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Review 4896: Owner, Prinsengracht 728

www.prinsengracht728.nl

Recommended
Review by trekcapri from CA who is a SlowTrav Contributor

Studio apartment in Amsterdam, Netherlands


Amsterdam Apartment, photo by trekcapri

When

November 13 - November 27, 2010, 2 weeks

Location

This apartment is on the first floor below a canal house that is located along the very beautiful Prinsegracht canal in a very quiet neighborhood in the city centre of Amsterdam. This neighborhood is a mix of residents and a few small businesses. It is located within a five to ten minute walk to Rembrandtplein and also within walking distance to nearby Trams and several major sightseeing attractions such as the Rijksmuseum or Leidseplein a popular square with restaurants and bars.

Nearby Amenities

There is a nice bakery/cafe on the corner of Prinsengracht and Vijzelgracht and further down the street is an Albert Heijn supermarket (which has an ATM machine) and a couple of doors down is a small market which sells organic products. In nearby Rembrandtplein you will find several cafes/restaurants to dine in. I ate two very nice dinners at this Indonesian restaurant called Pelangi. I also found an excellent Italian Restaurant called Ponte Arcari, which is located only a five minutes walk away from the apartment on Reguliersgracht.

The House/Apartment

The building was built in 1725 so it is quite old but I thought it was in good shape. It has a pleasant garden and sitting area in the back, in which in warmer weather would be enjoyable to hang out. In front of the apartment is one of the main canals in Amsterdam, the Prinsengracht. At night there are lights on the two intersecting bridges just outside of the apartment which made the canal even more beautiful. The canal tour boats actually float by and turns up the smaller canal at the intersection because this is such a pretty location.

Because of the lack of space in Amsterdam most of the houses are built very narrow. From the front sidewalk, you step down two steps and enter the main entrance door. On the left is the door that leads into the apartment and straight ahead is a separate room which the owners use to store their bicycles. The owners actually live above the apartment but they were very respectful about privacy and I only saw the owner once during the entire time of my stay and that was to see how I was doing and also to provide me with a set of fresh towels.

The living room is in the front section of the apartment. There is a sofa bed with a sitting chair and a dining table with two chairs. Next to the living room is the kitchen with a gas stove, breakfast nook, cabinet for the dishes and a very convenient washing machine. There is a microwave and also a drip coffee maker. The bathroom is just past the kitchen and has a shower/toilet. It was fairly clean. Just past the bathroom you will enter the bedroom section where there is a queen size bed, a small TV, a couple of chairs and an armoire. There is a nice big glass double door which opens up into the beautiful garden in the back. The neighbors were very quiet and although the front of the apartment faces the street I didn't find the foot traffic and street noise overwhelming especially when I was in the bedroom. You can periodically hear cars/bikes and people going by during the day and a little in the early evening but late evening and during sleeping hours it is very peaceful and quiet. With the owners living above and the house having wooden floors, I could hear their footsteps when they were in and awake. If you are sensitive to noise above you, you might find this an issue. It did not bother me and during sleeping hours it was very quiet and I had no problems sleeping.

Garden

In the back of the apartment there is a nice garden and shared sitting area. Since I visited Amsterdam in November it was too cold for me to sit out in the garden but it was pretty to look at from my bedroom.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

The photos on the website accurately depicts how the furnishings are. The apartment had a very simple decor. It's possible since the sofa converts to a bed to have more than two persons stay in the apartment, however, just remember that there is no door that separates the bedroom from the other parts of the apartment. All the appliances are in very good condition and overall I found the apartment to be clean. In my humble opinion (IMHO), I think the dining room chairs can use a little upgrading.

Bedrooms/Bathrooms

There is a queen sized bed which I thought was comfortable and I slept very well. There is a bathroom with a shower/toilet. The only awkward thing is that the shower floor sort of runs into the rest of bathroom floor which made using the wash basin after taking a shower a little awkward because part of the floor was wet so I had to face the basin at a slight angle. It was not a big issue for me.

Kitchen

Although I did not cook a lot in the apartment during my stay, I noticed that the kitchen looked very well equipped. There were pots, pans, ample dishes and utensils. There is a microwave, refrigerator and a drip coffee maker. I even noticed a few essential spices available. There was coffee and coffee filters for the coffee maker. The kitchen and appliances were in great shape and clean and if I did cook a lot, I would find it a usable kitchen.

Problems or Bonuses

There is free Internet WiFi, which I thought was very convenient. A couple of times I had difficulty connecting to it, but overall it was fine. In the bedroom there is a very convenient clothes drying rack, which allowed my clothes to dry very quickly. I appreciated having that available. There were a few helpful books/maps available on the bookshelf that was left by previous guests.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

The contact person is the owner, Liesbeth. The house is owned by Liesbeth and her husband. They have two children that still live with them. Liesbeth was very easy to correspond and work with. She was very prompt in replying to my initial inquiry about the apartment and corresponding with her to secure the apartment was very easy. The cost for my stay was 95 per night and using PayPal I paid a 425 deposit to Liesbeth to secure the apartment. I paid the remaining balance in cash upon my arrival.

Liesbeth e-mailed me excellent directions on how to get to her apartment from the airport and was very friendly and made me feel very welcome and comfortable upon my arrival. She is a lovely person to deal with and while I was there she told me that I could knock on their door if I needed anything. The apartment was great and I had no problems the entire time of my stay so I didn't need to ask them for anything but it was nice to know they were right there in case I locked myself out of the apartment or something. I too was respectful of their privacy.

Upon my arrival, Liesbeth took the extra time to point out where all the stores (ATM machine), restaurants, nearby bakery, and some of the main tourist attractions are located. She pulled out the map and pointed them out to me and gave me a quick overview of the City's layout and transportation. She recommended the Blue Stop & Go Bus as an additional way to get around, because it conveniently stops where ever you want it to on its route along the Prinsegracht. I took her advice and sure enough the bus would literally drop you off right in front of the door or at the corner near to the apartment. Very convenient. She gave me tips on what areas around town to be extra cautious in and she pointed out several points of interest that she thought I might enjoy.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

If I were to return to Amsterdam in the future, I would totally want to stay in this apartment again and I would recommend it to others.

Things to do in this area

I really enjoyed my stay in this apartment a lot because of the very nice owners and the prime location. I may be biased in my opinion but I thought the canal section in front of the apartment was the most beautiful of all the canals I saw around town. I loved taking walks along the canal and up to Rembrandtplein. The apartment is in a very quiet and safe neighborhood and is within close walking distance to some of the major tourist attractions, public transport and is very near to several stores, cafes and restaurants.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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