“ Address: Jan Luijkenstraat 76 / 1071 CT Amsterdam / Netherlands / Tel: 069 945 192 066 „
As a little birthday treat and a thank you for the never-ending patience, I decided to whisk my girlfriend away for a few days to the European City of Sin.... No, not Rochdale, but in fact...Amsterdam!.
I've been there a few times myself...purely for cultural reasons but this was the first time I was sharing the whole Amsterdam experience with a partner. With this in mind, I wanted to book a nice hotel and not something cheap 'n' cheerful within staggering distance of the red light district. It was a novelty searching for a hotel in Amsterdam with the criteria changing to luxury and comfort from close to a coffee shop and 24 hour food place, but search I did.
The Searching Process
Gone are the days when you looked in Ceefax/Oracle for the best hotel deals or popped into Thomas Cook to see what they could offer. I, like most people now, searched and booked on t'interweb for a hotel.
Between 100 - 150 Euros a night
3 star and above
Within Amsterdam City Centre - not necessarily slap bang in the heart, but no more than one tram ride away.
When it comes to booking hotels I nearly always use TripAdvisor as a guide. The reviews are plentiful and reliable and you have the ability to determine and filter your criteria, making the searching process a whole lot easier and more trustworthy than in some other sites.
After an about an hours' search I stumbled upon Hotel JL No 76, which actually does not have a ranking in Trip Advisor due to its relative newness, but the pictures looked good and it seemed to meet all the above criteria, including being a 4 star hotel.
Booking of the hotel JL No. 76 , named after its street address, was made online through the cheapest provider - Booking.com. There were a few websites which offered rooms in the hotel but it seemed that Booking.com were the only ones to offer a "special price" on an executive deluxe room, which actually worked out at half the normal price.Pictures of Hotel JL no76, Amsterdam
The Executive Deluxe The actual booking itself was a painless task and went through straight away with a confirmation email being received within 30 seconds.
There are three different types of room on offer by the 39 roomed hotel:
Standard: twin/double 20m2
Executive: twin/double Jacuzzi bath with built in TV 23m2
Executive Deluxe: twin/double Jacuzzi bath with built in TV 30m2
Each room boasts original and funky artwork, rain dance showers, as well as the best beds I have ever stayed in ...but more of that later!
As I was leaving it relatively late to book (about 3 days before) there were only 2 rooms available - the standard and the Executive Deluxe. Through Booking.com I paid a princely sum of 100 euros per night for two nights to stay in the Executive Deluxe. The normal price was in fact 200 euros per night and to get a 4 star hotel in the centre of a major European City for 100 Euros seemed a bargain, so pay I did.
If you want to be in the thick of prostitutes and dope smokers this hotel is not for you. Located in the Ouid-Zuid part of Amsterdam, it is in the heart of the museum and fashion district and a stoners throw, I mean a stone's throw, from the Van Gogh Museum, Vondel Park and a range of high end shops that would make Chelsea look like the Luton Arndale. The street Jan Luijkenstraat was very pleasant; tree lined and quiet and in fact with all the expensive shops, museums, and beautiful hotels there was more than a whiff of Kensington about the place. In fact there was more than whiff of something else in the air but that's another story.
Getting There and Transport
Those familiar with Amsterdam will know that it has an excellent, reliable and cheap public transport including a great tram system. A ten minute tram ride from the main central station and you are 100 meters from the hotel. To visit just about any of the many interesting attractions that Amsterdam offers is again a 10-15 minute tram ride away.
Being a new designed hotel in an 18th century building I was pleasantly surprised by the tasteful décor blending well with the antique structure of the building. As you walk into the lobby you can't help but notice how clean, fresh and funky the hotel is. Fresh flowers adorn the relatively spacious lobby and immediately we were greeted by a friendly receptionist who was only to happy to check us in nearly 2 hours before the 3pm check in time. (check out 1pm)
Executive deluxe was what I wanted and executive deluxe was what I got! Tastefully designed, but still very funky and hip (is that the words the kids of today use? ) the room overlooked the hotel "garden". I say garden...it was under renovation and resembled something Charlie Dimmock and Groundforce would've thought twice about trying to spruce up. Other than that I really can't fault the room at all. Spacious, clean with pricey mini-bar and a lovely bathroom with a Jacuzzi, rain dance shower and a TV...yes... a TV in the bathroom........ oh..and a toilet too.!
