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“Questionable business practices”

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PhilDutch Amsterdam Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #133 of 241 Speciality Lodging in Amsterdam
Reviewed 25 February 2010

We made our reservation with the agreement we would have the entire houseboat to ourselves. I had read all the reviews and was hesitant but went ahead and made sure I received the "confirmation" form from the owner. In January I got an email requesting our flight information. Not two weeks later, I got another email requesting the same. I was told his "secretary" sent the second email and to ignore it. A week later we received an email advising that renting the whole houseboat to ourselves was no longer an option citing there was a new policy in Amsterdam that requires the owner to stay on the houseboat during our stay. I could find nothing online to support this explanation.
Needless to say, we cancelled our reservation. It appears the owner has his reasons for needing to stay on his own boat but the explanation he gave seems very suspect to me. I prefer dealing with honest businesses. I know the owner will respond to this. It will be interesting to see what he writes.

Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
7  Thank Trvl1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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24 - 30 of 143 reviews

Reviewed 4 October 2009

Efrin is a great host and his property is located on a quiet tree lined street next to a very pretty canal. It is very clean and cozy for solo travelers, couples with or without kids. It has a full kitchen, laundry and is located within walking distance of the trams, museums, canal boats, and lots of good restaurants and nightlife. The refrigerator is stocked with food for breakfast and lunch, and there are three markets close by. I have stayed here twice in the last year and it is a great value for Amsterdam. Not a luxury property, but very clean and well located in a safe area convienant to everything.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled solo
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Thank RunningmanSanDiego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2009

(I use the second person so that you, the reader, may easily take my experience as yours)

The houseboat was a fantastic place to stay. If you are looking for peace and quiet amidst the sinful city of Amsterdam, Efren's Phildutch houseboat is a highly recommended place for you. First of, the area surrounding the house was a very tranquil and peaceful neighborhood, surrounded by ducks and swans, and lovely locals. Secondly, not like the central district, there aren't any tourists walking the area, so you wouldn't be bothered by any sporadic disturbances by wasted tourists. Thirdly, unlike ordinary hotels/hostels, you are the only one and whoever is with you that occupies the houseboat. So, you get all the privacy that you want.

As for the distance between the central district and the houseboat, it takes you 15-20 minute walk. There is a tram station nearby, but I would recommend that you take a walk instead as it would let you see the great structures surrounding the city, and discover other places you rarely see in the city brochures. The famous Heineken brewery is just a five minute walk from the houseboat. If you want a cheap resto where you could take-out food, there is a five minute walk cheap Chinese resto near the house; though it is cheap, the food was really fantastic.

As for the amenities, it has everything that you could ask for - complete kitchen facilities, washing machine, superb and huge bathroom, high-speed internet connection, telephone, clean bedroom, television with cable connection, and entertainment system. What more could you ask for? There is even a veranda where you could smoke, and enjoy the lovely breeze while watching the ducks and swan go by the lake, and sometimes tourists on hop-on-hop-off boats.

Finally, Sir Efren, the host was really a great and fantastic lad. He was very hospitable and very friendly. He makes it a point that he has provided you with all that you need on your stay in his houseboat. He gives you free maps and gives you helpful tips in touring the city.

All-in-all, the houseboat gave us a really superb stay in Amsterdam. I highly recommend that you try this one for yourself.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with friends
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2  Thank glennsem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2009

If you value privacy and peace and quiet this houseboat is great! All the family really appreciated the space adn facilities (we have a 9 and 16 year old so are a bit difficult to please!)

It should be mentioned that this houseoat is someone's home - but this had the advantage of making it superbly well equipped with wifi and TV and all sorts of things in the drawers (scissors, glue) good for our daughter to stick and make things with!

If you haven't stayed in a houseboat the very gentle rocking and sense of being on the river and the ducks and swans are brilliant.

It was our first stay in Amsterdam with the kids and location and tram stop, park, museums in walking distance was great.

Thanks to Efran for his concern for us and also to his friend who filled us in on the locality and welcomed us with coffee even though we arrived an hour early!

Stay in a houseboat anytime over a hotel in Amsterdam for value for money and for the experience!

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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Thank mumdad2kidsLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2009

it looked lived-in, but not in the good way. laundry from the owner was in the machine the entire stay (three nights.) the kitchen was clean-ish but the bathroom could have been more tidy. it wasn't bad and it wasn't expensive but i won't be returning.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank angrylilazngrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhilDutchHouseboat, Owner at PhilDutch Amsterdam Bed and Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded 11 August 2009

Dear Guests,

We always make it appoint that before you check in the whole houseboat is clean. It's up to my guests to maintain the cleanliness of my Houseboat during their stay . It's just like your 2nd home and you have to keep my houseboat organize.

