We stayed in the NH Collection Doelen as part of a 4 day/3 night trip to Amsterdam. We booked an early flight from Edinburgh leaving on a Saturday morning which landed at Schiphol airport just after 8am. We booked a late flight back to Edinburgh on the Tuesday to maximise our time in the city.
The Hotel's History
The Doelen is the oldest existing hotel in the city, dating back to the 19th century. The building itself dates all the way back to the 1400s. Some of the hotels previous guests include the Empress Elisabeth of Austria, Queen Victoria and the Beatles.
One of the hotels suites, the Rembrandt Suite, is very appropriately named. This was the actual spot where Rembrandt’s famous painting, The Night Watch, used to hang. Whilst the painting has since been moved to the Rijksmuseum, a replica still hangs in its original place.
Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam By Train
Schiphol’s train station is located directly below Schiphol Plaza, the airport’s main hub filled with shops and restaurants. It is well signposted. Before going down the lift or escalator to the station, make sure you have your ticket.
You can purchase a one way ticket at one of the vending machines located just next to the escalators. Alternatively, if you purchase an online e-ticket, in advance, you can save €1 per ticket.
The train from Schiphol airport to Amsterdam’s main train station, Amsterdam Centraal takes around 14-17 mins.
Walking From Amsterdam Centraal to The Hotel
The hotel is within walking distance (1.4km or around 17 minutes) of Amsterdam’s main train station, Amsterdam Centraal.
One of the main reasons we picked this hotel was the central location in Amsterdam. From the hotel, it takes the same amount of time to walk to Amsterdam Centraal as it does to walk to the Rijksmuseum (around 16 mins). The hotel is also within walking distance of:
The Flower Market (300m or 4 min walk)
Rembrandt House Museum (500m or 6 min walk)
Xtracold Ice Bar (550m or 6 min walk)
Royal Palace Amsterdam (800m or 10 min walk)
Rijksmuseum (1.3km or 16 min walk)
Heineken Experience (1.3km or 16 min walk)
A number of bars and restaurants
For more on unique eats and treats in Amsterdam, also check out our post here.
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Since we were on an early flight from Edinburgh we arrived in the hotel before 9am, long before official check in at 3pm. However, the hotel staff were very courteous. We checked in and they took down our phone number so they could contact us directly when the room was ready. They put our luggage in secure storage and gave us a map of central Amsterdam, highlighting some places to go nearby.
We got breakfast in a nearby cafe and decided to wander into the Rijksmuseum. We spent a good few hours in that area until we got a text from the hotel around 1pm saying our room was ready.
The check in area is ornate but modern. Large windows and a skylight help keep the area well lit.
The Doelen offers superior rooms, premium rooms and suites. We opted for a superior room with a canal view. The room, situated on the top floor of the hotel, was clean and modern with a large, comfortable double bed.
The view from the room, which overlooked the Amstel river, was stunning. The room was quiet at night but we were situated on the top floor facing away from the street.
The in-room facilities included a desk, flat screen TV, safe, minibar (which we didn’t touch) and tea/coffee facilities.
On one occasion we needed an ironing board. This was available on request, we just had to contact reception.
The bathroom has a shower but no bath. Free toiletries are replenished daily. These include shower gel, shampoo, hand cream, facial soap, a shower cap, body milk, a soft mask and a hand towel.
When we got back to our room after dinner, we noticed the hotel had done a turndown service on our room. This included some free sweets on the pillows.
The hotel also offers complimentary WiFi. Neither me nor Damon had any issues with the WiFi.
Wine/Cheese Tasting: Although we didn’t indulge in this ourselves, the hotel does offer a free wine and cheese tasting every evening between 6pm and 7pm.
Lazy Sundays: If you plan to check out on a Sunday, you get complimentary late checkout (available on request at booking, check-in or during your stay). Breakfast also stays open until noon.
No Pool/Gym: The hotel does not have any pool/gym facilities.
Extras: It rained quite a bit during our Amsterdam trip so the fact you could pick up/drop off an NH Collection umbrella at reception was a nice touch.
Breakfast is served from 7am to 10:30am Monday to Saturday and 8am to 12pm on Sundays and public holidays.
We booked a non-refundable room through hotels.com which didn’t include breakfast. This worked out substantially cheaper, even when factoring in breakfast costs during our stay.
But, as we were feeling lazy one morning, we decided to try breakfast in the hotel. We were seated at a window table with a great view of the canal.
The buffet selection on offer included breads, pastries, meat, yogurt and fruit. Hot food was also available on request. Whilst we found the selection satisfactory, the value for money was pretty poor. We ate out most days and as you are probably aware, there is no shortage of eateries in Amsterdam.
This has been a hot topic in Amsterdam, especially in recent years. A tourist tax is basically a tax levied on accommodation providers. The tax in Amsterdam is calculated as a percentage of the room rate and usually this cost is then passed on to visiting tourists.
The tax has been increasing in recent years. For hotels in the city centre the rate increased from 5% in 2017 to 6% in 2018.
If you’re booking through hotels.com, you will see this cost underneath the price of the room. For example, the cost of one night, in GBP might be £181 but you could be charged an extra €13 at the property.
This is definitely worth bearing in mind cost-wise. We paid this tax at the end of our stay.
Conclusion and Scoring
An expensive but fantastic hotel situated in the city centre of Amsterdam. Our recommendation? Book a room with a view of the canal and if you’re looking to save some money, avoid breakfast. Don’t forget tourist tax when you book.
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What are your thoughts on the NH Collection Doelen in Amsterdam? Let us know in the comments section down below.