The title kind of tells it - we're arriving in early November one day before our river cruise departs from Amsterdam and would like to stay somewhere with easy access (airport, central to activities, and to ship). Would rather stay somewhere with local color than a more sterile hotel high rise. Suggestions?
Of course, there is a sterile high rise right at the cruise terminal (Moevenpick).
Was looking at Max Brown Canal District on the Herrengracht, not too far a walk from the train station. Cruise port is one tram stop away from the train station on the #26 line.
For that one night I'd choose for the most practical arrangement.
For just one-night I would go with the sterile option. You'll get lots of color and atmpsphere walking around the city. The Movenpick is connected to the cruise ship terminal it will make logistics easier. Within walking distance to the of the terminal and next to Centraal Station is the newish Doubletree Hotel. It has an excellent roof-top bar with picturesque views of the city after dark. For a budget option there is also a Ibis Hotel next to centraal station.
We did something similar before our cruise and stayed at the DoubleTree. It's fairly new/modern, just a few minutes walk from Centraal station. We took the train from Schipol to Centraal and walked over to the hotel. The rooms are nice and everything in Amsterdam is an easy walk or tram ride away. The hotel is also close to the port where your cruise will originate.
I have stayed at the Movenpick and at the Doubletree. It is interesting to watch the ships come and go from the Movenpick if you request a high floor and face Centraal Station. The restaurant has some good choices and is not sterile, the bathrooms has glass doors, so hope you are comfortable with a little less privacy than you might expect. Although I am not much of a shopper, there used to be a great store that had only items made in the Netherlands between the Movenpick and the Cruise Treminal. Also, there might be a concert next door at the Concert hall. It's also an easy walk to a quick tram hop to Centraal to take the tram anywhere else in the city.
The Doubletree is newer, larger, closer to Central Station so you can easily walk there with your suitcases after taking the train in from Schipol- but beware the many lanes of traffic separating you. There are tram lanes, car lanes, and bike lanes-- one intersection you must cross has 6 lanes of traffic. Of course, you will score the nice warm Doubletree cookie when you check in. Soundproof is a plus downtown, and is not a value associated with every hotel. If you take the bus in from Schipol, you might wind up near Leidesplein and there are some reasonably priced choices near Vondel Park.
Thanks for the inputs - not what I wanted to hear though, but the advise is taken. Was hoping for something more "Dutch" and less expensive, as both Movenpick and Doubletree seem quite expensive. However, having just 24 hours by the time we arrive to the time we board the boat, we may need to spend the extra to take advantage of the time.
Since travel distances are so short and easy in the Netherlands, I'd hop a train from Schiphol airport (use the handy elevators/lifts with your luggage) and go to Delft. Totally Dutch local color, not an atom of sterility, and very walkable! Even if your cruise will be stopping in Delft later, there are lots more things to see there. Check Rick's guidebooks for places to stay (should be easy to find a place in November). The waffle place he recommends on the Oude Delft is great for lunch. The Vermeer Centrum, just off the main square, is wonderful. You can also hop Tram #1 to The Hague (a very short hop) and see the Vermeers at the Mauritshuis, and splurge on some Rijstafel at the nearby Garoeda restaurant (pricey but great) in The Hague. Then hop Tram #1 back to Delft for the night. When I was there in April, the Prinzenhof Museum in Delft had a special exhibit with Vermeer's "Little Street" painting on loan from the Rijksmuseum with an exhibit about how the location of this "little street" in Delft has finally been discovered. This gem of an exhibit might not still be there in November, but you could check on line. If you want to pick up some flowers for your cabin on the cruise, there's a good florist along the south side of the church on the main square. Take a return train to Amsterdam Central Station, and the cruise ships are just a very short walk from the station. I took an Amsterdam river/canal cruise too, and there was plenty of free time in Amsterdam on day 7, but not nearly enough time in Delft.
I agree with mkpriem.... We just got back of RS tour Belgium/Holland 11 day tour. Loved Delft. Went to The Hague, beach, and also had time to see Vermeer at the Prinsenhof Museum all in one day from Amsterdam via the train and using the Tram (we stayed two days after our tour ended and went back to other cities) Our group stayed at a typicial "quirky" RS hotel called the De Plataan in Delft. Very cool hotel!
Loved that tour. Enjoy your cruise.
PS -- you could check your luggage in a 24-hour locker at Schiphol airport, and just take an overnight bag to Delft.