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Hotel Recommendations

I have a trip planned for next August. I will be flying into Schiphol but leaving from Passenger Terminal.

I usually use booking.com and beginning yesterday, I got lots of results when I put in my dates. But I also got sticker shock.

I was looking for a hotel around Central Station but now realise that i can also book around the museum district which may be less money.

I love the Grand Hotel but for now, it is out of budget. However, for those who stayed there, what was your experience.

So where have you stayed when in Amsterdam and what are your experiences.

Posted by
5287 posts

So where have you stayed when in Amsterdam

Been there something like a half dozen times, each time we look in Amsterdam, and as you indicated, a bit of sticker shock, plus availability is always tight (pre-pandemic)...so we wind up staying in Haarlem, 20-30 minutes by train from Amsterdam Centraal. Haarlem is a quiet town, with a very nice central area, restaurants, and chill nightlife. You can still find rooms for ~100 euro a night, maybe a bit more now. Stayed at the Ambassador City Centre Hotel several times.

Posted by
25724 posts

As many times as I have visited Amsterdam I have never stayed there - too noisy, too expensive, impossible with a car. I have usually stayed in or around Haarlem (15 to 20 minutes by frequent train to Amsterdam Centraal Station) or less frequently in Utrecht.

Other trips to the Netherlands I've stayed in 's-Heerenberg, east of Arnhem on the German border, in Rotterdam, and in a fabulous little B&B in Bergen op Zoom just north of Antwerpen but all those are too far. Oh, and in the Dutch mountains in the far south near Maastricht.

Posted by
2717 posts

We stayed directly across from Centraal Station at Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam It was fine. It was not noisy in the room. The location was convenient and the staff was helpful.

Posted by
6566 posts

We've stayed a few times in bed and breakfasts in Amsterdam Sud (South), however our favorite places have been sold as condominiums. The owners cashed in.

I too would suggest the Museum District for most people rather than the Central Station area of Amsterdam. You can get to anywhere easily from there on trams.

As experienced travelers, we don't necessarily have to be in the city center. We many years ago were flying out of Schiphol, and we stayed at Hotel Schiphol, a Van Valk business hotel on A-4 an exit beyond the main airport exit. They have a shuttle to the airport where we catch the train downtown--15 minute ride. The rooms in Hotel Schiphol are absolutely incredible, especially for the prirce. I think our room had 4 big leather couches too. It's just an alternative to a tiny room in the city 4 stories up in someone's attic.

Posted by
4697 posts

We stayed here some years ago when it was a Best Western, now it's part of another chain and has been renovated. The website quoted 149 euros for a small single room, 159 for a double that looked more comfortable. It's near Leidseplein, Vondelpark, and the nearby museums. We though it was a better location than around Centraal which can be very crowded.

On our second visit we stayed here in Haarlem, right across the square from the station and a short walk to the market square. We liked the hotel and Haarlem, and it was an easy train ride to Centraal, but any Amsterdam sightseeing had to begin and end each day in that crowded Centraal area. It was a shorter visit and we'd seen much of Amsterdam already. But basing in Haarlem or another outlying town for a first visit might not be the best idea, those daily train rides and treks through Centraal can add up.

Posted by
21195 posts

I am with Nigel ----- we got hooked on staying in Haarlem 15 years or so. It is about 15 mins via train west of Amsterdam. We stay on the square, great ice cream shop under the cathedral, fry shop around the corner. For us, it is like coming home to a familiar place. So much quieter and relaxing than Amsterdam -- but that is just us.

Posted by
183 posts

Thank you all for your help.

I did research Haarlem and loved what I saw and read. Going to booking.com, I found one very nice boutique hotel that had everything i wanted at a very good price.

However Haarlem won't work for me.

I am going to Amsterdam to take a cruise. Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is booking my air fare to Amsterdam and home from Reykjavik Iceland. I have been given a great price. However, I am only allowed two nights in Amsterdam pre-cruise. Only two nights and I will not know when I am flying in or how until month or so before my cruise, if that.

So I am arriving on the 15th of next August but have no idea when I might be arriving. I am leaving for my cruise on the 17th and will need to be at the cruise port about noon. Thus I will have only one free day in Amsterdam which will be the 16th of August.

