Holiday Inn Amsterdam comprehensive review

I stayed at the Holiday Inn Amsterdam from Dec. 29, 2009 to Jan. 2, 2010.

I would only recommend this hotel under very specific circumstances as I believe most tourists would want something closer to the city center. It is near the convention center if that’s where you’ll be going more often though. And it is a nice hotel overall. It’s also fine if you get an exceptional deal.

We ended up there after telling Priceline $120 a night from Dec. 29 for 4 nights. This of course, included New Year’s Eve and the hotels in the center we looked at for the same dates generally wanted over $300 for that one night (with the other nights usually being more reasonable).

However we did tell Priceline we wanted a central hotel and Holiday Inn Amsterdam is not. It’s very close to a tram station (Station RAI, the last stop on tram line 4 and also on the metro). The tram leaves about every 10 minutes and takes 25-30 minutes to get to Central Station. Also, because the trams don’t intersect all that often we sometimes had to take a tram back to Central Station to pick up number 4. We spent a lot more time on trams then we would have preferred.

Also, there’s not a whole lot near the hotel. You could walk about 15 minutes to a nice street where locals go for cafes but it’s not a pretty walk and the streets there didn’t seem very pedestrian friendly to me either. I suppose if you’re kind of sick of the main touristy areas of Amsterdam cafes and restaurants on this street might be real nice. No coffee shops or smart shops or red light areas that I noticed though.

I mentioned that the hotel was nice. Reception was very friendly but they seem to get lots of tours so sometimes it’s a zoo and sometimes it’s empty. The room was nice although it never really got warm even though we had the heat on for 4 days straight. The fan was also pretty noisy, especially on high. We actually had to have them bring us an extra blanket. My only other complaint is that they didn’t seem to salt around the hotel so we were often walking on ice. Not a huge deal but I guess I would have expected better.

It’s not really a complaint, but the gym was small. The dumbbells only went up to 16 kg and there was no barbell. When I did chinups my head actually hit the ceiling which is pretty funny and now I wish I had a picture of my head poking through the ceiling since the tiles gave way.

The gym was free of charge and the tap water was safe to drink so those were nice bonuses. Internet would run 8 euros an hour or 29 euros a day (which would include video on demand). I only checked one video on demand price figuring they’d be somewhat similar – 15 euros for a movie! Breakfast was not included because we booked through Priceline.

We did get very lucky as our room had a view of some fireworks.

Overall, a nice hotel in an inconvenient location for tourists. It should work well for business travelers going to the convention center.

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  1. Sharon says:

    I would not recommend using Priceline at all, certainly not for a vacation. They almost always use Holiday Inns, regardless of location, and they pay no attention to what you ask for. Once you make a reservation through them, you’re stuck, unable to even upgrade or change a thing. I’ve never used them, but some of my family tried it (one time)!

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