I'm going to Europe this spring for a week to visit one of my best friends. We are trying to decide if we should head north towards Amsterdam from the Frankfurt area or south to Venice. I'm pretty sure he's decided that we'll be in Amsterdam for the weekend. I've not been but of course have heard all types of things to do there.
Anyone have some good suggestions for a Marriott property to stay at? I'd love to think I'll get an upgrade so I only need to use points for one room but most likely will be booking two rooms, thus unless the hotel is just *that* much better I'm open to lower category properties if they are worth it.
Also any must do's or definitely don't do's?
Part of this is going to be an epic road trip, so if you have any ideas for cities/towns to see on a drive up from the Frankfurt area would be greatly appreciated as well :)
Thanks in advance!
I have been to Amsterdam twice but never stayed there (by choice). But the Renaissance is closer to the train station, the Marriott further out. I'll take Ghent, Bruges and Brussels anyday rather than Amsterdam. The Marriott Ghent is one of my favorite Marriotts in the world, along with the city itself. While Brussels can be limited to a day, make sure to stay at the Brussels Marriott near to the Grand Place, where some of the best food in Europe is to be had. Bruges was a long time ago for me, but search recent postings under Browse Destinations on the home page -- it's amazing.
Don't get me wrong -- I like Amsterdam, but it's too modern for my tastes. If you're driving the Marriott might be preferable, but if arriving by train the Renaissance is much more centrally located. Everything is easily walkable or reachable by public transportation.
In Venice, although I've never stayed at the Courtyard there (near the airport) , I've stayed in Venice many times. DO NOT STAY outside of Venice -- you'll lose the whole impact of an amazing city. A great stay in a quiet hotel right near a vaporetto stop (where I always stay) is the Best Western Sant 'Elena. Great rates, great breakfasts, quiet atmosphere near the giardini, and easy access to everything (a 3 minute walk to the vaporetto stop).
If it's a choice, I'd take Venice 100% of the time. Amsterdam is an interesting place to visit, but Venice is unbelievable.
If you need more Venice info, let me know -- I've been several times.
We loved the Renaissance in Amsterdam. We did not get an upgrade, but our room was lovely. The Concierge Lounge is wonderful. The entire staff was focused on customer satisfaction.
We used the Rick Steves guidebook to help plan our activities.
I wholeheartedly agree with Prof Chiara. I would try to persuade your friend to go to Venice, and stay on the island. We rented an apartment for 3 nights and it was great and economical. Amsterdam doesn't even compare in my book, but if you go, the Renaissance would be my choice. Have a great time! Also, the cathedral in Cologne is amazing, and I think we stayed at the Renaissance there too. It was very nice.
My wife and I stayed at the Amsterdam Marriott awhile back and had a great experience. As far as tourism goes, you should do a canal boat tour and visit the museums. If you get a chance you should rent a bicycle enjoy seeing the city that way. Another fun place to visit is Gouda (prononced "howda") that is only a short train ride or drive away, and you can experience a small village and buy some great cheese.
I've stayed at the Amsterdam Marriott and thought it was great. It's very centrally located and there are many local restaurants in the area.
I echo what's been said here, Venice all the way. I made my first trip there last June and it exceeded my expectations. My only faux pas was not staying longer.
While in Venice we stayed at a B&B that someone recommended here on the Insider, and I wasn't disappointed. Check out Ca' Bonvicini. I highly recommend it.
Other Amsterdam threads:
Traveling through amsterdam in August in route to bucharest- only one night stop over .any suggestions for dinner/ sightseeing for one day/evening in amsterdam between flights? Any suggestions for shortday trips or evening things to do in bucharest
i have 86000 points and i plan to travel to amsterdam for 7 night , i would like to use my points to reduce the cost of my stay , whenever i tried in the past to order an executive room with my point i got to dead -endi can i use my points ?
Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/amsrd
Amsterdam Marriott Hotel http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/amsnt
Holland & Belgium http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/photoAlbums/1394
Went on a "Low budget" trip to Amsterdam via train from Paris. Three nights on points. Could not get into the Renaissance (Great location), and stayed at the CY near the airport. It worked out wonderful.
We took the free shuttle to the airport, and then took the train to The main train station, (Across from the Ren. Hotel). It was easy, cheap, and never felt I missed anything at all.
Keep that as an option, if things don't work out with the FS properties!
I stayed at the Amsterdam Marriott with my wife and son in March of 2012. The hotel was very nice. Great rooms. Exercise room was so so. Location was good. It is a ways from the train station but the public transport is great and the trams stop in front of the hotel. Amsterdam is very walkable. The city is very clean, food is great, english is no problem. Lots of people speak it and the Dutch are very friendly and helpful. The only annoyance with the hotel, and this was a big one, pertained to the concierge lounge. I was informed that my wife could accompany me as a "guest", but my son could not use the lounge unless I paid 35 euros per day. I've been platinum for 6 or 7 years and I've used concierge lounges all over the US, in Portugal, in England and a couple in Asia and have never had a family member staying in my room barred from the lounge. Is this common in Europe? Anybody know?
wow this thread is still going 2yrs later
I've not had that problem but I do what Jerry does and take things back to the room. On the chance they give me any grief, I just give my guests my key and tell them to have at it and bring it back too. Sometimes I get a weird look from the staff but I just take my bottles of whatever and plate of food and head for the door like I own the place. If asked I just say "I'll be thirsty after you have closed"
yeah they really have let some of the CLs go a bit, more so in the US than abroad but still a shame. It does seem worth a mention though for the AMS Ren, the weekend breakfast in the restaurant is likely a place that you will run into a possible challenge for extra bodies. They've never said anything to me in the exec lounge but they do take your name, room, etc when entering for breakfast downstairs. The staff there is pretty excellent though. They have comp'd a number of things for me over the years and I always get a nice bottle of wine delivered to the room with a note when I show up It could be a reward for PP status or maybe they go the extra mile for everyone (I'd like to think) but if you plan on taking advantage of the breakfast buffet on the weekends, its probably worth making sure who, if anyone in your group is allowed the free breakfast at check-in so you dont get turned away at the door. And its worth staying for that one the food is pretty great and they make it fresh all during the service.