I usually do not travel during the season. I prefer to travel the shoulder season but I am sailing on the maiden voyage of the still being built Norwegian Prima. The itinerary is from Amsterdam to Reykjavik with ports in Bruges, two in Norway and two others in Iceland besides Reykjavik.

This is the only reason that I am going to be in Amsterdam in August. I hate traveling during the summer months but I want to take this cruise.

My round trip air fare going through NCL is less than $500 total. If I booked it myself, it would be more like $1,500.

And I have not forgotten the rest of you who responded but it is almost time for my evening walk. To be continued.

Posted by
21195 posts

Don't understand why Haarlem would not work for you. We have boarded two cruises from Amsterdam and always stayed in Haarlem. The boarding area are close to the train station and walkable from the station. So maybe 30, 45 minutes from time you leave your hotel in Haarlem till you are in line for the ship. Not as convenient as staying in a hotel across from the train station but more pleasant.

Posted by
65 posts

I like to stay in Grachtengordel area, Jordaan, 9 streets. There is a Marriott Hotel Just south of Leidseplein that is in a perfect location. Close to the canals, close to Vondelpark, and more importantly, on the bus route from Schipol right in front of the door. I would stay there for my next Amsterdam visit. I have stayed at the American Hotel, which is now a Hard Rock Hotel.

Posted by
25724 posts

I understand that the decision against Haarlem has been made and that's fine.

For others reading I'll just pop in that Haarlem is reachable easily from Schiphol airport. In addition to the frequent train from the airport to Amsterdam Centraal it is then an easy change to the frequent train to Haarlem (1,2,or 3 stops from Centraal depending on which train, usually the second stop in 15 minutes) there is also the red number 300 bus (at least that used to be its number) which is an articulated bus which goes direct from the airport to Haarlem stopping at both the station and several Haarlem centre stops. Very easy.

Posted by
1758 posts

A few years ago we stayed at the Barangay B&B, a ten minute walk from Centraal. Restaurants, cafes and shops are all nearby. This is not a luxe property.. .their website describes the tropical rooms as “quirky, tropical SE Asian”. The price was right, the breakfast delivered to the room was the absolute best we’d had anywhere in our travels, and they were extraordinarily responsive when we made arrangements via email. A deciding factor for us and the rooms we selected was that one of our group recently had extensive leg surgery and while most rooms included long flights of stairs, these did not. The owners were friendly and helpful. Perhaps not the choice of all travelers but we loved it. Safe travels.
I just did a fast look at Booking.com. It is very highly rated but the prices I glanced at were considerably higher than we had paid. No idea what your travel dates would be.

Posted by
183 posts

Denny, Thank you for thinking of me.

I also go through booking.com and I am at Genius 1 level so on some hotels, I get a small discount.

I am going to be 77 next year when I travel and I can not walk up long flights of stairs especially with luggage even though I travel lite. I am going to need a ground floor or one easy flight or an elevator.

My dates are in the more expensive time of year, maybe the most expensive. My cruise leaves August 17, 2020 and my hotel dates will be August 15 through the 17, a very high price time of year and a very crowded time of year. I normally do not travel in August but I have booked the maiden voyage on a brand new ship still being built.

I am not leaving until next August so I have plenty of time to keep shopping and who knows what will happen by next August.

I think that I have read that Americans are now required to quarantine when coming to Amsterdam because of Delta. Well, I can't do that.

Who knows if Norwegian will be able to get enough laborers and others to work on the ship due to Delta. Maybe the ship won't be ready.

Posted by
183 posts

Well, Norwegian Cruise Line has a hotel that they use. It is the Crowne Plaza South Amsterdam which is a short walk to the Zuid Station.

The hotel gets rave reviews. So does the area for the most part. Some guests have noted that the area is the CBD and they described as sterile but it is close to a station that takes you everywhere you might want to go.

The area is being developed so maybe by next year, there will be more non hotel restaurants close by.

I have to call my cruise consultant to find out how much I would have to pay as a solo traveler. Norwegian gave me a quote that was was too high when I sailed from Copenhagen. And called about the Scandic Copenhagen which was the hotel they were using.

NCL is very interesting in that they build ships with studio cabins for the solo passenger so that you do not have to pay the single supplement. But when I have inquired about a pre or post cruise, I get outrageous rates for the hotel.

Posted by
183 posts

Frank and Nigel,

I plan on leaving this discussion open and alive. My trip is not until next August plus I am aware that your information and recommendations might helps lots of others.

