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Need Help from Amsterdam Experts, Please

Old Oct 27th, 2012, 10:53 AM
  #1  
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Need Help from Amsterdam Experts, Please

Hello all,

I will be taking a group of 15-20 students to Amsterdam in 2013 and would appreciate a couple of suggestions from those who know the city a bit better than I.

We will arrive by air and will probably opt for a car service to the hotel because of luggage issues and concern about losing a few jet-lagged kids. Does anyone know of a reliable service that will meet us at baggage claim? The second request is for a clean and safe hotel within easy walking distance of the Central Station as we will depart for Berlin by train. Our budget is about 150 Euros per night for triple rooms, so really 50 Euros per student in shared rooms. (We will not be traveling in high season.)

Though I'm not yet ready to reserve, I must price all elements of the trip before it goes up for approval. Any ideas or suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
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Old Oct 27th, 2012, 11:37 AM
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Need Help from Amsterdam Experts, Please
UNCalum on Oct 27, 12 at 2:53pm
I will be taking a group of 15-20 students to Amsterdam in 2013 and would appreciate a couple of suggestions from those who know the city a bit better than I.
We will arrive by air and will probably opt for a car service to the hotel because of luggage issues and concern about losing a few jet-lagged kids.


Suggest that you schedule your flight for as late in the evening as possible so the kids can sleep during their normal time. Arrive at AMS circa 11:00 AM not 6:00 when nothing much is in motion.

Use the buddy system and take the train. Since you are seeking three-bed rooms you can use a three buddy system. Make the kids responsible for their own behavior so you don't need to be a shepherd.

Tell the kids to pack light. One 21" roller bag and a shoulder tote for each is plenty. With any more than that you have a severe logistics problem.
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Old Oct 27th, 2012, 11:41 AM
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There are youth hostels in Amsterdam, which may meet your requirements. Have a look at www.Stayokay.nl.

Although UK based http://www.euro-study-tours.co.uk/pa...ons.aspx?lid=2 may be able to help. They certainly list a couple more hotels, but they may be able to help you put your trip together anyway. I am sure there are similar agents in the US.
If you decide to do it yourself then for getting the kids into Amsterdam I think you need to hire a coach, which you may find handy during your stay too, if you are planning trips outside Amsterdam.
There a lots of companies. Try Googling coach hire Amsterdam to get a few, and ask them for quotes.
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Old Oct 27th, 2012, 01:11 PM
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Thanks for the advice so far. We really prefer to avoid hostels if at all possible and believe that our budget will allow that in the winter. I haven't entirely ruled out using the train from the airport and will turn to that solution if the budget won't allow other transport.

Yes, tour companies exist that do this sort of thing, but they have so many rules about combining groups in order to receive the price they quoted that you never know for sure if the trip will work out. Private group fees are prohibitive. Moreover, these for profit companies are more expensive than doing the trip on your own. (I have used both options in the past.).

I have been to Amsterdam several times, but the hotel that I have used is not an option for this trip. Any additional thoughts will be welcome!
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Old Oct 28th, 2012, 01:35 AM
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The Amsterdam StayOkay hostels are modern, clean and offer 4 bed rooms with private facilities.
The sit I linked to offers Hotel Nova, and Meininger hotel. These clearly are able to cope with school groups. Many hotels will be reluctant to take a large group of teenagers, no matter how well behaved they may be.
Hiring a coach may be cheaper and easier than organising all those train tickets - which you will have to buy on arrival at Schiphol, so will need either a Chip and Pin credit card or the cash to pay for them.
You also need to consider how you will transport all those kids around Amsterdam. Will you need to buy OVchipcards for all of them so they can use public transport? Do you expect them to walk every where? If so how do plan on keeping the group together then?
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Old Oct 28th, 2012, 05:49 AM
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Just curious, how old are these kids? And how long are you going to be there - is this just an overnight stay? Have you considered just staying at an airport hotel? Or maybe in Haarlem, which is smaller and not as expensive.

Robyn
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Old Oct 28th, 2012, 03:32 PM
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I will have college students, and the trip is part of a class. The Amsterdam visit is very short--only two nights before moving on to Berlin by train. Thus, we will have time only for central Amsterdam and plan to do a lot of walking.. I thought that a hotel within easy walking distance of the central station would reduce transportation costs and maximize our time in the city.

The students have indicated that they prefer a hotel to a hostel, so I am trying to find something suitable. Because they are "in class," their behavior is generally not a problem. I have done many of these trips, and so far, so good.
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Old Oct 29th, 2012, 06:23 AM
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UNCalum on Oct 28, 12 at 6:32pm
I will have college students, and the trip is part of a class. The Amsterdam visit is very short--only two nights before moving on to Berlin by train. Thus, we will have time only for central Amsterdam and plan to do a lot of walking.. I thought that a hotel within easy walking distance of the central station would reduce transportation costs and maximize our time in the city.
The students have indicated that they prefer a hotel to a hostel,


You say that you have done many of these trips but I guess that you haven't done Amsterdam. The city is small and lends itself to walking. The trams are convenient and cheap for scooting across town, and virtually all of them stop at the main train station where you would be arriving from Schiphol.
I suspect that the students have never stayed in a hostel if they prefer a hotel. Hostels and university dorms are far and away the best places to sleep and break fast on a budget. Besides, your kids will meet kids from all over the world in hostels. Hostels provide a very interesting ambiance.
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Old Oct 29th, 2012, 06:33 AM
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You may want to look at the "Botel", a hotel on a ship on the Ij near Central station. Reasonably priced, Ive had good reports.
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Old Oct 29th, 2012, 07:07 AM
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Either the Boatel or perhaps one of the less expensive hotels within almost sight of the Rijksmuseum. I suspect we can trust those students to get on a tram and be at central on the day of departure and that won't break anybody's bank.
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Old Oct 29th, 2012, 02:51 PM
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I'll give a third vote for the Botel. It's located on a dock, right across from the Greenpeace boat. You will need to take the free ferry from behind Central Station to get to the dock, but ferries run frequently. However, they do not run all night long, which could be a good thing - sort of a set curfew for the kids.

When you're ready to leave Amsterdam for Berlin, you just need to take the free ferry to Centraal Station, and you'll be right there to hop on the train.

http://www.amstelbotel.nl/

A possible other hotel alternative might be the Hotel Nadia. I arranged for a group of 15 adults to stay there for 9 nights, in April 2011. However, we had double rooms - the rate at that time was €105/night. I know they do have some triple rooms, but I don't know if they would have enough for your group. The Nadia is located on the Raadhuisstraat, along the Kaizergracht, across the canal from the Westerkerk and the Anne Frank Huis. And the Westerkerk tram stop is right down the road from the hotel.

http://www.nadia.nl/

Since they're college students, I would definately opt for taking the train into Amsterdam from Schiphol. It is such an easy process. You can just go to the NS window at the airport and purchase your tickets with Euros, if you don't want to deal with a machine for 15-20 tickets.

Robyn
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Old Oct 29th, 2012, 02:58 PM
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Here's a link to the timetable for the ferry.

http://en.gvb.formulieren.quinn.live...smwerfveer.pdf

Robyn
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Old Oct 29th, 2012, 07:11 PM
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Thanks so much for all of the helpful suggestions. I think we can now easily make plans that will work for us. You were all very kind to answer in such detail, and I very much appreciate your time.
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