A Amsterdam notes

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Apr 1st, 2001, 01:56 AM
  #1
s.fowler
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A Amsterdam notes

I thought I would share what I posted concerning Hotel Agora and the restaurant Van Puferlen on the rants/raves section. It's a "cut&paste" so apologies for the cranky formatting.

Hotel Agora
The Hotel Agora doesn't "present" well on first appearance.
The facade looks like a business rather than a charming
canal house. You have to be buzzed in. The lobby is long
and bare. The masses of flowers spoken of in the Fodor's
review were two small bouquets of white flowers that blended
into the white walls of the lobby.From the front door to the
room it took 3 swipes of your key card. It initially felt like a
youth hostel in a bad neighborhood. The rooms are simple,
with maybe one "antique" apiece. [I saw 2 rooms]The rooms
are clean and well-maintained, but not charming or chic.

So why recommend Hotel Agora? First your hosts. They
may not know all the answers, but they are very kind and
accomodating. For example on the morning we left they
gave us breakfast early and gave our [early arriving] taxi
driver a cup of coffee! Breakfast was great! The assortment
of breads was augmented by meat, cheese and yogurt. You
could eat all you wanted. Again the room wasn't "charming",
but there was a candle coffee warmer on each table and a
candle chandelier AND classical music playing. And the
bathrooms were VERY modern with ceramic tile, a GREAT
shower and a hairdryer. The location is also great. You are
an easy walk from almost every major Amsterdam site.
Hotels aren't cheap in the central area, and this one isn't
"gorgeous", but it has a lot going for it.

Van Puferlen
You enter the restaurant through the "proeverij", which, to an
American eye, looked like the typical yuppie bar [except for
the amount of smoke present!], full of Amsterdam's
youngest and well-dressed [dark expensive suits etc -
women ALL in black:], but the atmosphere in the restaurant
was relatively smoke-free and certainly more casual. [very
few ties in evidence] The food was fairly "trendy", including
ostrich steak. I had "fried" [read grilled] salmon on a bed of
creamed sauerkraut. It was delicious. The service was good,
if a bit erratic in terms of who was responsible for what, but it
was good-willed. The walls of the dark-walled room were full
of interesting posters. From the tables around us it was
clear that this was a place friends and colleagues came to
enjoy good food in a serious [food-wise], but relaxed
atmosphere. It feels like a French bistro without the attitude.
It's on our list for next time!
 
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