Wednesday, November 4, 2009

AMSTERDAM: Travel Globally, Stay Locally

Part of the joy of traveling is experiencing other cultures. For me, that includes my accommodations.

Before my recent trip to Amsterdam, I consulted the TripAdvisor web site (to which I am also an active contributor) to research the hotels in the Dutch capital. Based on the reviews, my first choice was the Hotel Seven Bridges.

I chose that hotel because it was close to, though not in the heart of, the action at the Rembrandtplein, because other travelers reported it to be authentically Dutch, and because it fit my budget.

Unfortunately, it was booked for the nights of my trip so, based on the recommendation of a friend, I chose the larger, more contemporary Park Hotel (see previous post) after booking, then canceling, another hotel because of its unresponsiveness to my e-mailed queries (see previous post, “Don’t Tease Me…”).

During my trip, I visited the Hotel Seven Bridges to see what I had missed.

Run by Günter Glaner and his partner, the Hotel Seven Bridges has all of 11 rooms – eight in the main building and three in an adjoining structure. Each room is unique, and photos of each are included on the hotel’s web site. They range from a nicely sized room large enough for a king bed, desk, closet, (non-working) fireplace and private bath to a very large suite (Garden Room 5, pictured below) with two sets of doors leading to its own balcony overlooking the garden.

Günter is very forthcoming about the rooms he recommends for his guests. Light sleepers, for example, should not book rooms on the canal.

Though the canals in Amsterdam are not arteries of commerce like they are in Venice, the adjacent roads, biking, and walking paths carry a fair bit of traffic, and even pedestrians walking home late at night from the local brown café can be loud enough to wake light sleepers.

The hotel’s main building is 300 years old, has no elevator and very steep, narrow stairs. There’s no room service, though in-room breakfast is included in the main building.

All of this information is available on the Seven Bridges’ web site, along with photos of each of the rooms, directions to the hotel, and other information. What the site doesn’t completely capture is property’s cozy charm; that is something you should experience for yourself.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.



Photo by Carl Dombek
Click on photo to view larger image

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