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Travel Blogs from Amsterdam
We are off on our travels again, after a busy but happy few weeks at home, in Bury. As you will see, we are not in Africa, as planned, but have taken the easier option of inter-railing around Europe. So, without further ado, let me tell you about our first stop, Amsterdam.
Unlike most of the Brits here, we did not come to Amsterdam to sample the delights of the special cafes around the city (or the delights of the Red Light District) but we hope you will find ...
... are all the off kilter "dancing" houses that line the canals. Beautiful old houses, leaning every which way. There are a number of reasons for the wonkiness including sinking from bad foundations due to draining the water table, and purposely being built with the forward tilt to help hoist up the furniture when moving house. Most are 3-4 levels with incredibly narrow and windy staircases you wouldn't have a hope in hell of getting a sofa or mattress up!
... which was a pretty quick process. After the 20 minute train ride we grabbed a taxi van for the last mile drive to the houseboat. I'm not quite sure of the dimensions of this is about 50'x15' or about 750 sq.ft. more than enough to call home for the three days while we explore Amsterdam and Deventer.
Deb's not doing very good. She's been confined to her bed since we arrived - having both lunch and dinner in bed. ...
A long day has just been had. Left the hotel at 8:30am and caught the train (€14.40 return each) to the Amsterdam Central station aiming to get to Anne Frank's house before the queue got too long. Despite it being before 9am and a Sunday morning it was still busy enough. We knew which tram we had to catch but the process of where you wait and how to get tickets (£5.60) had us stumped so we asked ( which we are getting good at doing!). The transport options ...
Ok, I'm all patched up and we are ready to explore. Still adjusting to the HDR settings. We went on a canal cruise this afternoon. Captured some interesting images, I will attach some of the. Tomorrow we still have time for more photo walks but we need to check out by 12 noon (3am your time). The first image is of five bridges in a row ( standard tourist pic) over the canal. The cheese shop ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
- Room service
- Free High-Speed Internet
- Fitness/Health center
- Business Services
Historical Traveler Reviews The Dylan Amsterdam
I stayed here for 5 nights in March 2004. Without exception, this was the most memorable hotel experience I have ever had. What a wonderful place. The hotel itself if a beautiful oasis, a comfortable and calm escape from the city. Having stayed at several other 3 and 4 star hotels in Amsterdam, Blakes seemed like so much more than just a step above. My 'luxury double' room was a little stark, but in a very good way. Heavenly beds, quiet, great bathroom with a two seperate little rooms for the toilet and shower, not to mention the large marbe tub.
Breakfast like no other. Dinner was absolutely superb. Stumbling in during the wee hours from tiring night out at the clubs and coffee shops was like coming back to a soothing friend. Very expensive, but how can you put a price on such a wonderful experience?
What more can I say. Thank you Blakes, I will be back for sure!
One of my best w/e ....
My girlfriend and I spent a wonderful w/e there .... beautiful bar, excellent sunday brunch but a bit expensive that's true, very cosy funitures ... nice scents due to tons of candles everywhere ...
Deluxe Room (with discounted price) was comfortable and Bathroom very nice (bath and shower)
Bottom line : The place to be for a Romantic W/E in Amsterdam
just come home from a 2 night stay at blakes amsterdam. the hotel staff are very friendly and the hotel is very well presented.The restaurant is a very nice experiance both at breakfast and evening. the evening meal we had was superb!! and the restaurant staff were very attentive and friendly (despite reports of them being arrogant and snobby from other reviews). food was beautifully presented ( a fine art) and tasted as good as it looked. overall a very nice experience that we hope to repeat one day.
Stayed for one night on a stopover on New Years Eve. Interesting hotel - different from the usual chain or Grand type hotel. Amsterdam is slightly crazy on New Years Eve (fireworks in the streets) and after the midnight celebrations really appreciated the subtle and calm atmosphere that exudes from the hotel and staff also the canal at your door. Stayed in a nice room overlooking the courtyard. Like other vistiors had to get used to the layout everything is kind of hidden in the rooms but on reflection this adds to the appeal though can be disconcerting if in a rush but after an hour felt at home. Maybe not a hotel to be compared with just appreciated. Would stay again as it really grows on you. The staff like the layout can seem a bit hidden at first (no obvious reception) but after initial introductions make you feel very much at home and show geniune interest and freindleness. (They threw in few nice comps as well)MM
Avoid until they address serious issues
The following is a letter I wrote to the hotel manager yesterday highlighting my serious concerns with this hotel. Save select friendly staff, the hotel stay was among the worst I have ever had. After I presented them with the following letter, I asked for a free night and they agreed. There are many other design issues I have not mentioned that render the hotel rooms terribly uncomfortable that others have mentioned. The only other material update I will add is this: this morning our room service was not well prepared, and I called them to remove two items from the bill that we did not consume. The lady who answered refused to do this until she spoke with her cooks in the kitchen!
