Dr Frederick Ee is a medical doctor, author, blogger and traveler. He discovered his passion for travel on his first long-haul trip to New York City in 2012. His quest for premium travel experiences started on that very same flight as he endured a smelly foot beside him from the passenger behind him for the 24 hours of flight from Singapore to New York. He blogs at goodhotelreview.blogspot.com, focusing on hotel experiences. His most memorable moment of travel was to participate in the resuscitation of a collapsed patient during a long flight to Paris. Feel free to add him on Facebook with a message and his Instagram at @drfrederickee
He would like to thank MileLion for having him as a guest writer and hope readers would enjoy his writings and musings.
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam: Lukewarm feelings
More Hits than Misses, but one expects more
Visited Jan 2016
Published Apr 2016
After great stays at Intercontinental Amstel and the Andaz, and not-so-great W Amsterdam, I arrived at the last and most expensive hotel of this trip to Amsterdam for one night.
This also meant I had the highest expectations.
In other words, I was setting myself up for disappointment.
So how much was it?
It was going for about SGD$600 (400 Euro) per night.
Why would I pay so much for this hotel?
The hotel is an amalgamation of 6 historic houses along the canal with some preserved elements.
The exterior looks fantastic and Waldorf Astoria is the most luxe of the Hilton brand.
Online reviews by previous guests were mostly great as well.
The main entrance is up a small flight of stairs as with the older houses in Amsterdam and I had to carry my bags up the steps. It was alright for me, but anyone with more bulky luggage, or worse, a wheelchair, will have a lot more trouble.
On entering the hotel, I was greeted at the door but I was still carrying my luggage and the staff made no attempt to help me with it. This was probably the first issue. At the Intercontinental Amstel, my luggage was handled before I reached the door, swiftly and efficiently.
The checking in was done seated and in a room beside the main entrance. The lady was very efficient and was able to provide us with much information and a map. I asked about seeing a windmill and she was able to locate the nearest with her computer (I had done some research and it was the same one I found). Only then was my luggage taken to the side.
She then proceeded to escort us to the room, as a stay at a true luxury hotel should include.
Before leaving for the room, she gave a choice of scent to use for the turn-down service.
The lady also showed us the preserved staircase of the hotel which according to the website is named
“Daniel Marot Staircase: The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam boasts a unique
grand staircase built by the architect of Louis XIV, Daniel Marot”
And it leads up to a beautiful ceiling.
Before reaching the elevator, the Peacock Alley (restaurant) is located on the first storey with a
grand piano to the side.
The hotel is not very tall, given that the structure is modified from historic buildings, reaching only an additional 3 levels above and a basement.
There are slopes and steps on the way to the room, as one crosses from one building to the next.
The hotel is undeniably well-furbished and the bright lighting suits my taste.
Upon reaching the room, the lady proceeded to go through the services and facilities of the room and the hotel and at this point, my luggage arrived.
I was upgraded to a canal view room as a Hilton Diamond member which was delightful.
The room is supremely gorgeous and luxurious, with a fireplace and tulips on the side table.
A complimentary serving of stroopwafels was placed on another table as well. Delicious, they were.
The bathroom was fitted with a bathtub with a separate standing shower.
The amenities are from Ferragamo as per brand standard. Not too bad in my opinion as a first time user.
The bathrobe is from Boca Terry and was very heavy and thick.
A small closet was located near the entrance to the room.
A small Nespresso machine was available as well.
A card in the room shows the prices of the items in the minibar, as well as other items in the room.
I was actually thinking about getting the bathrobe, but decided against it as Amsterdam was only my first stop.
The couch cushion for 295 Euros seemed pretty expensive compared to the bathrobe.
|125 Euros for the bathrobe. Hmmmm….
The view of the canal from the view was indeed breathtaking and worthy of a special mention.
Located in the basement are the gym and the spa.The hallways are not spared of decor and it was wonderful looking at the art pieces while exploring the hotel.
The gym was unsurprisingly empty and the equipment was pretty new like the hotel which opened in May 2014.
|Mineral Water in the gym. And fruit by the side.
Impressive is the spa setup and it is huge too as it also houses the indoor pool. The pool is definitely less impressive than the one at the Intercontinental but looks more modern and aesthetically pleasing.
The staff at the spa were very friendly and took us on a tour of the spa, displaying great enthusiasm.
|Heated Indoor Pool
Earlier in the article, I mentioned that I was asked to choose a scent for the turn-down service. I went out of the hotel in the early evening for dinner and some sightseeing. Upon my return at around 8pm, the turn-down service was not done and I rejected the service later as I was already in bed.The great treatment at the Intercontinental Amstel of my luggage made the arrival experience at the uber-luxurious Waldorf Astoria seem mediocre. The staff at the Waldorf felt more formal, rigid and cold. This was reminiscent of the St Regis New York where the staff was efficient but somehow distant.
One point that I would highlight the fireplace in the room. It is obvious it is purely decorative now but the edge poses a danger to the guest. I stubbed my toe during my stay and someone else falling having tripped on that edge on the way to the bathroom is not unimaginable.
Last but not least, late checkout was not offered proactively and extension of only an hour was given after a request. For an elite member of the loyalty program, this does not sit well.
On the whole, the stay was not too bad. I was happy with the room and the hotel was fine. The furbishing of the old houses to a luxurious product is astonishing.The service is perhaps the weakest link which marred an otherwise blemish-free stay.
Happy and Healthy Travels!