Travel Blogs from Amsterdam
... and I went home to meet up with our roommates before we went out for the game. It was a disappointing loss, but a fun night!
My class went to the UN this morning to hear a presentation from UN Women and how they are combating gender inequality, violence against women, and human trafficking. The building was super cool, it was just built last year and has a moat around it as a sustainable measure of security. Also, the stairs ...
After more than five months of browsing the internet for good hostels, things to do, getting tickets for sumo, the bullet train, taking Japanese lessons and carefully weighing each item on my packinglist (no i am not OCDing Bazzie ;-)) it's finally time.
The last few days seemed to last forever. Everyting was packed/done/taken care of so there was not much more for me to do but wait. I even packed my bag on sunday already so there was just the long agonizing ...
... a small café and then wandered the streets through the farmers market and past lots of beautiful buildings in Jordaan. We would stop occasionally to enjoy a beer while sitting on the sidewalk to people-watch. Dinner at the recommended Dutch restaurant didn't pan out due to a long line, but we found a nice pizza place before ...
... how many bikes we have seen in Holland. But the interesting thing is not how many bikes there were, instead how many bikes were lying on the ground because they have fallen over. Maybe it's the special smoke that effects the bikes as well... At one place we witnessed a red scooter which was chained to a bar on the edge of the canal, hanging down the canal wall. I'm glad I'm not the person having to get it back up onto the road. After wandering and ...
... walked around with Lisa, Georgie, Sam, Melanie, and bumped into others throughout the day. I quickly became the navigator for whatever reason. First we went to the house of Anne Frank, where line was so long we decided against it. So we went and had lunch at a Pancake house, Dylan tried the famous Dutch mini pancakes (forget what they're called) and I got a huge pancake with blueberries. Walked down the shopping district street, found a free wifi spot ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Damrak Amsterdam
Cheap and Central
We visited Amsterdam for a stag weekend. A chap at Central Station reccommended the Damrak Hotel and it being central with very cheap prices we had no hesitation booking in. Yeah the decor was somewhat dated, the lift a bit scary and the rooms sparse. But what do you want for 20 euros a night and when you are in Amsterdam you should spend as much time enjoying the city, not hiding in your hotel. The only tip I could pass on would be not to book beforehand, but to go on spec, as prices are cheaper. Perfect, centrally located base for museums, red light district etc. Would I book into the Damrak Hotel again? At the price we got, almost certainly.
This is the worst hotel I have ever stayed in.... rubbish rooms with holes in the wall and peeling wallpaper, no towels provided in the rooms, no soap or toilet paper, I had to dry myself on my putrid looking duvet!!! No pillows, the place stinks, TV doesn't work, and yes, like others, I was woken during the night by the feeling that something was eating my foot..... as it turns out 2 enormous bed bugs were.... 2 weeks later and I still have a painful sore on my foot....
We thought we were very smart bartering for a special 2 night price in this hell hole. On the first night we were put in a "spacious" room, yes it was large, but even with the windows closed a horrible all-invading smell of fishy chip fat pervaded our skin and clothes, in fact we awoke in the morning (after wrapping towels over our noses) to bumpy oily skin, and I swear people stood away from us in the streets- we would of smelt better if we had rolled in the famous amsterdam-dog-poo piles. It gets better! on the second night they said they were down-grading us as we had a special rate - and put us in a - WAIT FOR IT! Broom closet! not a joke, it was 2 single mattresses on the floor, with no room to step around them, and a minute toilet and shower with no light globe, and yes, they refused us a light globe- I did however, eventually get a pillow and doona after 4 hours of begging and explaining that 1 single doona was not going to cover us both, even though the 2 single mattresses overlapped. We were disgusted and not suprised to see other peoples reviews, we didnt see any bed bugs but presume that on night one they couldnt survive the stench and there was no room to move in on night 2- Damrak Hotel- you suck!
Urgh no, please!
