How do you get a home from home experience in a hotel?
In 2013 I won a night’s stay at a Hyatt hotel in a twitter competition. It was to be used anywhere in the world and was valid till January 2015. I’d wanted to use the Hyatt voucher as a treat for my 40th, but things got in the way and it didn’t happen. Time was running out, so when we decided to have a weekend in Amsterdam with the kids I thought I’d check if they had a Hyatt. They did. They accepted my voucher for the booking too. I was rather pleased.
Booking online was very straightforward, even with a voucher. I received all confirmations via email, with ability to check in, check out and view my invoice online too.
On arriving to the hotel on the Prinzengrachten, (great location!) the first thing you notice is how stylish the Andaz Amsterdam is. The hotel is in the building of the old library of Amsterdam and the book theme transcends the design. The Delft blue and book theme intertwine and are given a modern twist throughout the hotel.
The staff were amazingly helpful from the moment we stepped in. Assisting where they could, advising in things to do, places to eat and so on. Our check-in was incredibly swift.
We had a garden having twin room, with two large single beds. The Madventurer and I both shared a bed each with a child; we purposely hasn’t asked for a cot for Max, but used our own pop up one. (Usually more space efficient.) The bed were big and comfortable.
The bathroom set up is quite quirky:
Instead of a separate room, the bathroom is mostly integrated with the bedroom. This is excellent if you have young kids and can keep an eye on them all the time. The large toilet is separate. No need to take any reading materials in either, as the wallpaper will keep you will entertained. 😉
The shower is behind mirrored glass sliding doors. Once the shower you can just barely be seen from the room, but can see what’s happening in the room. Again, a feature that I appreciated with the kids. I had a great shower and could keep my eyes on them. And it really was an excellent shower. (The only thing that would’ve made it better is gently piped music into the cubicle.)
The room has a dressing console, sink and large rotating mirror ourside of the shower. This area can be lit separately and is well lit for prettification.
There is also a walk-in wardrobe, so you can hide your travel clutter away.
Small touches in the room make it feel very homely: a comfortable arm chair, a minibar with the drinks (except alcoholic drinks) and snacks on the house….and, my favourite, a proper coffee machine- a Nespresso. This was such a welcome treat when we arrived after our journey.
What else makes the Andaz Amsterdam feel like a place away from home?
Little touches throughout the hotel encourage guests not to disappear into their rooms.
There is free wine, cheese and crackers every evening between 5 and 7. Enjoy this in the library: For adults there are a plethora of books to choose from. The Madventurer picked up a book on the history of Amsterdam that he read, I leafed through a coffee table book on contemporary photography. The kids were given a puzzle and some colouring crayons and pictures. The staff even asked what their favourite characters were and brought those back for them to colour in. So thoughtful!
Later, if you would like a drink in the bar, pay a couple of Euros extra and there is a range of tapas to enjoy. I went up to the room with the Littlins, but the Madventurer went back down and enjoyed this lovely spread and 2 drinks, reading his book. He attested that is was very relaxing.
After a great night’s sleep, we had breakfast in the Blue Spoon restaurant. You can order waffles, pancakes and all sorts of eggs and omelettes…which we tried a range of and found DELICIOUS!
There is also a buffet with cereals, bread, cold cuts, jams, cheese, etc. At first, it was strange to help ourselves as they are laid out into the open plan kitchen. You are entering the chefs’ domain, where he is also preparing your custom order.
It really does feel like you are in a friend’s home.
Another small touch I liked: Hugo woke up very early and I was keen to let the others sleep. We quietly dressed and snuck downstairs. In the library there was complimentary fruit, fresh muffins and croissants laid out for guest in a hurry, wanting to eat on the run. Such a lovely guesture!
As we were checking out, the ladies at the check-in brought the children (after checking with us) some mini stroopwaffles and chocolates to hide in their bags, saying “Energy, so you can look at more things around Amsterdam.”
I really couldn’t fault the service at the Andaz!
This hotel experience has really changed my perception of whether a large chain can actually feel more homely: It can!
We loved our stay at the Andaz Amsterdam: Great location, lovely hotel and wonderful staff.
My only regret: I wish I’d had a chance to try some of the pampering in the spa.
Where have you stayed recently that made you so welcome and feeling at home?