Be prepared for a blizzard of posts on Amsterdam. We recently spent five days in the Venice of the North and really enjoyed it a lot. It is always a bit of risk booking hotels online especially in another country but I think that we did alright with this one. We booked the whole thing using Expedia.com and we compared the same hotel and flights with Booking.com and the airline’s own site and really there was not much difference but since Expedia.com was a little cheaper it seemed just as well to book through a single supplier.
Our hotel choice was a small boutique establishment that was located quite near to the “Museum Quarter”, as it is called, where the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum are to be found along with some other less important ones like the Diamond Museum. The décor could be described as “gothic” as black and a dark purple were much in evidence although the effect that they were striving for was a sort of sophisticated chic, I think.
This being Europe and Holland in particular, the room had a challengingly non-prudish toilet and shower arrangement whereby the shower was behind an open wall and the toilet separated from the room by a sliding glass door that was just a little darkened. The picture to the left was taken sitting in the armchair looking towards the toilet door which appears here as a full length mirror but only due to the daylight behind me. Inside the toilet one had a clear view of the room outside. A little unnerving at times.
Still the bed was comfortable and shower excellent and the dining area downstairs, though just large enough for the hotels guests indicating that there were only about a dozen rooms at most, was pleasant and relaxed.
Each morning at breakfast a very diminutive woman with a headscarf always seemed to be holding court along with her small daughter. By the way that she spoke to the kitchen and wait staff it appeared that she was either the owner or the wife of the owner of the premises which seemed quite ironic as we surmised she was probably Indonesian – or should I say Batavian given Dutch colonial history – especially as most of the hotel guests seemed to be European, often Dutch. Indeed, the whole time we were there I did not see another native English-speaking guest. Does that make us “travellers” and not tourists? I do hope so. Got to keep the Bath and Balmain bohemian credentials up.