The Park Plaza hotel is located on a tree lined quiet street in the upscale Oud-Zuid district of Amsterdam, just steps away from the beautiful Vondelpark. Tram 2 serves the hotel making it easy to get around as it takes just 20 minutes to Central Station passing many of the city’s attractions and museums on its route.
Arrival and check-in:
The hotel has an attractive garden entrance with the theme continuing into the light and airy reception foyer with its many plants and flowers. As we’d taken an early morning flight into Schiphol Airport we arrived at the hotel mid-morning just expecting to drop our bags off.
At the desk we were greeted by a friendly member of the front desk team who seemed to take a genuine interest in our journey and how we would be spending our time in the city. On checking his computer he told us that our room was in fact ready and we could access it straightaway which was a pleasant surprise.
A speedy lift took us to up our room which was decorated in shades of pale grey and white with a mustard coloured easy chair and throw adding a splash of colour. From the window there were views over the garden and to the hotel’s adjoining building.
The bed had a comfortable mattress and was dressed with high quality bedlinen with wonderfully soft pillows to rest our heads on. At each side of the bed was a touch screen for adjusting the air-conditioning, turning on and off the lights and opening and closing the curtains. These worked well except for the curtains which would only go part way along the track so had to be closed manually as something was jammed.
On a side table there were art books to browse, handmade chocolates to enjoy and complementary bottles of water. The work desk had an adjustable chair, lamp and ample plug/USB sockets making it useful for charging our devices. A good sized wardrobe completed the picture with the addition of a laptop safe, iron and board. The hospitality tray came equipped with both a kettle and Nespresso maker for our evening drinks and mugs with the words ‘a natural habitat for curious travellers’.
Moving into the stylish bathroom, the powerful shower was to my liking as were the Elemis toiletries, fluffy towels, bathrobes and slippers that you’d come to expect in a hotel of this standard.
Dinner: The hotel features Tozi, an Italian restaurant with a Venetian inspired menu. This also has its own separate entrance for non-residents and a Vespa motorcycle by its door. The restaurant seemed popular and was quite busy on both the evenings we were there.
Breakfast: This is also served in Tozi with a good selection of hot and cold dishes, home baked bread, fruit and yoghurt on offer. We sat at a marble topped window table whilst enjoying the buffet and found it to be a relaxing start to our day with friendly and efficient servers on hand.
Alongside the restaurant is an attractive cocktail bar with a parquet floor and a large fireplace with a screen above showing old Italian films. Cosy seating in secluded corners can be found in the entrance lobby and in the hotel’s secluded garden. There is a also a fully equipped gym on site for guests use.
The hotel doesn’t have its own car park but some street parking is available nearby though I think it would be best not to bring a car into the city centre unless absolutely essential. Everyone cycles in Amsterdam and bikes can be hired from the hotel for getting around.
Out and About:
Amsterdam’s largest park is just across the road from the hotel and perfect for a morning stroll. Walk or cycle along leafy pathways beside the lake and stop off for coffee in one of it’s charming cafes.
Canal’s are synonymous with the city and if you don’t have time for much else, I suggest taking a boat trip. Circle Line Cruise, €16 and included in the IAmsterdam Card depart from outside Anne Frank’s House and from the comfort of the boat you can view the city from the perspective of the water on the 75 minute trip.
Visit the Rijksmuseum, the National Museum of the Netherlands. This vast museum contains over one million artworks and covers 800 years of the Dutch Masters from 1200 to the present date. It would be almost impossible to view the entire museum in one visit so I suggest selecting highlights starting first with the Gallery of Honour, displaying masterpieces by the Dutch Golden Age artists including Rembrandt, Hals, Van Gogh and Vermeer. The museum’s most famous painting is Rembrandt’s Night Watch which takes pride of place at one end the gallery.
Amsterdam Tulip Museum
Alongside canals, windmills and clogs, tulips are closely associated with the Netherlands. The Amsterdam Tulip Museum is only small but showcases the history of the tulip from its origins in Central Asia to the Tulip Mania and cultivation techniques employed today. It’s located on Prinsengracht close to Anne Frank’s House.
At the Houseboat Museum, you get the chance to experience first-hand what it’s like to live in a houseboat on an Amsterdam canal. The Houseboat Museum is located in the “Hendrika Maria”, a former cargo ship built in 1914. Its cargo hold is now a cosy living space and is interesting to view.
Take the free Buiksloterweg ferry from behind Amsterdam Central Station for the two minute journey across the IJ to the north bank. Enjoy a stroll along the promenade before taking the lift to the top of the A’DAM Lookout Tower. The observation deck offers panoramic views across the city with thrill seekers having an opportunity to ride on Europe’s highest swing ‘Over the Edge’ dangling 100 metres above the ground.
Our stay at the Park Plaza Vondelpark exceeded expectations and we enjoyed a very relaxed stay. Although part of the Radisson hotel group it did not have a corporate style and is perfectly suited for leisure travellers.
Details: Park Plaza Vondelpark, Koningslaan 3, 1075 AA, Amsterdam
During our stay we were guests of I Amsterdam and as always all views and opinions are entirely my own.
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