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“My Home Away From Home In Amsterdam”

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Marcel's Creative Exchange
Ranked #130 of 343 Amsterdam B&B and Inns
Reviewed 26 May 2009

The Creative Exchange may be a B&B by name, but it is much more than that indeed. I've been staying here when visiting Amsterdam for some years now, and it's always been a comfort and pleasure.

The proprieter, Marcel Van Woerkom, is as much not your average innkeeper--he's an accomplished artist and long-time Amsterdamer--as this place is not your average hotel. One look at the exquisite modern architecture, attention to design aesthetic/detail and the many antiques stationed about the premises leads you to understand that quite simply, this is a special place indeed. Hearing Marcel recount the history of the building gives you contextual relevance to where you lay your head after wandering around the golden canals all day. As he explained to me, the idea behind the 'creative exchange' was to provide a forum for guests from across the world to share ideas and interests, which I thought was a noble vision on it's own!

Of course, travelers are there to visit the city first and foremost, but I must say that all the fellow guests I've met at Marcel's have been peaceful and pleasant citizens of the world. Mind you, there are only 4 guest rooms, so it is, by default, a quite personal space. I'll admit, Marcel is surely an eclectic individual, and he certainly--and rightfully so--has house rules, but they are basic, straightforward and meant solely for the safety of the guests. If you are open minded and respectful of the home in which he lives, I'm sure you too would return with the most positive and luminous impressions of the city, and your stay at Marcel's.

I'm so sad to have read the awkward and poor reviews below; it seems as though the guests who have had such experiences seem to have clashed with the man, the idea and the mantra of the Creative Exchange itself. Amsterdam is renowned across the world as a party city, no doubt; but I believe one should pair their hotel choice with their brand of recreational pursuit. That said, if you're a mature (and I don't mean 'old') traveler, if you appreciate art, if you enjoy meeting locals and other like-minded travelers, if you want to explore Amsterdam from a completely unique vantage point, I highly encourage you to consider staying with Marcel at the Creative Exchange.

Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
Thank uberchef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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49 - 55 of 90 reviews

Reviewed 19 May 2009

I have been a few times in Amsterdam and in many B&B but Marcel's place is the most charming place i ever been. PLEASE don't be pull off by the non positive feedbacks you might find on this website, this place is a must see. Marcel is a truly gentlement, really welcoming and always up for a laugh but you have to understand that this B&B is his baby and his own place. If you are someone with common sense you will have a fantastic experience.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank FabioParadiso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2008

I asked Marcel for a quote to stay in his B&B and when I declined his offer fto stay somewhere more central he "went off on one". I was polite in all of my correspondence to him - but he angered me so much my last email to him was straight to the point and not so pleasant (he asked for it!).
Thought I would check him out on Trip Advisor and am soooooooo glad I didnt book having just read these reviews!

Stayed: May 2008
4  Thank MRSDRC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2008

Reading other reviews I think this place must be one of those people dividers, you either loved or hated your time at Marcel's. All I can do is give my take.
A group of four of us stayed for two night's at Marcel's B&B. On arrival we were pleased with the suite of rooms we had been given, two bedrooms and a bathroom shared by just us, it was very well presented, looked great. The location was also first rate, but you need to enjoy climbing a lot of stairs to get there!
The fun ends there. We were asked to pay up front, in cash, fair enough, and then Marcel kept us for what seemed like ages telling us what he thought we should do on our break, including casting off Ann Frak's house, which I was keen to see as a waste of time saying that Jews had hidden in his house too, so we didn't need to go there(!) True maybe but we went to the Ann Frank thing anyway and hoped he wouldn't find out!
The turning point for me was on our first night. We had spent the evening in the pub with some friends we had met up with in the city and came back in, locking the door in the manner we, all four of us believed we had been instructed by Marcel (in his earlier briefing), leaving key in key hole outside and latch up to prevent intrusion. Not sure how much later I am woken (as possilby least drunk of we four) by Marcel banging on the door and shouting. I tried to ignore him and hoped he'd go away but he didn't so I eventually opened the door. From what I gather of his tirade we were not supposed to have left the key in the door (did all four of us get that wrong?) and he had thought that some of us were still out and they wouldn't be able to get in when they returned. I do wonder what he was doing trying the doors of his guests in the night? Being something of a soft touch I was pretty upset by this and spent the rest of my stay anxious to avoid the proprietor, to the point where we crept out on our last day to avoid detection!
All in all a farcical arrangement a B&B where you have to actually buy breakfast elsewhere and have to take a load of nonsense from the person you are paying for the privilage.
Well decorated rooms but never again!

