor.
That said the towels were placed on rake above the toilet which is one reason why my friend slipped as she was stretching to get the towel whilst in the bath and the fixed shower screen didn't allow for her to get the towels with ease.
We stayed in Premier Inn prior to our Stansted to Amsterdam flight and the towel rail was at the end of the bath easy to access towels, plus the towels were large and fluffy. The towels in the Blue Square were basic and barely covered ones body.
On the plus side we needed have bothered to bring any toiletries i.e. shower gel etc as they provided lovely lemon grass, shower gel and body lotion, shampoo and conditioner, soap and shower caps. Nice touch. These were replaced on the next day.
The next morning as I had read reviews about ordering breakfast I ordered on check in for both mornings.(€10) The restaurant was like most I had been in, however I didn't have the cooked breakfast but my friend did and had to request that it be put into a microwave as it was cold. The staff member was most obliging. However the kitchen staff came out and made a big deal about the temperature of the hotplate opening doors and checking pipes etc, all in Dutch but we knew that they were saying there was nothing wrong with the hotplate. However the following morning the food was piping hot. So I wonder.
Staff were mostly very very pleasant with one or two not even bothering to smile when we approached the reception. Dana however being the exception.
Whilst we were there we saw many people coming and going so it is a very popular and busy hotel. For a budget hotel you cannot go wrong with the Blue Square.
The location isn't great but you get what you pay for, and if you have come to see Amsterdam you see both sides tourist/residential it wasn't a problem having to travel 15 - 20 mins into the Central. We even got off at one point to visit a local bar which look interesting from the outside but wasn't much on the inside as the main nights are Thursday - Sunday. Oh well maybe next visit we will do a weekender.
Still not sure about staying at Blue Square?
1. It is Clean and Tidy
2. Staff were mostly pleasant
3. Rooms a good size with a tub
4. Ask for a room with a view of the canal on the right hand side of the hotel. We stayed in 160.
5. Good night sleep guaranteed
6. Tea/coffee making equipment available cups not mugs though.
7. Resturant and Bar available with a snack machine in the lobby
8. Accessible to Central 15-20 mins. Trams are frequent with a night bus after midnight.
9. Local shops available for emergency supplies.
10. A summer visit would be better as there were cafes/restuarants by the hotel over looking the canal which were closed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- BEST WESTERN PLUS Hotel Blue Square is an environmental friendly hotel and has a Green Key Silver status. The hotel takes its name from the striking building in which it is located. The building was designed by architect Van Gool and dates from the seventies. Van Gool has laid down that the building may only be painted in the characteristic blue color. All 175 rooms are spacious, soundproofed and equipped with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and free coffee/tea facilities. You will find comfortable rooms with many amenities so that your visit is an experience that you would want to repeat. Whether you are staying in Amsterdam for business or looking for a destination for a short break, this hotel is the perfect start to anyone visiting the city. We are located near the exit of the A10 S104. In just 15-20 minutes you are in the city area of the centre of Amsterdam. Schiphol Airport, the RAI Convention Center, the port and Passenger Terminal Amsterdam (cruise ships) can be reached within 30 minutes. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Amsterdam
- Amsterdam Best Western