I stayed here 8 nights because I used Amsterdam as a base to explore several other cities in Netherlands on my 9 days' trip. Given the long stay, I wanted something cheap and value for money, and after a lot of researching, I think this hotel is a pretty good choice for the budget traveller considering that many of the other hotels' rate in Amsterdam are pretty steep.
As with some reviews, the hotel is an authentic canal house, so expect really steep steps. Not recommended for people with knee / movement problems. But I chose it because I wanted the experience of staying in an authentic, typical, Amsterdam house. Because I stayed on the 1st floor (hence, I just had to climb the minimal of 2 flights of stairs in the house), I have not much problems with the stairs except to be extra careful.
The breakfast that comes with the room rate (no discounted rate if you choose not to have breakfast) is decent for the price - toasts / bread, juice, cereal with milk, cheese, hard-boiled egg, a wide choice of jam and spreads for your toasts, selections of tea, a coffee machine. It is served in a really nice looking breakfast room with classical music playing in the background every morning.
There are also plenty of free reading materials in a cabinet at the stair landing outside the breakfast room, as well as free city maps, discount mini-cards to the tons of museums and markets in Amsterdam, etc.
I stayed in the single room, Room 1A, on the first floor with ensuite bathroom and toilet, and a nice view of the canal. It is spartan, but amply and simply furnished with a wardrobe with a full length mirror, a night table, a chair, and a luggage stand at the feet of the bed. I would consider this enough for any traveller.
The hot shower works generally well, though there were nights the water pressure and temperature dropped off a little. There are also 2 heaters in the room which worked very well most days, which was perfect for me because it was below 10 degree celcius some nights. However, I think they switched off the heater supply some nights when it was warmer (maybe 14-15 degree celcius), because there were nights they didn't seem to be working.
The wardrobe with the full length mirror was perfect, with enough hangers and room for me to keep my stuff. There is also a good free wifi connection throughout my 8 nights' stay.
The old window was a bane though, it was so heavy for me to lift up and to put that wooden block underneath to make it stay up to open the window. So if you aren't afraid of the cold in the night, then you might just want to leave it up the way the hotel staff did and not close it at all.
Conveniently located 6 tram stops away from the Central Station (the tram stop name is Prinsengracht, which is also the name of the 4th canal ring, counted from the Central Station). Do not attempt to walk from the central station (which I had thought of doing) if you have a luggage or tired, as it is a rather far walk despite its easy distance when looking at the map. The hotel will tell you that you can take Tram #4 from outside (to the left) the Central Station, but you can take #9 as well to the exact same tram stop.
It is generally quiet along the Prinsengracht canal, but it can get noisy some nights from the bar diagonally across the hotel (I guess it depends on your luck). There is also another bar on the left of the hotel but I did not find much noise coming from that bar.
Side Tip: There isn't a big supermarket near the area which was inconvenient for my bottled water needs, but there is one mini-supermarket on the left of the hotel across the street. However, I would advise not to buy bottled water there (which was what I did for quite a couple of days) because I discovered it was a complete rip-off at 3 Euros a bottle. You can get the same size and brand of bottled water for about 41 euro cents (or under 1 Euro) at the big super markets like Albert Heijn. Hence, if you spot a big supermarket, go stock up your necessities there.
From the first point of contact over email to a few weeks prior to my arrival (spanning about 4-6months), the person whom had been responding (André) to me was friendly, professional and welcoming. I could not wait for my holiday to start.
Upon arrival, the staff continued to be friendly, helpful, and accommodating (sadly, I did not get to meet André as he had injured himself) though I did not feel very welcomed with my first point of physical contact at the hotel. The staff whom opened the door for me did not offer to help with my luggage up the steep steps. When asked if he could (which he did), he mumbled that most guests do it themselves. I am not sure if that's the case - after all, I have read reviews here about the steep steps, and was assured by André over our email correspondences that they always help guests with the luggage. That particular staff was generally friendly over the next few days I saw him, but my first experience at the hotel was already marred on the first day, at the door.
Other than that, they have promptly acceded to all my basic requests - such as asking for a hairdryer, have the room's dustbin emptied / cleaned, and a bottle of hand soap, which was missing from the wash basin when I first checked in. They also very kindly helped me print e-tickets of museum visits I have booked online.
But while they have acceded to all my requests, this is also a point of contention - I have expected daily clearing of the room's dustbin to be basic hotel service, not a request. Same goes for the cleanliness of the floor, which felt really dusty on some nights when I returned. Never mind if the sheets/ towels are not changed daily. They do, however, make it a point to come into your room and make your bed tidily by the time you returned to the room each night. I am not sure if there’s a cleaning lady at all – I haven’t seen one in my 9 days there.
All in all, I would have given this hotel a rating of 4 for "good", but it represents "very good" which I think would be too generous a rating given that I stayed many nights here, but felt some areas could have been better/ improved - such as the cleanliness of the floor, the clearing of the dustbin daily, and the basic service of helping guests with luggage.
Hence, I settled for an average rating. But I would still recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a budget hotel amidst the many pricier ones in Amsterdam. It is really value-for-money for the service (breakfast, wifi, free city map, etc), the room and its facilities, and the location (1-2 mins walk from the tram stop Prinsengracht).
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- Also Known As:
- Prinsenhof Hotel Amsterdam