Actually I didn't complain at all because when we arrived in the houseboat to check and to clean the place it was totally messed and filty. I don't know what did you do ? But again I never complain because it's part of my business anyway.

PhilDutch Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2009

We found Phildutch on a website and encouraged by the reviews we read (including those in Trip Advisor), we contacted them through the website. The owner, Efren sent a reply stating the boat was free on the dates we wanted and that he was extending a special "countryman" discount (since he is Filipino and we are too). He asked for credit card details which he said would secure the reservation.
We replied immediately with the needed credit card facts and details of our flight arrival. This was some weeks back. We were then secure in the thought that we had firm reservations and have been planning our trip since then.
A few days ago, we wrote again to ask Efren if he could secure another houseboat for friends of ours who were joining us on the trip and LO AND BEHOLD... he writes back to say "Hi? Did you make a reservation because the dates are not available"
Well -- after reading that review of dotbaille about not having the houseboat confirmed when she and her family arrived in Amsterdam ... I thought I would write about my particular experience with Efren.
Apparently, he is quite disorganized to say the least, he defintely does not have a reservations system or is just plain unprofessional. I sympathize with dotbaille as it must have been horrible to all of sudden not have the rooms you thought you had reserved on the day that you get there -- with your whole family in tow.
So -- for those of you who might be taken in by the glowing reviews of Phildutch houseboat, I suggest you look for a more professional and organized owner or your vacation might be almost ruined, as in my case, or worse, completely thrown off whack as in dotbaille's case!!!

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Service
5  Thank Nonnapn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhilDutchHouseboat, Owner at PhilDutch Amsterdam Bed and Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded 6 August 2009

Indeed I always give a big discount not only because you're Filipino.

I'm sorry about my E-mail asking you if your booked with us because I thought it's another person again looking for another place?

If you received the confirmation letter meaning your officially booked with us and no need to ask again the availability. My apology for misunderstanding.

With regards to your friends houseboat to stay.. I'm not in the position to give you another houseboat because I have only one houseboat.

About the bad review of another french family. Honestly they're not officially booked. They called last minute and I told them to E-Mail me so that I can send the confirmation letter together with the direction of the place but they didn't E-Mail me.

Anyway I'm so sorry about the miscommmunication between us.

God Bless.

PhilDutch

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Reviewed 18 July 2009

I booked by email and confirmed by phone for us (2 adults and 2 young children), but when we arrived in Amsterdam, lost at 8.30 PM (I've of course precised we would be a bit late), Ephren has just taught us that our boat was no longer available! He proposed to go into a B & B unaffordable, and situated in a street that seems "inappropriate" for children... The mishap has come to an end at the campsite at 10 PM, children crying for not having slept on the boat.
Thank you Ephren for this unforgettable stay!

Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
4  Thank dotbaille
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhilDutchHouseboat, Owner at PhilDutch Amsterdam Bed and Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded 6 August 2009

I'm so sorry for the misunderstanding... but you're not officially booked with us because last minute you made a telephone call and I told you that you will be officially book only if you E-Mail me and you got my confirmation letter.

I've been waiting for your e-mail so that I can send you the confirmation letter but I didn't received anything from you.

You made a telephone call that your on your way to my place but unfortunately I already booked the houseboat to another guests.

I offered another apartment of my friend also in the center but you refused my offer and you did not call again. I also even offered a big discount just incase you want to stay and I even told you that your 2 children are free of charge.

Again you're not officially booked with us.

Anyway, please accept my apology.

PhilDutch

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about PhilDutch Amsterdam Bed and Breakfast

Address: Nicolaas Witsenkade t/o 17, 1017 ZS Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Region: The Netherlands > North Holland Province > Amsterdam > Stadsdeel Zuid
Amenities:
Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #133 of 241 Speciality Lodging in Amsterdam
Hotel Class:3 star — PhilDutch Amsterdam Bed and Breakfast 3*
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Phildutch Amsterdam Bed and Breakfast is a luxurious modern houseboat in the real center of Amsterdam ( Singelgracht ). 1 minute walk to Heineken Brouwerij and Amsterdam Canal Cruises, 5 minutes walk to Museum plein such as Rijks museum, Van Gogh museum and more... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Phildutch Houseboat b&b
Phildutch Houseboat Hotel Amsterdam

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