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Another "layover in Amsterdam" question - airport or city hotel?

Another "layover in Amsterdam" question - airport or city hotel?

Feb 27th, 2008, 12:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 87
Another "layover in Amsterdam" question - airport or city hotel?

Hi all,

I have to apologize in advance for not doing a ton of research before asking this question. I've done a few quick searches on "amsterdam layovers" and I see it's a question that in general has been asked and answered! I still have a question about where to stay.

We arrive in Amsterdam at 8:15 am on a Friday in August. We depart Saturday morning at 7 am. I feel like I'd rather stay at a hotel in the city. That way we could go into the city, check our bags at the hotel, wander around, then maybe check-in and freshen up, and then explore some more. I'm concerned about that 7 am flight on Saturday though. I'd like your opinion. Would you stay at the airport, or would you stay in the city?

If you recommend city, any hotels you would recommend? We'll want to be in the heart of things given our short time there. Anything under 300 euro should be fine. I did read some reviews of airport hotels, so I have an idea of what's there, but if anyone wants to offer other suggestions, feel free.

Thanks in advance!
cboris is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
For a 7am flight on a Sunday I would stay at the airport. I don't where you are flying on to but you need to allow plenty of time for security eyc, especially if heading for the US.
WHilst there is a night train it only runs every hour until 6 am which is too late for a 7 am flight.
The alternatives are at 03.45, 04.45 or 05.45. It takes 13 minutes to get to Schiphol. If you have checked in online then you could just get away with the 05.45 train if you are flying within Europe, though Schiphol recommends a minimum of two hours before a European flight.
There is a Sheraton actually within Schiphol where you could check in and leave your bags before going into the city, and plenty of other hotels around the airport with shuttle buses.
hetismij is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 01:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,000

I recommend the Hotel Ambassade on Herengracht in the city.

Take a taxi from the airport, and back again in the morning. If you are flying to the USA allow 2 hours minimum in Schiphol for departure. Therefore, have the hotel pre-book your taxi for 4:15 AM. Traffic will be light, especially on a Saturday morning. You can finish your sleeping on the plane. Oh how many times have I left Amsterdam on two hours sleep?

The Hotel Ambassade is near the Spui. Restaurants to consider are the Luden ($$) and the Five Flies ($$$). You probably won't get to the city and checked in until 10:00 PM so you should call in to see if the kitchen at one of these is still going to be open.

The cafe Luxembourg is a great sidewalk cafe at the Spui, for Saturday lunch or maybe a late late snack. The Hoppe is a famous "brown bar" a few doors away. There will still be some locals tipping late Friday night.

Have fun.

hopscotch is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 03:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 87
Hi all,

Those are 2 great suggestions, I'll have to look into those further. I remember seeing both of those hotels mentioned on other posts.

Just to clarify, we're flying IN from the US and out to Nice, France, so it'll be a flight within Europe. I think you covered that scenario with that time I'll have to be there.

Also, to clarify in case this makes a difference, we arrive early Friday morning and depart early Saturday morning, so we shouldn't have much trouble having dinner at one of the places you mentioned, Hopscotch.

I'm thinking we'll be lucky to get 2 hours of sleep - I don't want to sleep away my time in Amsterdam.

Thanks again for the suggestions. It's a great place to start my research.

cboris is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 10:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
Nighttrains still only run every hour on a Staurday morning. The timings are a bit different (42 past the hour and it iakes 15 minutes) First "normal" train is at 05.02, gets you to Schiphol at 05.19, which would probably be earlier enough for a European flight, though it does get busy at that time with charter flights leaving.
A taxi from Schiphol is very expensive, the train is much much cheaper. Just trying to save your holiday €€s.
If you do decide on a taxi make sure it is a legal one, not one touting for business by Schiphol - go to the proper taxirank.
Good luck with the jet lag whilst in Amsterdam!
hetismij is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 11:10 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,313
The Sheraton at Schiphol is actually pretty nice. A very short walk to the Terminal and train station. Can be quite reasonable if you have Starwood points. Cost me 4000 pts plus $60 plus tax last month.
mjs is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 12:40 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,401
I would just stay by the airport. Staying in the city guarantees that you will have to take an inconvenient train ride early in the morning.

With a budget of €300, I would stay at the cheapest of the Hilton, Sheraton, or Dorint Sofitel. Call ahead and see if they can arrange an early check-in; I have had success checking into the Sofitel that early. If they can't, see if they will let you shower and change in the health club, or pay the shower rate at the Mercure Hotel in the airport and do it there.

If that sounds unappealing and you decide to stay in Amsterdam, then I would at least recommend staying very close to the Central Station. The NH Barbizon Palace is about as close as it gets and is of a high (European) standard. A little further away would be the Movenpick, which I think is a very nice hotel - very modern with good service - but it is not as convenient as the NH. The Renaissance is another option in the are, but I can't offer personal experience.
travelgourmet is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 04:53 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 775
Better stay at or near the airport.
Even if your flight leaves at 7.00 the latest you have to checkin at the latest 1 hour before.(plus the time you need to get there from the city).
Taxi will cost you around Eur. 35.- (or more) per ride).
Checkin your airport hotel (Sheraton and Hilton are ON the airport) or one of the others with shuttle. After that take train into the city and stay there as long as you want.
Donot forget to make a canalboatride.
Ida101 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 05:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,000

Normally I would recommend taking the train like nearly everyone else replying. But it seems that you have more money than time so I recommended a much faster and more convenient mode of transport to my favorite hotel in Amsterdam.

Sorry about my time mix-up. Arriving in the morning should give you a great day and evening in Amsterdam.

I think that your plan of dumping your bags at the hotel and coming back when your room is ready is excellent. If your room was not occupied the previous night they may let you have it right off. Or if you tell them in advance you would like to rest for a couple of hours they may give you the key when you arrive.

hopscotch is offline  

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