Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City: Our Review
So, we chose to spend four days, three nights in Amsterdam, as a couple and we have been searching for a decent hotel to stay, that would not break the bank and would be convenient for seeing the main attractions of Amsterdam and getting to know the city. We ended up with the Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City and here is our review, with all the pros and the cons.
The first point to remember: Amsterdam is very expensive in lodging. Even more expensive than London. The four-star hotels in the center of Amsterdam cost north of 150 euros per night and they don’t offer anything special in terms of accommodation. Airbnb is pretty expensive too. So, don’t expect to get any great room, in a very convenient location for under 100 euros per night.
The second point to remember: The absolute center of Amsterdam is the Dam Square. Draw a circle of around 2kms from Dam Square and almost everything you want to see is in that area: The Red light district, the coffee shops, most of the museums (though not the Van Gogh museum), Leidseplein, the Central Station and so on. But the accommodation in this area is not good value for money.
The third point to remember: Amsterdam is a flat city. And it has a great transportation system, mainly with the tram.
So, our decision was to go for a hotel that would be decent enough, with a lower price than staying in the center and that would be close enough to transportation (tram), so that we could move easily to the center of Amsterdam (Dam Square) and preferably to the airport.
That’s why we went to the Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City. I have to admit, that we paid around 130 euros per night, which is not cheap, however, the central hotels were asking for 170 euros per night. Here are the pros and cons:
+ Going to Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City from the Airport of Schiphol is quick (10 minutes by train) and easy (the train leaves from a station which lies inside the Schiphol airport). It is also cheap. The ticket costs 4 euros per person. An Uber from the Airport of Schiphol to the Hotel Novotel Amsterdam city, took us 21 euros, while a “regular” taxi would cost around 35 euros.
+ There is a Tram Station, in 3 minutes walk from the hotel. It is the Tram line 4, which gets you to the Dam Square in around 25 minutes. And it leaves every 7 minutes. So, all in all, to get from your room to Dam Square you will need 30 minutes. The tram lines operate until 00:30 in the evening and then you can get the night buses (or taxis, which are obviously more expensive).
+ Next to the Tram Station, there is the Amsterdam RAI station, which is a hub for trains. So, when you want to get to the hotel from the airport, you pay 4 euros per person, you enter the train station at Schiphol station, after 10 minutes you are at Amsterdam RAI, you walk 3 minutes and you are at Novotel hotel. Pretty easy and straightforward.
+ The rooms are pretty much ok, even though the lobby area is more “modern” and you would be waiting for something more ….interesting.
+ The room service is fast and convenient.
+ There is a free wireless everywhere in the hotel, which is fast-speed and works great almost everywhere, in the room or in the lobby.
+ There is a shop inside the hotel where you can buy some coffee, snacks etc.
+ It is a 100% non-smoking hotel. Of course, for others, this might be a minus 🙂
On the downside now:
– You lose at least 60 minutes per day for transferring from the hotel to the city center and back. So, the “time toll” for four days is around 4 hours and if you save an average 40 euros per evening, you sacrifice 4 hours from your trip to win around 120 euros or 30 euros per hour. On the other side, the tram goes through Amsterdam canals and it is a pretty beautiful trip. Moreover, you always find a seat in the tram, as the Tram Line 4 begins from Novotel Hotel.
– The check-in starts at 15:00. Not at 12:00 as in most hotels around the world. We were there earlier at 13:00 and they let us wait in the lobby. After an hour of waiting, we went and asked again and they made us the favor to give us a room at 14:00, instead of 15:00. So, we lost one-hour waiting. Of course, this is not the hotel’s fault, as we knew that the checkin was at 15:00 but 99% of the times we travel, the hotels are flexible enough to give you a room a couple of hours earlier.
– The employees at the lobby are smiling and trying to do their job but…how should I put it… They are a little bit tight. They will not bend the rules easily for you or do the extra mile to help you. Of course, if you ask you will get a reply but you will not get the “real warm feeling of hospitality”.
– There is no breakfast included in the price we paid. For 130 euros per night, I would expect a breakfast for two persons to be included. And the water is crazy expensive in the shop. You have to pay 2.7 euros for 500ml of water. You should better get a beer, it might be cheaper.
Would we stay at Novotel Amsterdam City again? We would probably do. Especially if we could strike an even better deal, including breakfast in the price of the room. If you want to check the prices and book it, click here.