If only I'd read the other reviews on this page before I'd set off for Amsterdam!Amsterdam was terrific, but Damrak sure was the big downer in my visit. The room felt like it hadn't changed since the 70s, and the dim lighting a guise to hide the stains on the carpet. The mattress was so old and dinghy I felt like I was sleeping on a giant fishbone. The breakfast was basic. The lift broke down during my stay and I had to climb three flights of steep (as is the usual case with Dutch buildings) stairs. For the kind of rate I was paying I would have been tonnes happier at any of the scores of hotels lining the street. The location near the Centraal Station was its only plus point but then again any of those other hotels would do if you want convenience.
The room we stayed in was right in front of the Damrak hotel sign. The noise from the traffic was terrible. Buffet breakfast was poor quality.
The staff were not particularly friendly. The menu had only one vegeterian option and prices were a little too high for what you got.
Room was old and dated. Reception on television was unwatchable.
Wouldn't send my mother-in-law to this hotel! Be very careful as once they have your credit card details they've got you. I thought that I could handle a filthy room for a night but was eventually driven out after two hours by the bed bugs!! On arriving back in England, I found that they had charged the room (which wasn't cheap) to my credit card. I phoned Visa but unless you cancel the room in advance then you have no recourse (even if the room is uninhabitable). I was just reading a prior review and putting 2 and 2 together in relation to the "10 minutes to change your mind". Although the room was filthy, the sheets were clean which is why I decided to risk the place for the night. It was only after an hour or so that I felt something strange on my leg. It was only then that I pulled the sheets back to find the bed bugs. They must hone in on smell or vibration or something. Clever little buggers! Night night, Sleep tight!!!
All the Amsterdam hotels had inflated their prices for the trade fair that weekend (which I wasn't visiting) but I thought that, for 225 Euros per room per night (about £170) the rooms should be ok.Also, the hotel was described as 3***, so I expected a pleasant experience, even if Dutch hotels can be a little spartan.The Damrak hotel has one thing REALLY going for it. It is in the middle of the street that links Central Station to Dam Square. As a base, therefore, it is perfect.Entry is via the Argentinian Steak house which is on the ground floor, which seemed always to be doing brisk business.The staff are efficient, although usually a little pre-occupied. You have to pay for your rooms upfront...and there is an ominous sign giving you 10 minutes to change your mind....There's a lift or stairs. Take the lift because the stairs go past the rubbish store and the smell is a little overpowering.The rooms are quite spacious, it must be said. Mine was even more spacious as there was a hole in the wall which hadn't been filled in properly. I was going to complain, but thought they might charge me for it as an extra room (and therefore charge me for a suite).It was probably an oversight which meant that housekeeping had forgotten to clean my room. The manager's refusal to accept that the room was dirty was, fortunately short-lived. I did offer to show him that the pubic hairs in my sheets were not mine, but he was obviously more squeamish than me and declined.My friend's room did have clean sheets (lucky him) and both his bed (according to him) and mine (according to me) were comfortable to sleep in. The sheets were clean but smelt of tobacco! Everything in the room smelt of smoke (no non-smoking rooms available) - fortunately we bought some of those plug-in air fresheners which made the smell bearable.My friend's television could receive about 4 stations, though he did have all the buttons on his..my telly, despite having fewer buttons could receive more channels.Apart from the hole in the wall, the wardrobe and drawers were all a bit wobbly...no coat-hangers in the wardrobe (although there are now 8 in room 16 cos I bought them!!!)The carpets were an interesting colour. They were once Orange, I think, although they are now a sort of darkish colour (if you have ever seen the "Shake n Vac" adverts, think of the "before" scene). The shower curtain reminded me of Martyn's allottment in East Enders...although better soil for potatoes than cannabis, I suspect.The bath, sink and toilet were all spotless and the bathroom properly supplied (once cleaned). The towels, however, were all of such a standard that I suspect that the owner nicked them off his Granny once she had no further use for them (after 30 years' good service).The Damrak, put nicely, is a ********. It was probably very nice in the 1970s when it had a minibar, a safe and other nice things in the room...its 3*** probably relate to this period. Now it is a dirty and smelly waste of money. And don't start me off about breakfast.......