“ Address: Leeuwendalersweg 21 / Amsterdam 1055JE / Netherlands / Tel: 020 5800360 „
On my first visit to Amsterdam in March 2010, my partner and I stayed in the Best Western Blue Tower Hotel. This hotel was chosen through a rigorous process - well, it had a decent price on Expedia but wasn't one of the cheapest. The cost was around £250 for 4 nights, plus local tax to be paid at the hotel. The Blue Tower is situated in the Bos en Lommer area of the city, to the west of the city centre. It is not far from Sloterdijk station, where you can catch trains to Schipol airport, and there are a choice of local trams and buses nearby which go into the city centre, or to Sloterdijk station. We took a taxi to the hotel on arrival, but after that happily rattled around in public transport. There is a reasonable number of shops and eateries nearby, including a couple of good-sized supermarkets, takeaways and cash machines. Check in at the hotel was quick and simple. The reception area and lobby are large and bright, with seating areas and a bar. The receptionist gave us our key and also advised us that the hotel could help us with booking tours and tickets for attractions. The name of the hotel indicates that there are a lot of floors, it being a tower. There are three lifts to choose from, although there were a few occasions we seemed to be waiting a while for one. The corridors leading to the rooms are all clean, if somewhat sparse. The room itself was very nice. It was clean and freshly stocked with toiletries and refreshments, and had a flat screen TV. The decor was nice, with classier furniture than you would get in lower cost hotels (dark wood fittings), with a large dressing table, hanging space, and easy chairs and table. The room did not however have a double bed, but two single beds pushed together. The mattresses were quite soft and comfortable, however I didn't always sleep well - at least one night I spent most of the night sleeping in the gap between the beds, and the following day had a sore hip and leg. The bathroom was fantastic - decent sized, lovely big sink and unit, good shower (over bath) and well lit. The best part however, was the floor - underfloor heating! I've always wanted underfloor heating but I don't think I've ever actually experienced it before - now I have and I love it. The weekend we were in Amsterdam it was spectacularly cold (and this is coming from an Aberdonian), so to get back to the hotel and go into the bathroom on that lovely warm floor was just fab. Housekeeping came into the room each day while we were out, and it was always clean when we came back. I did have a few niggles with them however. Firstly, every single day they replaced the bar of soap we had opened beside the sink in the bathroom. This is annoying for two reasons - it's wasteful, and generally I didn't notice it had been changed until my hands were wet, so then I had to mess about unwrapping new soap with wet hands. The other issue was the cups and glasses. Unless they were empty, housekeeping didn't replace or clean them. If we left the mugs sitting by the bed with some cold coffee left in them, they were left exactly where we left them. Surely if a mug has manky looking cold coffee in it, it needs cleaning? I could almost understand them leaving the glasses if they had some juice in them, after all we might not want the juice poured away even if it's been sitting out, but not cold coffee. Because that is a bad habit, to leave mugs sitting around not quite empty, I ended up having to wash them myself in the bathroom sink when we got back to the hotel. On a related subject, the coffee, tea, milk and sugar were topped up, but we actually went and bought some Nescafe and real milk, because the hotel coffee wasn't exactly brilliant. The teabags were fine though. Our booking didn't include breakfast, however the hotel did provide it as we saw other people going in the morning. Whether there were rates available which included breakfast or people paid for it separately, I don't know - both probably. We were happy to have breakfast out and about so we didn't enquire. We had no issues with noise while we were staying at the Blue Tower. We occasionally heard people in the corridor, but it was never intrusive. Our window looked over some buildings, and we weren't troubled by outside noise. The Best Western Blue Tower was definitely a good choice, and one I'd be happy to go back to and recommend to others. I think we did get a good deal on it, as we have recently booked a longer holiday in Amsterdam, and the Blue Tower was a bit out of our price range this time.