Sir Albert, Amsterdam

The location

Although further away from the train station than the hotel I chose for my previous stay in Amsterdam, the Sir Albert is in a fairly nice bit of town, close to the world-famous Van Gogh museum and Rijksmuseum. What is not so convenient is the flight of stairs to enter the hotel and the sit-down reception: by the point I make it to a hotel, often after a stressful flight next to noisy children or a smelly fellow traveller and a dangerous taxi ride, I usually want to check-in quickly. I can see however that Sir Albert is trying quite hard to make a good first impression (you are offered a drink on arrival).

The room

My room was located below street level and was therefore lacking in luminosity. I also did not really like the fact that were was no bathroom asImage such (just a very large and luxurious walk-in shower and a sink in the room). There was also this terrifying feature for the seasoned traveler: the nightlight. I managed to occlude it with a bag, but there stayed one on the magnifying glass next to the sink. Good job I am not too fussy about this (I know some colleagues who are). Also be careful to choose the free wifi option. I got charged 30 euros for using the paying option, surely because of a misunderstanding on my part. The hotel was however gracious enough to remove the amount from my bill. On the other hand I liked the supremely comfortable bed very much, the quietness of the room and some nice touches such as a PG Wodehouse book on the shelves (there is quite a British theme here, more of which in a moment). There is also an Illy expresso machine that makes brilliant coffee.

Room service

There is a 24-hour room service and you can also order burgers at meal time. They are provided by a nearby eatery, the like of which abounds in Amsterdam. I did not try the burgers, but if the fish and chips I sampled are anything to go by, I can heartily recommend them. There is also a rather expensive Japanese option (the hotel houses a Japanase restaurant, which gets really busy).

The breakfast

My only disappointment with it was the price (25 euros), but for that you get cooked options and a buffet breakfast. I went for the English breakfast, which was fairly acceptable, and also sampled excellent bread, cereal and orange juice.

The price

Including breakfast and a meal, it came to a total of 219 euros. Will return.

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Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen

ImageThe location

I had not been to Denmark for about a year. It was nice to return at this time of year and enjoy the long days. As you may know, I am a great admirer of Denmark’s social model. However, the same cannot be said about most of its hotels, as explained here.

The hotel is located very centrally, and you will be able to enjoy spectacular views of the town.

The room

Branded as the world’s first designer hotel, the hotel was designed by Arne Jacobsen about 50 years ago. While I liked certain features, and although the more expensive rooms may provide more enjoyment, I was globally disappointed with my room, a compact single room. The fan was noisy, the bed tiny and too soft. On the upside, I enjoyed the shower and the free wifi. Sound insulation was also very good.

 

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The breakfast

It is served downstairs in the cafe, where I had enjoyed a decent meal the night before (there is also a much more expensive top floor restaurant). On the whole, it is quite disappointing for this level of price. There is a very discreetly advertised cooked option but staff were not very forthcoming about it. The quality of produce is however good, although certain options are surprisingly absent (I was not able to find orange juice) and English translations a bit flimsy in a country with such a good level of English: grape juice was in fact grapefruit juice.

The price

About 250 euros for one night, dinner and breakfast. Denmark or not, this is too expensive for what it is and I will be looking for other options when I return if I cannot get my hands on a well-priced room at the Sankt Petri.