Reviews of Amsterdam houseboats, pls

Old Nov 1st, 2007, 04:03 AM
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Reviews of Amsterdam houseboats, pls

I'd be delighted to hear from any of you who've rented a houseboat in Amsterdam. We're specifically looking at this rental agency: http://www.houseboathotel.nl/

Boat 40 is the one the looks like it will best suit our needs. Any experience with this agency, this boat, or general comments re staying on a houseboat welcome.
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 09:12 AM
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topping...
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 10:19 AM
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Therese, I can't help with the houseboat specifics, but we stayed in this general neighborhood last summer and really liked it. When do you plan to visit? I've heard pros and cons of houseboat stays, with some saying it could be very cold in the winter. Also this part of the river seemed a busy place. Still, I'd give it a go. It's sure to be an adventure.
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 12:36 PM
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We'll be there in April, so neither bitter cold nor oppressive heat likely.

I was a bit hesitant about the possibility of too much noise/activity at this point on the river, but the comments of other guests (on the agency's web site, link from the blue bar across the top of the home page, but they appear genuine, with sporadic mentions on other venues) say that it's busy during the day (so cool for watching the world go by) and quiet in the evening.

This trip is with our children (instead of a trip to Disney World), so a bit of excitement will be welcome. Oh, and they're 14 and 17, so no worries with them being unsafe on the boat.

Kansan, where were you? Did you rent an apartment? I'll be looking for groceries/markets in the area.
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 12:43 PM
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I don't see boat 40 on the site.
Wherabouts is it?
You will never be far from either a supermarket or a market in Amsterdam. The centre of the city is still lived in and the folks who live there have to eat too.
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 01:04 PM
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Here's a link to the specific property:

http://www.houseboathotel.nl/accommo...ouseboat_b040/

It's moored on the Amstel (looks like the western/southern bank), opposite the Waterlooplein (there's link to the location). Looks like it may be moored in tandem with Boat 39 (as one of the reviews of 39 mentions crossing the deck of 40 to get to it), with 40 hard against the bank and 39 on the water side. The Google map of Amsterdam is so detailed that I can almost figure out exactly which boat it is.

No worries about finding a supermarket (particulary the ubiquitous Albert Heijn)---I'm more interested in open air markets. Do you know if there's a market that's held daily, or a schedule of markets? Amsterdam's tram system is so efficient that it needn't necessarily be right in the neighborhood, but it's always nice.
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 01:50 PM
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Well Waterlooplein has a market so that's handy. There is a metro stop there too. The Amstel is very nice, you are close to Carre theatre, and some nice pubs along the river.
The link didn't work btw - page not found.
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 02:09 PM
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Hmm, the link works for me. Maybe some browser weirdness.

Does the market at Waterlooplein sell food? It looks bit more like a flea market? The Noordemarkt looks great, but we arrive and depart on Saturdays, so unless I go the first day I'll miss it (and I'll be keeping my family happy while waiting for our accomodations to be ready in the afternoon).

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Old Nov 11th, 2007, 07:36 AM
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Some update on the link problems you experienced, hetismij: a friend of mine is similarly unable to find this boat on the site. And she also lives in Amsterdam, so it may somehow be related to a common server or internet provider?

Or maybe I'm just living in some sort of parallel universe.
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Old Nov 11th, 2007, 09:36 AM
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We really enjoyed this market in Amsterdam:

http://www.amsterdam.info/

Lindengracht market
Saturday food and folwers market, next to the Noordermakt – usual weekend shopping place for people who live in Amsterdam. Also bicycles, cosmetics and small objects you might need at home.
Speciality: Food, general goods, bicycles and bicycle parts, shoes, DVD´s.
Located: Lindengracht, 1015 KJ
Tram: Marnixbad: tram 3 & 10
Open: Saturday 9.00 am - 4.00 pm

It had some great looking food, clothes, flowers, all sorts of bits and pieces. Picturesque too. We'd definitely go back there, it had a nice atmosphere.

Kay
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Old Nov 12th, 2007, 09:54 AM
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Thanks, KayF. I'm probably most likely to use the market at Albert Cuypstraat, as it's closest to where we're moored.
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 03:42 PM
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Some follow-up to my query a while back about houseboats in Amsterdam and this particular property (which hetismij and a friend who lives in Amsterdam couldn't see on the web site I referenced in the first post, but others elsewhere in the world could).