If Haarlem might not work for me, maybe it will work for someone else.

I am going to be 77 years old next year and it is no longer that easy for me to follow directions and maps. I hate to admit that I sometimes get lost. In my younger years, getting lost could be part of the fun but it is not when you are old.

Still, I love to travel and I prefer traveling alone. Once I find my hotel, life gets easier. And once I get on my ship, it get much easier. I take Norwegian's ship excursions. Very sadly, I do not have that many trips left in me.

I do not know Amsterdam at all live and in person. I am beginning to learn about Amsterdam virtually but i have not been before and I want to see the museums in the museum district and eat the famous Indonesian dish which begins with R. I want to take a Canal boat trip. I love museums and I the famous one that begins with R is at the top of my must do list.

I will not know my plane schedule until a month or less before my trip. It might only be a week before my trip. I may find that I am not arriving in Amsterdam until evening or even night on the 15th.

My sightseeing is probably going to be limited to all day Saturday the 16th and as an old person, I do not have the energy that a younger person has. I can not go, go and go. I tire more easily than when I was younger.

I have to set limits for myself.

Posted by
183 posts

Roving Carol, I am registered with Marriott rewards although I have never booked through them. I will check it out and I will also check it out on booking.com.

Thank you

Posted by
21195 posts

I guess you are as old as you feel but you are trying to make me feel old at 79. Goggle maps are my current life saver.

Posted by
2142 posts

If your trip is not until next year I would not worry about the current quarantine requirements, the rules will probably change many times until your trip.

Amsterdam Zuid is the business district, and not that interesting to be honest. But I wouldn't hesitate to stay there if I found a good offer. The Zuid railway station takes you to many places in the Netherlands, including direct trains to Schiphol. There are also metros and trams to other parts of Amsterdam.

Posted by
25724 posts

I feel the same way as Badger.

in addition:

I do know that few trains which connect Schiphol also call at Amsterdam Centraal except for some Sprinters (the slowest all stops). Most trains that connect Schiphol and Amsterdam Zuid continue to Utrecht. The Amsterdam trams and metro connect Zuid and Centraal, but from an adjacent different station. Trains connecting Centraal with Schiphol pass through Zuid without stopping or are routed via Amsterdam Sloterdijk, either stopping there on the way into Centraal or passing through without stopping.

(rail nerd here)

Posted by
3386 posts

I very rarely use priceline bidding because I worry what I will end up with. However, I did use priceline a few years ago in Amsterdam because at that time you could fairly reliably predict that if you put in "4 star hotel, Museum district" you would get Hotel Vondel or the Marriott (1 block apart). The trip advisor travel forum highly supported using this to save money at the time. I was so pleased with the Hotel Vondel and my price was quite reasonable. The bus from the airport lets you off a block away. Also a block away is the tram to Central Station.

It has been 5 years and a pandemic since then, but you may want to do a little research and see if Amsterdam still is a great place to use Priceline. I can highly recommend Hotel Vondel either way.

Posted by
183 posts

Frank,

I like and use google maps also at home on my computer. When I travel, I can use it on my iPad but I have problems with using my smart phone. I was trained on an iPhone but when my 5c died a few years ago, I could no longer afford an Apple. I have a decent Samsung Galaxy but I have never been trained on an Android. I miss my iPhone.

Sorry if I make you feel old but truth be known, we are old. That does not stop me from traveling even if I do get lost.

Posted by
183 posts

Badger and Nigel

Yes the reviews are excellent when it comes to the Crowne Plaza South but it is noted that the area is sterile as some have said. Others have been very happy with the area and rated the area and transit high.

I think I can get the tram at or around Zuid Station and go to the Museum District easily enough as well as other sites and night life.

I believe that NCL will pick me up at the airport and take me to the hotel. Then NCL offers a shuttle to the cruise port. Also many other NCL cruisers will be staying at the same hotel.

But it all depends on how much my room will cost going through NCL.

Posted by
183 posts

Well, back to the drawing board.

I called Norwegian and they quoted me over $700 for two nights at Crowne Plaza South. I don't think so.

However I have been getting to know the neighborhoods of Amsterdam and the excellent public transit.

There are more results coming up for me now that we re in September and I expect that will continue. Some hotel do not take bookings until 6 months before date. I am seeing more opportunities.