I spent several nights at this Novotel while attending a conference at the nearby RAI conference center. The RAI is about a 10 minute walk so the hotel's location is good, so long as it's not raining.
The hotel overall is basic and passable but has a lot of annoying aspects. The decor is dated, the carpets are dirty and shabby, and the hotel overall feels cheap, cramped, and in need of an update. If I were coming to the RAI again I'd try the Holiday Inn across the street, though I haven't investigated its reviews.
Here are the things I found frustrating about this hotel:
1. Brusque front desk service. My assistant (no longer working for me) had goofed and booked me for arrival a day earlier than I actually arrived. This was a surprise to me. The desk clerk was more obnoxious about it than necessary.
2. The hotel provides free wireless internet, which is certainly a plus, but it requires going through a very annoying start page to accept their terms every time you connect. My cell phone, iPad, computer, etc. would all drop the connection after awhile, necessitating going through this hassle over and over and over and over again. Why can't they just provide internet and be done with it? Or have their system remember the MAC address of each device and the fact that it has ALREADY accepted the terms!
3. The hotel has only four elevators and these are absolutely overwhelmed at check-in and check-out hours. I wound up waiting in large crowds of people for long periods of time just to get to the lobby or up to my floor. I also had many a ride up and down that stopped on EVERY floor due to the overload.
4. The gym is OK ... a couple of treadmills, a couple of elipticals, a couple of stationary bikes, and some rudimentary weights. It's located on the "first" floor (the floor above the ground floor) and there is no way to get to it by the elevators. They don't stop on that floor! You have to go to the lobby, then walk up stairs to the first floor. But then there is a nasty surprise waiting for you: your key won't open the gym! You have to go back to the lobby, wait in line for a desk clerk (in your gym shorts!), and ask them to activate your room key card for the gym. It's unfathomable why they don't just do this automatically with every room key.
5. When phoned, the staff is helpful but VERY slow to respond to anything that requires someone coming to the room. They promised to bring me various items, pick up laundry, etc. Each time it took 30 minutes or more before the promised person showed up.
6. The maid cleaning my room screwed up something just about every day. Examples: didn't replace an obviously dirty used drinking glass, did not provide a new doorknob card for ordering breakfast (requiring a call to the front desk and long wait to get one), did not replace the coffee creamers after I had used them up.
7. My room was too hot and there was no way to cool it down. The room has separate controls for heat and air conditioning. I turned the heat off and turned the air conditioning to maximum. Result? The air vent made a lot of noise but just recirculated the air in the room without cooling it. I think the air conditioning system must be turned off because it's winter. The room does have a window that can be opened, but only a tiny bit (presumably for safety reasons). I wound up leaving it open all the time but the room was still too hot.
8. Along with #7, a huge frustration was that the hotel provides only a thick down duvet, which is much too hot for the temperature of the room.
9. The hotel has room service food but the menu options are extremely limited. It's the shortest room service menu I've seen anywhere.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Novotel Amsterdam City is a 4 star hotel near the Amsterdam RAI events centre and the WTC. RAI station,within walking distance of the hotel, offers frequent connections to the city centre and Schiphol Airport. This 100% non smoking hotel is an idealbase for a business trip or weekend away.The modern rooms feature an extra long bed, mobile desk, sofa and airconditioning. The hotel offers a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven meeting rooms, a business centre, pub and coffee corner ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Novotel Amsterdam City Hotel Amsterdam
- Accor Amsterdam City
- Amsterdam Novotel