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Review 3787: Bed and Breakfast Amsterdam, Suite
1bed/1bath apartment in Amsterdam, Netherlands
August 2008, 5 nights
The B&B is on a quiet residential street with many trees, right in front of a canal, a block from the west entrance of Vondel Park. It is about 10-15 minutes to the city center by tram.
A supermarket with a bakery is about a five minute walk away. There is a restaurant with outdoor seating area two doors down. There is a bakery and other restaurants within 10 minutes' walk. Tram #1 is about an eight minute walk away.
The B&B was a three story building. We occupied the entire top floor of the building which they called the suite. The owner lived on the second floor. The adjacent building was also part of the B&B, connected to our building by an adjoining corridor on the first floor. Except for our suite and the owner-occupied second floor, the rest of the building was set up as a traditional B&B with individual rooms.
Inside the front door of our building was a narrow and steep staircase that led to the upper floors. The stair to our suite was quite steep with narrow steps that it almost felt dangerous to walk down with the suitcases. The first floor B&B rooms were accessible only by going into the adjoining building either through its front door or through the door joining the two building at the front entrance of our building. Therefore, the only people we could bump into were the owners.
The building and the area were very quiet.
We were on the third floor so there was no garden. However, the suite had a balcony the entire width of the building which we could walk out (no chairs). The backs of other peopleís homes could be seen. The first floor, which is a B&B room that my mother and sister occupied, had a private garden full of plants, trees, and a sitting area. From our living room area and balcony, we could see tops of trees which were full of beautiful parakeets.
The apartment was sparsely but adequately furnished which gave it a very open and airy feeling. Essentially everything was white (drapes, bed covering, couches, wall, kitchen cabinets, etc.) so families with little kids might cringe. The living room area, adjacent to the balcony, had two leather love-seats (a little worn Ė there were tiny cracks in the leather), a coffee table, and a small TV. The two love-seats did not provide adequate seating for the four of us.
The floor was all wood, no carpeting. In fact, they donít allow outside shoes in the B&B so we brought slippers. This was fine and preferable for us since we donít wear shoes inside our house either. The apartment looked very clean.
The one large bedroom was at the front end of the building with a large window overlooking the canal. At the back end of the suite by the living room area was an alcove off to the side, the size of a small bedroom containing two single beds (Ikea style) with a night table between them. The bedroom had a queen size bed, which was comfortable, but toward the end of our stay I realized that one side of the bed was drooping because the support had come apart (the bottom wasnít a box spring). The bedroom had plenty of closets and storage shelf. It could easily accommodate another double bed. There was no iron or ironing board.
The bathroom was roomy and there was a large glass enclosed shower with plenty of hot water. There were plenty of towels and toilet papers. A hairdryer was available. There was a shelf, too small to accommodate toiletries of three females and one male, next to the sink. No soap or any amenities were provided. Although the apartment in general looked very clean, I noticed mold on the bottom of the shower door, which was disappointing.
The kitchen and dining area was right inside the door when you step into the suite. The dining area by the L-shaped kitchen contained a rectangular glass dining table with four rattan chairs. A huge skylight was above the dining area which provided lots of light and added to the airy feel. The kitchen area was large; there was a small refrigerator, four burner gas stove with an oven, a toaster, but no microwave oven. Although the amount of dishes, glasses, cups, and utensils were good, there were not enough pots and pans.
We had to cook a bag of pasta several times in two small pots. Beyond eating breakfast, the kitchen was not that well supplied for cooking. Because it was basically run as a B&B, they provided breakfast, but it was in the form of several varieties of cereal and milk. This actually turned out to be handy for us, especially with two teenagers, as we always had something to eat. The apartment was cleaned everyday and the help made sure we had plenty of cereal and two liters of milk in the fridge every day.
It was kind of nice that the place was cleaned every day. We could get towels changed daily if desired and we never ran out of toilet paper. They even made the beds and left a chocolate by the pillow.
The owner responded to our email promptly. They (and everyone else in Amsterdam) spoke perfect English. They called us up so I could give them my credit card number over the phone as reservation guarantee. We paid them in cash on arrival. The rental was 190Ä per night for the four of us in August.
I think it was a little expensive at 190Ä/night, but thatís compared to other cities in Europe. I looked at a number of rentals in Amsterdam and they were much more expensive than this one. So given that, the daily cleaning service they provided, the cereal breakfast, and the spaciousness of the suite, I would recommend staying here. Itís a little far from the center of town; we always had to take the tram to get somewhere, and that wasnít cheap! However, the location was quiet and not as raucous as areas closer to the center of town. It was close to the Lelylaan train station (only five minutes from Schiphol) which was much easier to get to and navigate than the Centraal station.
Vondel Park is a few minutes away and itís a nice park to stroll thru and ride bikes. I loved looking out at the canal from the bedroom window and watching the boats go by and see the draw bridge raised to let larger boats go through. In fact, I really loved just sitting by the canals in Amsterdam Ė it was so not only picturesque but extremely relaxing.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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