The last stop on my European adventure was Amsterdam.
For my Amsterdam home I’d chosen the DoubleTree by Hilton right next to Amsterdam Centraal Station and this was to prove to be my favourite hotel of my trip.
You can’t fault the location. You exit the Central Station, turn left, walk about 7 minutes (mind the 100s of bikes and occasional trams and buses that’ll whiz past you) and you’re at the hotel. From the hotel it’s then a quick walk over to the party area of De Wallen and all the trouble you can ever imagine getting yourself into.
At check-in you’re given the DoubleTree biscuit (be darned if I’ll call it a cookie!) while the paperwork is done. In a couple of minutes I’m off to my room.
On walking into the room I noticed there wasn’t a TV, but there was an iMac on the desk – turns out that the iMac, which you can use as a standard computer, also doubles as the rooms TV. Nice idea!
The room is medium size, fresh, bright with a view out onto the inner harbour and across to the canals of De Wallen. If you’re a boat watcher you could spend hours watching small boats and canal buses shipping the locals and tourists around outside your window.
Free wifi was pervasive throughout the property.
I was given Executive Lounge access for my stay which gives you a simple breakfast and pre-dinner drinks (beer, wine, soft drinks) and light snacks every evening from 6 til 8. On my first evening, Saturday, the lounge was chocker block full, but was able to get my fill of semi decent red wine and a couple of so-so snacks. The other days the lounge wasn’t as busy.
As an aside – It’s always interesting to watch the free-for-all that occurs when there’s free food and drinks available. There’s always a decent supply of food and drink (never seen them runout!) but some people almost sprinted to the counter when they saw fresh food come out, and then proceeded to build a mountain of food on their plates that Sir Edmund Hillary would have had trouble climbing over. Ugly greediness – Americans and Australians seem to be the worst based on my experience.
On my last evening in Amsterdam I decided to eat in the hotel restaurant, the Eastwood Beer and Grill. And I’m glad I did as I ended up having one of the best meals of my trip. My server was magnificent and steered me towards the Veal Rib-eye cooked medium rare with pepper sauce and I cannot fault his guidance one bit as this was a great dish accompanied by a couple of great Dutch beers all finished off with a small sweets plate and a couple of nips of Bushmills single malt Irish Whiskey. Great final meal for my Europe trip.
Only issue was that the shower drain seemed to drain incredibly slowly meaning you had to have quick showers or you stood the chance of flooding your bathroom.
Great hotel, will stay here again!