The thought of a Christmas abroad is always great. For the first time my family and I managed to do it, after what was quite frankly a painful planning process. Our destination was Amsterdam between the 24th and 28th December. We stayed at the four star NH Amsterdam City Centre hotel at Leidseplein.
NH Amsterdam History
The hotel is an art deco building which was formerly occupied by an organisation similar to the YMCA – the Amsterdam Society for Young Men (AMVJ). From 1928 to 1998 the hotel was part of the Golden Tulip Chain which was later acquired by NH Hotels. The hotel was completely renovated in 2005 in line with other NH Hotels in Europe.
The hotel has a great location on Leidseplein, close to Vondelpark and the Museum Quarter. There are great transport links, with three trams stopping close to the hotel, getting you pretty much anywhere in the city (after a change or two). The hotel overlooks one of Amsterdam’s famous canals which provides a beautiful view in the morning when the water is still and you can see the reflections of the surrounding buildings in the water below. The hotel is just a short walk from a number of restaurants and coffeeshops and around 10 minutes walk from the principal gay street – Reguliersdwarsstraat.
We stayed in rooms 501 and 503 with 501 being marginally bigger. Both rooms overlooked the main road and Leidseplein. In the main, being so close to the street was okay, but every now and then at night there was some noise from the street. As for the rooms themselves, they were a tight squeeze but functional with ample space in the toilet/bathroom area (somewhat of a rarity these days). Both were clean and well maintained with a large TV in both showing your standard range of international channels. Free WiFi was available in the rooms though this could have been slightly faster in speed. Security is taken seriously at the hotel, with guests required to swipe their keys in the lift to get to their floor.
The hotel is advertised on various websites as having a fitness room, sauna and hammam. What these sites probably don’t tell you is that this isn’t operated by the hotel but actually by an external company who charge €10* per session in the sauna. Slightly disappointing was that none of these services were available of Christmas Day or Boxing day with erratic opening hours on the 27th and 28th December. From the limited interaction I had with the staff, at the fitness centre, I wasn’t all that impressed with level of customer service provided, particularly considering it was a service guests are required to pay for.
Breakfast was your standard hotel breakfast, with a great selection of vegetarian food also. In my opinion the breakfast was slightly overpriced at €19.90* per person. The hotel restaurant was closed throughout the duration of our stay with rumours that it had closed down altogether, though this isn’t a massive problem considering how close other restaurants are to the hotel. The bar in your typical hotel lobby bar with a decent selection of drinks and nibbles.
Excluding the fitness center, service was great but could have been better on a few occasions. Notably the hotel needed more staff of reception througout the duration of our stay. At one stage there was one person checking in a tour group of 20+ people. Where the hotel did do great was knowledge of the local area and things to do in Amsterdam and the surrounding area. On check out day we wanted to leave our luggage at Amsterdam Centraal (train station) but were informed our suitcase was probably too large for the lockers there. The hotel kindly organised for our luggage to be left at another NH Hotel which was close to the station. This meant we could leave our bags and go wondering in central Amsterdam without having to come back to the hotel which was a great help.
I based my overall review on hotels of a similar category.
Room- 3.5/5 (could have been bigger)
Cleanliness – 4/5
Service – 3.5/5 (the fitness center let them down here)
Facilities – 3/5 (again the fitness center let them down)
Location – 5/5
Breakfast – 4/5
Stay again: Yes
Average price per night: Around €50 per night.
To search 100’s of websites for the best flight price to Amsterdam click here.
* Price correct at the time of writing.