Before staying somewere, I always try and read as many online reviews, but I have decided this is a futile exercise. Yes you get good ones, and GREAT ones, but you also get poor ones which, if true would ruin your trip.
I planned a very special trip to Amsterdam, and I wanted it to be perfect. As it turned out, I had all the help I needed to achieve this in the staff of the Banks Mansion Hotel. Jacqueline and Willem were outstanding.
I originally booked through Expedia, but realised that I needed to get an upgrade in order to get a bath and a canal view. Simple – done. I needed some recommendations for restaurants – done, which were both fabulous. Could I please have a bunch of tulips in the room? Of course you can.
I have seen some people write negatively about this hotel – noise from trams, room size, the fact that the hotel image on the website looks better as it is shot at night with lights (!), the dubious free drinks etc., so let me put those rumours to bed.
One – you are in the centre of Amsterdam, but in a classy part…they have trams. Hence the triple glazing if it gets too much. If you think that will worry you try asking for a quiet room?
If it is important to you to have hundreds of antiseptic square feet – try staying at one of the dull majors at the airport. This is a very old building in a very old city. Personally, I just want to store my clothes and laptop, (in the laptop safe provided in the bedroom), and go to sleep in my room.
The free cheese and meat and wine/spirit bar. A lovely touch. The only tiny negative is that one space serves both those people just wanting to relax and chill out, and those people who are having business meetings and insist on shouting at each other. It might be preferable, (after breakfast...), to ask business users to work in the (unused) restaurant - it would not be too much of a hardship for them to wander up for their free food and drink.
Forget about the “look” of a hotel, it is what is inside that matters. I have seen a review that says the décor looks “dated” – perhaps that person did not quite appreciate the concept of Art Deco, which is perfectly executed.
Someone wrote that the free spirits in the room were not sealed, (quite hard to do with a decanter…!), and not replenished, (again – perhaps just try asking?) If that reviewer is used to drinking 25 year old single malt, then they would be disappointed, however, I loved the touch of luxury, it is absolutely fine. I have had worse in US “major” chains.
Beds – simply the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on, with a huge and soft liner, and great pillows that you just sink into.
The location is central, but just out of the centre. It’s about 10 Euros to travel anywhere (inc. tip). Walking is completely possible but we opted for cabs.
Breakfast is a full hot and cold buffet, great eggs, omelettes and pancakes, wonderful coffee (from a machine), meats, cheeses, breads, conserves, and you must try the bread, butter and chocolate sprinkles
So – yes…a great boutique hotel. We have already booked a return visit in September. I think the mark of a great hotel is if it makes you feel welcome – and several times we found ourselves saying “Let’s go home”. That for me is the mark of a wonderful hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Exceptional Hospitality Founded on the concept of personalization our goal is to ensure that everything about your stay suits you. The intimacy of the hotel allows for greater personal attention, incredible service and an eye for detail by our staff. As a guest of Banks Mansion, at any given moment you are entitled to enjoy all of the beverages and appetizers offered to you in "The Living" along with complimentary breakfast, complimentary private in-room bar, complimentary in-house movies, complimentary Internet-access in our business corner and 24/7 free premium WiFi. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Banks Mansion Hotel Amsterdam
- Banks Mansion Amsterdam