Monday, September 3, 2012

NH Carlton Amsterdam


NH Carlton Amsterdam     We booked the NH Carlton Amsterdam because of the location, and we weren’t disappointed.  If you arrive before check-in, you'll need to wait until about 2 PM. If you can stay on your feet despite jet lag, there's the flower market with cheese shops and cafes—only a few steps from the hotel’s doors.  You’ll see more tulips than you can imagine, sample loads of cheese varieties, and enjoy a snack or meal at an outside table.  Even on Sunday, when nothing else seems to be open, you’ll find plenty of people watching and food sampling to kill time and acquaint you to one of Amsterdam’s famous sights. If you want to get a feel for the city, ride the tram, which is less than a quarter of a mile away.  It’s cheap and clean. 
But if you’re too tired for touring and have arrived too early to check in, go to the second floor and relax in the massage chair or on a couch, which is what we did.  No one bothered us for hours.
The breakfast is much too expensive for what you get (buffet-style with staff hosting) but looked great.   Maybe, we’re just cheap because it was full of takers willing to shell out 20 eruo.  But once we figured out that they’d sell us coffee to go for 3 euros, we did that. Thereafter, we discovered my favorite coffee, Illy, being sold nearby.  Go up the flower market (there’s only one way because the hotel is at one end) and turn left down the first street.
Ok, so now you’ve checked in.  There’s not much to disclose about our room except that the carpet was noticeably stained; otherwise it was big enough and very clean. Don’t count on the TV for loads of English channels, but you shouldn’t be channel surfing anyway.  You’re in Amsterdam!
When you’re ready to navigate the city, head back down to the lobby.  We found both the day and night reception staff to be quite pleasant and very helpful, serving as concierges, as well. So don't hesitate to approach them and be sure to secure a city map.
Checkout was a breeze. You may get a coupon for your next cheap NH hotel.
Again, you can't beat the location. The only caution I’d offer is that we noticed several NH hotels when we rode the trams around.  So be sure to pick the one by the flower market.


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"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." - from A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf