i've not long returned from a two night stay here (27/07 - 29/07) with my dad - our requirements were a little luxury without compromising on location and this hotel went above and beyond our expectations!
- as mentioned in other reviews, the hotel is a five minute walk from centraal station which is ideal for accessing the airport and/or other cities across the region. my dad was insistent on getting a taxi until a driver pointed out the hotel - cringe! it's pretty much a straight walk, although it is signposted in case you're like us and can somehow still get lost!
- we were checked in ahead of the official time thanks to marielle, although we found all the staff across the hotel to be very friendly and accommodating. unfortunately on our only full day, it decided to TORRENTIALLY rain (it was that bad, it's worthy of capital letters) but the navigators on reception were quick to offer us an umbrella which actually saved our day. we left our coats at home in an attempt to pack light so without this, we would have spent the majority of our time in amsterdam within those four walls!
- location for the hotel generally is spot on - the closest areas are dam square, the red light district and the anne frank house although amsterdam isn't a big city so the furthest you'll be walking is 20/30 mins (depending on your pace!) to the museums. the hotel is just off the main tram line that goes to all the main attractions if you're not a walker. we were given a free guide map at check-in which was well-loved and appreciated throughout our trip.
- the room itself (706) was modern, clean and very comfortable. i can see why american visitors may consider it small but i'd say it was standard for european hotels (i.e. not that small, just only when compared to rooms in the states!). we had a twin room which we requested on arrival; beds offered a great night's sleep, all the amenities you'd expect of a five star property were provided (didn't get round to the robes and slippers, sadly!), good TV channels - the offering of BBC1 and BBC2 was a pleasant surprise! - and the AC was ideal too. i agree with the comments about sometimes hearing our neighbours (as a result of being in an connected room) but we were hardly disturbed.
- we booked a club room which was worth the extra money in our opinion. this gave us free wifi, which i never had any trouble with (i sympathise with those who didn't get this included as the standard rate for it is pricey, but if internet is that important to you, you might as well upgrade to get the additional perks!), breakfast and access to the club lounge throughout our stay. you get to enjoy breakfast (during the week) in the club lounge which offered a relaxing start to our day, and the afternoon tea and cocktail hours gave us a much-needed pick-me-up after long walks round the city! if you want to make your stay extra special, this is the way to do it!
- there was a string of decent restaurants across the road from the hotel offering mexican, steak, italian, seafood...which meant we didn't have to look far for a good dinner! the hotel is just off the beaten tourist trail so we never had to wait for tables. as we had breakfast included, we didn't venture to the hotel's own offerings but there is a huge choice of cafes in the nearby area if you choose not to dine in-house.
other tips and findings:
- a lot of people have commented on the pavement works outside the hotel. we weren't on this side of the building and were therefore undisturbed by it. as others have recommended, ask the hotel in advance for a room away from the works if you are concerned with this.
- there are a few 'red light rooms' near the hotel (even though the actual red light district is a good five minutes walk away) but i really think if you are offended by this, don't come to amsterdam! in terms of general safety, i felt very safe in the area by the hotel, more so than other cities i have visited in europe/the world. the whole drugs/sex thing is very much part of the culture and i found the openness to be a positive aspect of the city as no-one is secretive about it. whilst you may walk past one or two 'characters', they don't bother you unless you choose to involve yourself with them.
- it is much quicker to get around amsterdam by foot or canal bus than taxi so make sure you come prepared to do it yourself! this is why the hotel is particularly ideal if you're coming in by train or plane as you don't have to drag your luggage far. similarly, pack for the weather as you can't easily hop in a taxi if you get caught in a downpour (we had to abandon our trip to the anne frank house due to getting suitably drenched in minutes!).
- on the subject of the anne frank house, book your tickets online in advance, unless you have the time/patience to queue. it seems to be the only attraction you can't buy tickets for elsewhere in the city once you arrive.
- it's really easy to get to centraal station from schiphol airport - just a 15 minute train ride! i think the trains left for the airport every 30 mins so you won't need to allocate hours to get back.
we couldn't fault our stay at this hotel and would highly recommend it to anyone wanting guaranteed comfort with a dash of luxury. we would go back in a flash!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located within walking distance of Central Station in the historic city centre of charming Amsterdam, the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel is a top-tier choice of travelers. Regardless of reasoning for travel, guests will find comfort in our warm welcoming lobby, renovated guest accommodations featuring Renaissance Bedding, and a well crafted incentive of dining options within the hotel walls. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Amsterdam Renaissance