Hello-I was looking for to see where I should start our trip Brussels or Amsterdam. We are staying June 30th and flyin out July 9th. We can fly out of Brussels or Amsterdam airport. My cousin works for Starwood Hotels, so she is able to get us very good rates for a Sheraton in The Hague and the Sheraton in Brussels. Since we got such good rates at these hotels we were planning on making them homebase and taking day trips- For Brussels we were thinking Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp and Amsterdam , Haarlem, Uterecht and maybe Rotterdam. I am trying to figure out where we should start, Brussels or Amsterdam, and if staying at the two hotels and doing day trips is doable?
I can't believe your research hasn't shown that Amsterdam is a superior base to The Hague - and Amsterdam must have some Starwood properties. I've spent three nights in The Hague, and except for being close to Belgium, it's not your most important stop. But of course it depends on your personal interests. For example, there are some paintings in The Hague that are quite special, and you can easily get to Delft from there.
You might want to compare the number of public transit stops and tram changes in each city (particularly the Hague), from the Starwood property to the train station. Local rail service is frequent and affordable in both countries, but you should look into the transit chipkaarte for the Amsterdam area to see if it will be helpful to you. Daytrips are very practical in both countries, although you'll be missing the far East attractions, like the Open Air museums in both countries, and the Kroller-Muller Museum and Het Loo Palace in the Netherlands. Nine (?) nights is a very short visit for two countries with many places to visit.
I do not like very much the Netherlands as a holiday place as I do not like their food and for me good food during holidays is essential. I would therefore advise you to eat at the Hilton during your stay in The Netherlands.
Museums and the cities (Delft, Amsterdam, The Hague and Gouda) are very nice.
However, I would limit myself to: 2 full days in Amsterdam
2 full days in Bruges ( very Romantic) or Antwerp (bigger city with a very intersting jewish area, Rubens house Guttemberg Museum and one of the best zoo in Europe).
The rest of the time would be spent in Brussels.
Enjoy your holidays
There is a Sheraton Amsterdam Airport Hotel , which doesn't sound very appealing to stay in while we are out and about. They will be opeing a new W in Sept 2015.
if you dont care where and what you do/see/experience, then go for what you can get away with at the least cost, or the best bang for the buck.
if you do care about what you do/see/experience then crack open some guide books or google and see what comes up.
Sometimes getting a good deal somewhere isnt as good when things you want to do/see/experience are out of the way.
you can break out a map of the area and start plotting out the areas you want to do/see/experience and see what comes out of the dots on the map. I find that by visually seeing on paper where i want to go/do/experience things its alot easier to plan my route than to burn up gray matter trying to visualize it in my head. Of course some people thrive on mental exercises like that too.
good luck and happy trails.
Trains run frequently from Amsterdam airport, taking for instance 15-20 minutes to the city center or 30 minutes to Haarlem. I don't know how good the family discount is. It's possible to get a double room in a small hotel in Amsterdam for €100/night, but many are closer to €150 and the regular rate at the Starwood properties is probably higher.