I was lucky enough this weekend to spend my time away in Amsterdam with my better half. Now, as much as red lights and coffee shops are always fun, it’s probably best saved for a lads holiday and not for a city break with the girlfriend. Not to say I didn’t sneak into the Bulldog just to see ‘what all the fuss was about’ wink-wink.
I’ve been to Amsterdam before and I understand that it can get messy, very messy! It’s a great and easy place to get lost, especially if you’re on a mindless wander/trip (excuse the pun.) In fact, I think last time I was there we had a little bit of a ‘get to White Castle’ kind of experience when trying to find the Hard Rock Café. Only to be exposed to second rate food, and charged for a refilled beer and free glass… they definitely saw us coming.
On my usual jaunts to the Seedy but beautiful city I don’t organise anything myself and I end up in some kind of bedsit/twin room that cannot be found without searching for a good two hours of looking. Although usually fairly healthy on my wallet – I didn’t need to spend as much this time as the luxurious place we stayed may have saved me money in the long run.
Art’otel Amsterdam is a relatively new hotel from what I understand, and I think it’s fair to say that it’s a near-perfect hotel. I genuinely mean that. Have a look on Trip Advisor and you’ll be able to see how much people adore this hotel, with the odd review from someone who just likes to complain for the sake of it from what I can guess…
I’m going to get the bad out of the way first because there is only one real flaw, albeit not as major to me as it was to my girlfriend, still not something you would really expect from a hotel of this calibre. We arrived on a Saturday, and stayed until the Monday. When we entered our room, bear in mind we had got a saver room too, I can honestly say that it is the best hotel I have ever stayed in. Unfortunately on night one I didn’t feel great, popped my ears when the flight landed and got a good spell of dizzying highs and being sick for the rest of the day. I just needed a good rest.
The bad, when we entered the hotel we were presented with 2 drinks vouchers, which sadly we never got chance to cash in which was a shame but time just didn’t allow. We were also informed that it would be a good night to go down as there was a DJ on! Brilliant! Feeling somewhat under the weather it was decided that we wouldn’t go for drinks and instead just wanted to chill in our room. Unfortunately our room seemed to be right above the bar and it was most definitely not sound-proof. If you’ve ever listened to loud bass-driven music through a wall in the comfort of your own home then you will understand how annoying this can be. This was a major off-putting thing for my lovely girlfriend as she just wanted to rest. I understand that it’s Saturday night in the City Centre, and trams etc. I can understand, but being right above a bar that is blasting out music when you’ve paid for a good night’s sleep is a little different. Now; just on another note, although it was noisy, it was over by 2am which I think was reasonable, I just thought that we may have been made aware of this on either or booking, or when we checked-in that we would be subject to the noise from the bar below.
Now, the good, and boy is it good, the hotel is fantastic; genuinely fantastic! Night two, Sunday, no DJ, a perfect night’s sleep too. I think if you’re going to stay on either a Friday or Saturday night then think twice if you’re just looking for a quiet night as it can be a bit noisy. I’m sure you can ask to move rooms or the like, and I was under the impression that if we had asked for anything that our wish would have been granted with bells on.
We arrived slightly early to the hotel, but being literally a minute’s walk from Central Station I was impressed by the location from stepping off the train. Upon entrance to the hotel not only were we greeted very well by nearly all the members of staff but we were immediately made to feel like friends of the hotel and indeed very, very welcome. In fact, I have never been so impressed in my entire life! And opposed to one person’s comment on Trip Advisor, we were checked in quickly and efficiently alongside being friendly. Good to see this can be done. Every single time we entered or left the hotel the staff always had time to chat, if you were in a rush they would wish you a pleasant evening; it was just a genuinely nice place to be.
The room was immaculate. Modern, sexy, suave, sophisticated, and I didn’t want to leave. The lighting is the best I’ve ever seen; instead of flitting about to get a decent light setting you are given four simple and effective options, mood, read, full and night. Perfect. No faffing about with dimmer switches are re-positioning the lights, not that this is a regular thing for me to do in hotels, but again nice to see that the option is there.
A king sized bed with more than enough room to store a horse, I’m pretty sure that’s not the phrase but you catch my drift. The bed was cosy, roomy, and most importantly, I slept well inside the room. The curtains were dark, and so the room was easy to sleep in, apart from the initial noise.
The mini-bar was well stocked, but with only one if each item. The shower was absolutely immense.
The overall verdict; hand on heart almost perfect – friendly, modern, quick, effective, every single thing you could want from a hotel. I stand my ground; this was borderline perfection.
4.95/5 **** (The noise on the first night cost them perfection.)