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Just back...don't stay at NH City Center; otherwise LOVED this city

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The location of this hotel was great; we could walk to several attractions including A. Frank house and Beginhof, but the service was ABOMINABLE. It became a game to see what if anything the maid did when she came to our room. We couldn't tell. She didnt replace items we'd used including glasses. She didnt make the beds; didn't sweep the floor (which had no carpet) etc etc.

The front desk service was just as bad - rude. These people have no time for their guests (which may explain why an italian couple was screaming at them on our last day, saying 'this is no way to treat your guests!).

When I asked for extra blankets (bc our room was cold despite the heat being on max) I was told to turn my heat on. They acted like I was asking for the moon. When we attempted to ask for info on the airport shuttle at the front desk, the man literally said 'excuse me,' waived us off and walked away.

(And the shuttle, supposed to come at set times, never came. We had to take a taxi with another couple. I had to DEMAND my money back from the hotel for the shuttle cost - 22 euros - just as the taxi was pulling up to the door). We had no probs taking it FROM the airport however.

Otherwise we had a great time. Weather was amazing (58 degrees and sunny until 6pm the night before we left) though at night it was cold. I wore a turtleneck, zip hoodie and wool double breasted pcoat and was still a bit chilly.

We walked most everywhere, took a couple of trams and the canalbus. I'll just list what we did and saw and if anyone has questions feel free to ask (we were there 6 nights and did ALOT):

1st day bus and boat tour (3 hrs) bc we were too tired to walk around; the canal boat tour in the sun felt great; a. frank house at 7pm that night (in the daytime there was always a line). I found it disappointing and the least interesting thing I saw.

2nd day flower market, beginhof, rembrantsplein, keukenhoff (stayed for 2hrs IMO that's enough time); 2 hr walking tour of red light district at night (this was great, highly recommend. A former prostitute explained the system).

3rd day Brussels (went by bus, with a stop in Antwerp).

4th day explored the Jordaan (including 3 hoffies); wanted to see the Old Church but it was closed that day so we explored the red light district again since it was daylight, went in a couple sex shops; Willet-Holthusen museum (a good way to see inside an expensive Golden Bend canal house and not crowded at all. You can do this in an hr); 1 hr canal cruise at night (beautiful but chilly)

5th day Van Gogh museum (a naked woman came out of the wall and proceeded to lie down with several blow-up dolls). She was a swedish performance artist. This was in the newer annex next door to the main museum. Know before you go that only 2 floors have V.G.'s paintings. There are 4 floors plus the annex; Rembrandt House.

6th day - Old Church (they had the world press photo exhibit, which I'm glad I got to see); bus trip to Delft and the Hague.

7th day - major issues with the shuttle but managed to make our flight.

My only complaint is the smoke in restaurants. We did pretty well eating at odd times or eating inside if everyone was outside, etc., but a couple of times we had to ask for to-go boxes and leave in the middle of the meal, eating it outside or takng it back to our hotel. Overall I maybe had 2 meals I'd actually consider good.







Also as a side note, I used a 2004 edition of Frommers Irreverent Amsterdam and discovered on several occassions that the info was incorrect. For example:

It said the Western Churh tower was closed in April; it was open

It said the Old Church had a tower you could climb; that tower hasn't been climbable for 15 years

It said the museum boat stops every half hr and you can buy tix from the boatman; it stopped every hr and you could not get tix onboard

These are just a few examples. I realize things can change but to say a church tower is climbable that has been closed for 15 years is a big error and it was quite frustrating.

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