Have you used Ricks recommendation for hotel in Amsterdam
We stayed at Herengract 21 B & B -wonderful room, Tony and Loews super nice- quaint- beautiful and quiet- would go back
Rick's guidebook recommends many hotels in Amsterdam, since it's a popular destination, and for a variety of budget and style preferences. As a single traveler, I liked the price, location, atmosphere, and good Wi-Fi at Hotel Brouwer.
We are staying our 2 pre-tour nights at Hotel Brouwer this April. I will report back in May :)
Hotel Hegra is great--good value, canal views, and convenient location. I also liked Hotel Filosoof which is farther out by Vondelpark but has larger rooms and is a bit quieter.
What would everyone recommend as far as places to go from Amsterdam? I'll be there about a week in late April
Keukenhof if you like acres of tulips.
"What would everyone recommend as far as places to go from Amsterdam?"
Rick's book has a great array of day trips, from cities to villages to parks. He also has goof-proof directions on getting to each one from Amsterdam, including some groupings that blend well in a single day. I'd start by reading his ideas, and seeing which ones appeal to you.
I'll add that Leiden (which he does not discuss, and where you can get the bus to Keukenhof) and Utrecht and Rotterdam (which he only discusses briefly) were some of my favorites. I did not like Delft or Keukenhof as much as most seem to, and for me, the Hague was only interesting for its museums. But everyone responds to different things, which is why I recommend picking your own spots.
None of the destinations within the Netherlands require advance planning (transit is frequent and there's no discount for advance purchase), so you don't have to lock in any day trips before you go.
IF we had time, I would have loved to explore Bruges. I do think it would require an overnight stay (if not 2 nights). We only have limited time while in Amsterdam but next time I will plan for more!
Some of the above posts list a few excellent day trips from Amsterdam. You might also consider Arnhem and/or Nijmegen. Nearby there is an excellent WWII Museum (covering the huge joint American/British/Polish air born infantry jump called Operation Market Garden), as well as a National Park with an open air folk museum and a Van Gogh art museum. These cities are about 90 minutes from Amsterdam by train. I would not consider going out there during the 3rd week in July any year because that is when they hold the Nijmegen 4 Days marches which draw 45-50,000 participants and 100,000's of event specific tourists.
I really enjoyed staying at Hotel Brouwer. I had single room with a large bathroom that overlooked the canal. It was great!