The boat does indeed exist. It sits directly in front of Cafe Dantzig. Nicely re-done and decorated, with the cabin up top convenient for sitting and having a drink on nice days, and the boat below being very cozy (as it did turn out to be quite chilly for much of our visit, although not unpleasantly so). No problems with the keeping warm, though, as the heater is very efficient. Two bedrooms (the forward bedroom has an additional space heater), a large central living area with kitchen (cooktop and oven, microwave, washing machine, separate dryer, toaster, nice dishes, and sufficient pots and pans), large dining table, and lounge with large couch, two occasional chairs, and TV with DVD player. CD player with a selection of CDs, cooking basics like salt and vinegar and oil, cleaning products, laundry detergent all provided as well. Very light during the day via skylights throughout, cozy at night with blinds pulled over the skylights.

Lots of hot water, with separate bathtub and shower.

Living space all very clean. The boat next to it is a rental that's presumably nice inside, but has a fair amount of "stuff" on the deck of the boat that lends a certain scruffy air. Other boats in the area very tidy, including one very luxurious one.

Definitely not for the mobility-challenged, as you climb down a ladder to enter the boat, and have to climb up a step to use the toilet.

There's a large Albert Heijn two blocks away on Jodenbreestraat (no credit cards, so bring cash). The market at Waterlooplein is a flea market, so unless you want some very, very down market items don't bother. The Albert Cuypstraat market is much better, and also features lots of food, both fresh and prepared.

All in all a very pleasant stay, and lots of fun for the family. If you're looking for a similar experience I can recommend this property. The agency and boat owner were both pleasant and easy to do with.
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Old Apr 25th, 2008, 11:20 AM
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Thanks Therese for your post. I've thought of renting a houseboat in Amsterdam instead of a hotel but wasn't too sure about it. How did it compare to a hotel? I suppose with the extra space and kitchen it could be compared more to an apartment. Would you stay in it again or recommend it to friends? Also costwise, was it cheaper or dearer to a hotel of similar quality?

Would be interested in your thoughts.
Kay
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Old Apr 25th, 2008, 11:59 AM
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Yes, much more comparable to an apartment than a hotel. We were myself, my husband, and our two children: 14 year old girl and 17 year old boy. So absolutely no question of all staying in one hotel room, and two hotel rooms not much better for this sort of trip, as you have to eat all of your meals out in restaurants, and there's no place to for anybody to get away from everybody else. We aren't necessarily the most "driven" of tourists, so spend considerable time in the property.

This particular property goes for about 250 euro per night, so if you were looking at hotel rooms that would be two at 125 euro per night (low end for Amsterdam). The convenience of greater space and flexibility + bonus points for charm (don't forget our private cabin up top for drinks in the afternoon) make this an easy decision for me. We ate most of our meals at home (our choice, not because we were economizing), so that's an additional financial incentive.

This property was one of the most expensive properties at this agency (link in first post on this thread), so you could go even less expensive. I'd certainly recommend the property to friends. I probably wouldn't stay here again myself, but only because I'd like to try out a different neighborhood if I happened to be so lucky as to have an extended break in Amsterdam again.
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Old Apr 27th, 2008, 01:54 AM
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Thanks Therese. There would only be my husband and me, so we would choose a different houseboat but it does sound promising. It would give us a very different view of Amsterdam, we've stayed there before but in a hotel.

Thanks again.
Kay
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Old Apr 27th, 2008, 07:19 AM
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Thanks for your kind words, Kay. Now that I've stayed on a boat I have a better idea of the things I'd specifically ask about, so if you have questions about a property feel free to post them here.

I realized after I'd finished my last post that I had really commented on one thing that people typically ask about boats: can you feel it move? The answer for us was "it depends". We found that we didn't notice the movement of boat at all when we were on it and paying attention only to items inside the boat proper. But if we looked outside the boat at some fixed item we realized that we were indeed moving a bit relative to the quay, as much as 1 ft forward and 1 ft back. No side to side rocking that I could appreciate. The effect is more obvious the closer your point of reference, of course.

I didn't find this the least bit bothersome (and I'm prone to seasickness, believe me). But I did develop "sea legs", such that when on dry land I occasionally experienced a tiny bit of dizziness. This was no problem as long as I was moving, but very occasionally, typically when standing still, I'd notice that the ground under me seemed to tip just a little bit. All gone now, and sort of cool while it lasted.
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