Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Amsterdam

If you want a 5 star hotel right in the heart of Amsterdam then look no further than the Krasnapolsky. But if you want a friendly,warm and welcoming 5 star place where the staff want to help you and take your custom as important, then look elsewhere. This is not a hotel for a long weekend or city break in this wonderful Dutch city, but a large sprawling business hotel for a one night stop-overs between flights to the USA or Asia. It is nice to have the convenience of walking out of the hotel into the ''Piccadilly Circus'' of Amsterdam , but that's all.

My wife and I booked a three night stay at this Krasnapolsky at the end of October, as a birthday treat. We had a limo from Schipol airport, but disappointingly there were no porters at the lavish hotel entrance to greet us and carry our luggage on arrival. The girl at reception was dour and miserable and took little notice of my registration, as I found out later, as she recoded us as Spanish on the bill. She seemed more interested in telling me about the free Wi fi, than concerning herself with my nationality! The reception area is tired and old fashioned in its decor and furnishings and it rang alarm bells in what to expect from the rooms. Thankfully, we were allocated a standard double room in the modern Amsterdam wing, which is across a narrow roadway at the rear of the original building, having managed two security glass doors on route. Carrying our own luggage, due to the lack of any porters we arrived at a fourth floor room (#4122).

The room was basic but modern in furnishings - a desk, a minibar and plenty of wardrobe space with many hangers.. A nice bathroom with bath, shower and hairdryer with bath robes and slippers. Our window view overlooked the narrow street that ran between the two hotel buildings and the room was high enough to be away from any possible street noise. I should imagine a lower room on the street side at the rear of the hotel would be noisy at night. Once we had mastered the air conditioning controls and rooms eccentric electrics we were settled. We stayed on a 'room-only' basis, as Amsterdam is awash with cafes and bars providing excellent value breakfasts with lovely views on the canals.

The hotel's facilities were satisfactory - well cleaned rooms, fresh towels every day and despite the minibar being electronically controlled (reception knew when a bottle of water had been removed), it was restocked daily. Sadly, the hotel bar only opened in the evening, so an afternoon 'tipple' meant raiding the minibar at a cost of 7 euros for a small bottle of wine.

Check-out was smooth, as they had my credit card, and apart from discovering they thought us to be Spanish, we paid our room bill of 200 euros per night, plus our raids on the minibar, and carried our luggage to our taxi. Unfortunately, we will not choose to return to Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky - it is large, impersonal and not a 5 star hotel in terms of quality and service.


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