A spur-of-the-moment trip to The Netherlands forced me to try something I've never done before in Europe: stay in a bed & breakfast. Many hotels were already booked and others were too expensive. I stumbled across a website promoting B&B's and decided to give it a try.
My selection process requires expert precision. You see, my husband (a self-professed hotel snob) is my travel partner. Of course (as my luck would have it), all the rooms that seemed to fit his criteria were already booked. So, I held my breath with two options, hoping they would fit the bill, Suite 2 Stay and La Festa.
I can happily report that both passed hub's snob test with flying colors!
LOCATION: On a quiet residential street centrally located to all the sites and 1/2 block from the tram. Everything we wanted to do in Amsterdam was within walking distance from our room.
DESCRIPTION: Spacious one bedroom studio with a comfortable king-sized bed. We had a private modern en suite bath with a shower and plenty of fresh towels and bathroom amenities to include shower gel, shampoo, lotion and a hair dryer.
We enjoyed a fully stocked kitchenette with a coffee machine (complete with coffee packets, cream and sugar), and a refrigerator filled with refreshing drinks. The room offered a small dining table, living area, flat screen TV and free Wi-Fi.
There is a private entrance; no outdoor area or city view. Breakfast is not included. However, there is a wonderful bagel shop just around the corner.
OWNER: Laurens is a very friendly and helpful host (and, he's easy on the eyes!). He greeted us with a complete explanation of how things in the room worked and offered to help us with directions and dining recommendations. When hubs lost his phone one evening in a restaurant, Laurens went out of his way to help us retrieve it.
LOCATION: In the Jordaan--a hip area with loads of restaurants, shops and cafes. The rooms are situated above the restaurant, La Festa.
DESCRIPTION: A handsome one-bedroom studio with two twin beds pushed together to make a king. The room offers a private modern en suite bathroom with a multi-head shower, towel warmer, bath soap, shampoo and a hair dryer.
There is a small kitchen with a coffee maker (and all the fixings), drinks in the refrigerator, and a full-sized gas stove. Other features included a flat screen TV, small dining area, outdoor patio and free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.
OWNER: Aydin is a very kind and friendly man who also offered us 10% off dinner in his restaurant below. When we inquired about an early morning taxi to the airport, he made the reservation for us and he, too, rose early to bid us a safe trip and farewell.
RECOMMENDATION: Stay at La Festa for a comfortable, clean, quiet place to stay in one of the hottest areas of Amsterdam.