The staff is a shame for this thotel
perfectly located hotel in a splendid area of amsterdam. beautiful rooms. but very poor service: a bunch of young kids who think its cool being vain and arrogant. no experience at all. staff don't meet the requirements of a luxury hotel at all!
The Zen of Blakes
Because it is important to make the most of every minute, where you spend your nights becomes crucial. Blakes Hotel Amsterdam is the perfect place to relax, renew and reenergize. After a hectic day it just does not get better than Blakes. The hotel is quintessential Amsterdam, an architecturally interesting, historic facade with an interior that is rife with surprises. It is located at Keizersgracht 384 in what has served as a 17th-century theater, a bakery, a poorhouse and a series of townhouses. Nearly four hundred years after the first construction on the site, British designer, Anouska Hempel opened this exceptional hotel. Guests enter through a courtyard with an ornate stone archway, unusual for the area, that is the only remaining feature original to the site. From the moment you are inside you feel a sense of serenity. The hotel has a style, grace and elegance that I have never experienced in any other accommodations. The entire establishment was designed and furnished using the principles of Feng Shui. No two of the forty-one guestrooms are alike and each is decorated to reflect the Asian influence that entered Dutch culture during the period when Indonesia was a Dutch colony. The corridors are color coordinated and music plays softly throughout the hotel. Blakes has two restaurants, each serving gourmet cuisine, room service and an extremely knowledgeable and attentive staff. The individual rooms are ideal locations for weary travelers to immerse themselves in luxury. Rooms are swathed in lush, antique fabrics and huge beds are covered with down bedding. Fluffy robes and slippers are provided along with jet lag bath crystals, aromatherapy candles, vitamins and even a canister of oxygen. The tub is a huge, decadent, square block of stone and there are dimmers on all of the lights. The rooms are so inviting and romantic that you just may need the vitamins after all. Just in case you need something you have forgotten, guests can summon room service by pressing a button inside the room to illestination in and of itself and I highly recommend the experience. It is centrally located and most of the main tourist attractions are within walking distance it is also accessible to public transportation.
Dead Posh Hotel
The hotel is set off the street, first of all, which give you the added privacy. The restaurant has an amazingly eclectic menu for both breakfast and dinner and the bar is wonderful for lazing about during the frequent rain. Max, the concierge, will set you up with whatever you needtaxis, dinner reservations, etc. Best of all, the rooms all feature comfortable beds and great, appointed bathrooms. Overall, a discreet, fabulous little place where you can retreat to after the hustle and bustle of the Dam gets to you. Also, room service is 24-7.
Great lobby & restaurant... but
the hotel from the outside is beautiful... enter through a small cobbled courtyard.. the staff could not be nicer. This is truely their strong point. then the reception area. it was so dark. but as the days went on i became used to it. the lobby, lounge, restaurant are very pleasing to the eye and very hip. the restaurant was great.
now the rooms... we had a deal... a 1000 euro room for 500. (a little over $500 at the time) - a very small room (their suite is not our suite) at first it looks nice - but you soon realize you are staying at pier one. (very cheap indonesian furniture) it is so hip, the carpet hurts your feet (sisel), there is no closet, just the top portion of an armoir. the lighting is non existant. there are no hooks to hang towles, no soap holders, the plug for the hairdryer is in the toilet room, you can't see the tv from the bed. would i stay again? probably not. just too expensive for what you get. very "the emperer's new clothes". but i loved the staff. definately go for a drink and dinner - or breakfast - great breakfast.
Looks are skin deep
After a pleasant 3 day stay last month, my review of this hotel is that it seems totally designed to make a good first impression - but unfortunately everything about it breaks down (often, literally) when you actually try to make use of it. Our very overpriced room was nice to look at but the door was broken (the staff tried hard several times to repair it), the shower had a hole in the ceiling where the vent belonged and no place to put the soap, the DVD player was not yet hooked up, we got a nice personalized welcoming letter in the room with a gift of fruit but the fruit was missing, my wife called for a hair dryer several times over several hours before getting one and learning they had delivered it earlier to the wrong room, etc. Like the hotel itself, the very youthful staff was also good looking and well intentioned but a very inexperienced bunch of kids who were definitely enjoying working there and hanging out together.
Great courtyard for drinks though one evening the bartender had left unbeknownst to the manager!
Stay here if you want to pay for superficial looks and little substance and a generally anonymous experience.