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Review 4441: Simply Amsterdam, Prins Hendrikkade rooftop
2bed/1bath apartment in Amsterdam, Netherlands
December/January 2009/10, 1 week
Amsterdam is a compact city. The apartment is located in the Old Harbour area, an easy 10 min walk (with luggage) from the train station and walking distance to almost all main sites and attractions. We liked the area as it was partly residential with lots of coffee shops, bars and restaurants and several supermarkets. The apartment is in an old but restored building, the front of which faces one of the canals. The apartment is at the back of the building so has no canal views.
Everything we needed was in easy walking distance. A reasonable size supermarket five minutes away, a larger one 10 - 15 minutes. Many coffee places, bars and restaurants within a five minutes walk, or less.
The building is old, but restored and in good shape. Tall and narrow as with most Amsterdam properties. Peaceful and quiet - we heard no noise at all other than occasionally some renovation being done on a nearby property. It is on the second floor (third American) and then arranged over three levels. The entry level has an open plan living, dining, kitchen - all light and airy, extremely well heated but controlled by thermostat in the room so you could adjust the temperature - I have a pet peeve about buildings where the heat is centrally controlled!
Up a VERY steep flight of stairs to the next level where there is one double bedroom and the one bathroom - the bedroom is open to the stairway but can be closed off with a sliding door. Up another flight of stairs (not so steep) to the attic double bedroom. Not sure how much of the building is apartments - the owner lives (and works) in the building so much of it may be his own apartment/house.
There was a very nice outside sitting area, which was (I think) private, or at least relatively so - but given the temperatures over Christmas /New Year, we did not use.
Everything was in good shape and quite comfortable. Enough dining chairs for four. There is a large sofa and a single chair in the living area. It was very clean.
The beds were comfortable. The bedrooms were nice, if sparsely furnished but had all we needed. The main bedroom had ample storage, the attic room less but given only one person was in it, it mattered not. The one bathroom was small but completely functional. The washer/dryer was in the bathroom, nicely tucked away in a cupboard. Plentiful supply of toilet paper in the bathroom.
Both bedrooms are in attic type space so head room in parts of each room is less than a normal room.
The kitchen was small but perfectly usable. We cooked several meals and all breakfasts. Enough of everything. Supplies of basics such as salt, sugar, oil, bin bags, tea bags, coffee etc - which is always nice.
Problems or Bonuses
The very steep stairs to the bedrooms and bathrooms took a bit of getting used to. The lack of a door to the attic bedroom was not an issue for us but may be for other renters.
All else was great - we needed little assistance but the owner was on hand if we did and was extremely pleasant and speaks perfect English.
Instructions for the appliances were clear. There were plenty of guidebooks and lots of books, mostly in English. Satellite TV and a DVD player - which we didn't use.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency was responsive and helpful. Once we had done the initial transaction with the agency we were contacted by the owner and dealt with him directly from that point on. All dealings were highly efficient and prompt. The owner, like most Dutch people, speaks perfect English. He is on site and works from home so is very happy to assist with any issues or queries.
We paid €1300 for the week, which was considerably less than most other places I had found, which were closer to €2000 or even more. We did compromise as I had originally wanted two bathrooms and a canal view but even once those compromises had been made this was at the cheaper end. Amsterdam, especially for accommodation, is very very expensive and under the circumstances I think we paid a very reasonable price.
We paid a 50% deposit and the balance on arrival - both by credit card.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes we would, although we would probably choose to stay in a different part of Amsterdam just to experience a different area.
My only real qualification is around the stairs from the living area - they are very narrow and very steep and while you do get the knack of going up and down, anyone with mobility problems should probably not stay here.
Things to do in this area
We went to almost all the coffee shops and many of the bars in the area and several of the restaurants. We are not foodies so have no particular restaurants to recommend although Indonesian and Thai is always great in Amsterdam.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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