All 39 rooms are equipped with the following facilities:
* Unique interior with art and design features - all quite funky
* Beds have COCO-MAT mattresses - the best thing since sliced bread
* Modern bathroom - spotless
* Spacious rain dance shower and/or Jacuzzi bath with a separate rain dance shower - a joy.
* Hairdryer - havent used a hairdyer since bros days
* Bathroom amenities from 'The Spa Collection' - okish
* Desk - big enough
* iPod dock station - works
* Minibar - pricey, 5.50 for big pack of M&M's.............mmmm M&M's
* Nespresso coffee maker and tea making facilities - 4 tea bags
* Room Service - didnt use.....suprisingly
* Telephone - also didnt use
* Flat Screen TV - 32".. not the biggest, but size isnt everything.. is it?!?!
* DVD player - didnt use
* Safety deposit box - worked ok
* Airconditioning - didnt use
* All rooms are non-smoking - leaned out of the window
It isn't often that a bed in a hotel would get its own titled paragraph but on this occasion the beds warrant it. The beds have what's called COCO-MAT mattresses; 3 layered in all bar the executive deluxe where the layers total 4. Really folks, I cannot extol the virtues of this bed enough....It was soooooooooo comfy, absolutely a pleasure to lay on and so much so I am searching for one to buy myself!
The hotel offers guests a number of services and amenities including:
* Lounge - more functional than comfy, good style
* Honesty bar - never used but provides tea, coffee, soft drinks
* Restaurant JAN Eat & Drink - with so many waffle houses why use that?
* Private garden with terrace - small and looking like wasteland
* Room Service - as before
* Newspapers and magazines in the lounge - only saw Dutch papers
* Free use of iPad - worked fine
* Free use of wireless internet - also
* Bike rental, Euro13 per day - tempted, but no
* Vespa scooter rental, Euro49,50 per day - not tempted at all... its not Rome
* 24 hours assistance and support - didnt require
* Wake up call service - no sireee
* Shopping and sightseeing recommendations - very helpful, can't fault
* City Map - basic but good enough
* DVD Library - didnt see but did not ask to see either
* Tickets for various museums - forgot to ask...damn
* Massage service on request..... you make up your own mind on that one
* Laundry and dry cleaning service - didnt require
* Babysitting service on request - im sure thats the legit one
* Flower service on request - maybe on request, but not requested by me
* Taxi service to and from the airport on request - train; cheap and easy
Although tempted by the bike rental the only service I used was the use of the free ipad which came into good use, but I cannot verify the availability or quality of the other services.
Overall Concluding Thoughts
This was a very nice hotel indeed. It ticked all the boxes and even exceeded some expectations. As a four star it wasn't the greatest 4 star I have ever stayed in, but in terms of cleanliness, price, comfort and style I cannot faulty this hotel at all. I didn't have the breakfast so I cannot comment on the food but everything else was very good. The staff was friendly and helpful and went out of their way to make our stay a pleasurable one, giving travel and sightseeing advice that helped make our stay a pleasurable one. The Jacuzzi was a joy, especially seeing as my prior Jacuzzi experiences were mainly limited to passing wind in baths.
The hotel is located in a nice quiet street right on the doorstep of museums (van Gogh and Rembrandt amongst others), but it didn't feel in a tourist location like it would closer to Dam square and the infamous Red Light District. Ladies will love the shopping in the adjoining streets and anyone bored of the more traditional sights and in need of some space can talk a walk in the very green and lush Vondel Park only 3 mins walk away.
What I loved about this hotel (apart from the bed and the Jacuzzi) was the cleanliness. As cleanliness is supposed to be next to godliness, this place was so clean I started calling myself Jesus, this may have been because of some special cakes I ate but either way..this place was clean!
Would I recommend?
Absolutely! At 100 euros a night for good 4 star luxury it was a great deal. I may have felt differently if I was paying the normal 200 euros a night but for what I paid and what I got I was a happy bunny. There isn't too much I can fault about the hotel, everything other than the garden is per advertised and in fact the ambiance of the place and the surroundings streets contributed greatly to a very enjoyable stay.
Hotel JL â"-76
Jan Luijkenstraat 76
1071 CT Amsterdam
t: + 31 (0)20 3 485 555
f: +31 (0) 20 3 485 556