Just returned from a 3 night stay at the Hampton Inn, Hoofddorp, near Schipol Airport, Amsterdam. Being a Marriott Gold member when booking hotels I always look at Marriott properties first and looked at the Courtyard Schipol but the rates were what I considered much too high for a Courtyard property, in part due to the bulb season no doubt. The ones in Amsterdam centre were typical major city rates, on par with London and New York, so because the primary reason for my trip was to visit Keukenhof gardens I decided against these too.
The rates on offer at the Hampton Inn were very good 71 euro’s plus tax per night and the majority of reviews on Trip Advisor and other sites were good so I thought why not. As I said my main reason for the trip was to visit Keukenhof gardens so staying at a property near the airport made a lot of sense as the special express bus goes from just outside the main entrance doors, to help others I’ve put a review on of my experiences of getting there and also the gardens themselves.
The hotel apparently only opened in April 2013 according to a letter handed me on check in. I arrived around 09.30 on a very busy Sunday morning and caught the shuttle from the airport. Not surprisingly no rooms were ready at that time and the breakfast area was really crowded, I chose to sit and wait in a comfortable seating area alongside the main reception. This turned out to be quite an interesting time as it did highlight the issues others have raised about the shuttle. Why do people always take it out on the reception staff if a shuttle is late arriving or is full, traffic around airports can often be congested and totally outside of the staff’s control, however, the size and timings of the shuttle is something management can do something about and in my opinion need to review, as it seemed to cause quite a lot of unnecessary work for the reception staff, not to mention disgruntled guests who left with a bad impression of the hotel. My advice use the train, see below.
I didn’t have to wait to long for a clean room, check in went smoothly. On entering the room I was really impressed with the modern layout and the spotless clean housekeeping. Ok so you couldn’t hold a dance in there but it was a good side with a double bed, desk, hangers (behind the bathroom's sliding door) and drawers, 32” flat screen TV with plenty of channels with several languages including Discovery and National Geographic. There was a small laptop size safe, which I like, plus coffee and tea making facilities. The shower was powerful enough unless you really do like to be blasted; the soap and shampoo were in dispensers. The room had plenty of lighting which required the room key to be inserted above the switches on entering the room. The sink and shower both had hot water.
The breakfast as some other reviews have said was very good, scrambled eggs, baked beans, bacon and sausage were the hot choices. Choice of coffee types and fruit juices plus pastries and fresh fruit and a nice selection of cold meats and cheeses. I would have to agree the choices were greater than that found in Hampton Inn’s in the USA I’ve stayed at.
The hotel has a small bar and sells a small selection of snacks neither of which I tried so can’t comment on prices, etc.
The free Wi-Fi worked fine in my room and there are two computers next to reception with a printer.
A couple of things I checked before booking the Hampton , how much car parking capacity did they have and how close was it to the train station. I checked these because looking on Google maps it raised concerns, caused by the fact that the Google site is out of date, they are still showing the Hampton Inn in its previous life as an office for Canon. Through trip Advisor I asked Hampton how much car parking they had because I was thinking of hiring a car, Mark Welbers very quickly came back and reassured me there was plenty; although given the excess that is charged by the hire car companies in the Netherlands I chose the public transport option for getting around, which turned out to be the correct decision for me.
I think the reviews that mention the shuttle bus as an issue are correct, the buses are very small but can and should be booked early to avoid disappointment. However, that said there is an entrance with a ticket machine for the train station with direct links into Schipol, only 4 minutes away, right opposite the Hampton less than 100 yards across the road. Top tip here; the railway ticket machines only take coins or Maestro cards, so if you have Visa, MasterCard, etc. credit cards you are out of luck. You can however use these at the Schipol Railway ticket office; like in the UK the Netherlands recognise use the chip and PIN. They do offer something called a OV Click card similar to London’s Oyster card but I wasn’t there long enough to get one of these so can’t comment on the pro’s and con’s over a paper ticket.
From Hoofddorp you can get direct trains to Amsterdam Central for 9.60 euro return, Schipol return is 4.80 euro’s. It is in fact only 0.20 euro more expensive to purchase a Hoofddorp to Amsterdam Central return than it is getting the shuttle to the airport and buying a Schipol to Amsterdam Central return. If you intend going into Amsterdam for the day I would certainly recommend the train from Hoofddorp, the trains are regular, frequent and I thought safe. From here you can also catch trains to Leiden, The Hague, Rotterdam and other major cities. A word of warning the single Hoofddorp to Schipol is 2.40 euro's and the return is double, so it does make sense to get the Hoofddorp to Amsterdam Central return as it saves you money and time, no waiting around at the hotel or at Schipol for the shuttle bus.
A very good hotel in a quiet and safe area offering affordable rates that includes free breakfast and Wi-Fi all within 25 minutes of the centre of Amsterdam and 4 minutes from Schipol by train, I would certainly recommend it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Whether you're catching a flight, you're here to discover Amsterdam, The Hague or Haarlem or you're on business nearby, count on Hampton by Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for a modern, comfortable base close to it all. Our Amsterdam hotel is located just five minutes from the airport and a 20 minute train ride from Amsterdam's city center. ... more less
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