  • Stayed: November 2004, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Amydotliz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2007

Dear Traveler,
if you want to have a nice time in Amsterdam, stay anywhere but not here.We went there because of the nice rooms. But it´s the loudest place you can imagine. And that´s only the smallest problem. The owner, Marcel, seems to be a nice person, at first. But he is someone you should be warned of: he is totally choleric. He got a fit of rage, came into our rooms and screamed at us. Only because a friend of ours visited us the night before in our rooms for two hours. He waited with us to catch his plane at six in the morning. Marcel wanted twenty Euros for the extra person staying there (for two hours!). We even gave him the money, but he didn´t stop yelling at us, repeating over and over again that we didn´t obey his rules. We asked him to leave the room, but he didn´t. After this incident we decided to leave his place . We asked him to give us the money back for the night to come (we had payed the full amount upfront). But he refused. Marcel just threatened us to call the police. He is by far the most offensive person we´ve met during our travels.

  • Stayed: December 2007
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10  Thank joshuaBerlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marcelvanwoerkom, Owner at Marcel's Creative Exchange, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2013

This person was never here. He made a reservation, but I did not trusted him and cancelled it. The rest is history.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2007

Having read some of the reviews after we'd booked i was wondering if we'd made a huge mistake! But infact we had a great stay 5 nights of great fun! Marcel was the most fantastic guy very interesting and full of good ideas of where to go and what to do and at 72 has more energy than people i know in their 30's!!! Don't believe the bad reviews stick to the house rules and respect his personal space and you'll have no probs. we'd love to go back its perfectly positioned for everything. We stayed in the balcony room which was a bit noisy but not a problem the fact that we had to share a shower was not what we expected but turned out to be fine, better than him spoiling the beautiful room to put one in. For a real insight into living life in amsterdam then Marcels is the place to be, if you want the boring run of the mill room you find all over the world then maybe a hotel is the place for you. We loved Marcels and would return again in an instant...

Stayed: October 2007
4  Thank njt-123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2007

The location of this Guest house is excellent - right in the centre of everything. We stayed with friends in the two Patio Rooms at the back of the house, which shares a large on suite, and the Style room which has its own shower and even though it is a busy area we couldn't hear any noise from these rooms. However, the Balcony room (which is the biggest and best looking room) is in the front of the house and does overlook the Street so therefore picks up some noise at night.
You can walk to almost all of Amsterdams tourist spots from his house. Marcel, the Host, is indeed a bit of an excentric but we found him to be very knowledgable and helpful, particulaly with his recomendations for restaurants, cafes, the sights to see and the sights to avoid. We were made welcome and able to make our own tea/coffee in the morning and during the day. Breakfast is not included but Marcel also recomended local cafes for breakfast and they were excellent value. The rooms are designer stylish, clean and the beds are very comfortable, we would much prefer this type of accomodation to a bland "could be anywhere" hotel room. All the rooms are on the 2nd and 3rd floors and the stairs are very steep.

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled with friends
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2  Thank bandylegs7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Marcel's Creative Exchange

Address: 87 Leidsestraat, 1017 NX Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Phone Number:
Region: The Netherlands > North Holland Province > Amsterdam
Amenities:
Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #130 of 343 B&Bs / Inns in Amsterdam
Price Range: £139 - £392 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Marcel's Creative Exchange is a unique place in the very center of Amsterdam. We provide you a personal second home where you can feel safe and relax. From base there are a lot of different ways to discover Amsterdam. Take the blue trams, hop-on hop-off canal boats or just walk, or bike. Everything is close by.The experience you are about to take is unlike any stay at a hotel or bed and breakfast. When you stay in one of Marcels quarters, you get something more personal, profound, beautifully furnished and decorated with art. The pleasant atmosphere will make you feel comfortable.Marcels Creative Exchange is the longest existing private accommodation in Amsterdam (since 1970) and is directly connected to the oldest Dutch cinema "De Uitkijk" (free admission for guests). Throughout these many years Marcel was honored to host all kinds of individuals: artists to surgeons and lawyers to teachers. Senior management teams from Cirque du Soleil (Canada) and Eyon movie software (Los Angeles) visit annually. ... more   less 
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