( ENSPIRE Reviews ) Two Night Stay at the Citiez Hotel Amsterdam
By ENSPIRE Contributor: Christopher Morrow
We had already been to Amsterdam once and were over the initial romance with a new city. My wife and I were only in Amsterdam this time in transit and would be leaving in a day and a half from Schipol airport to return to New York. We were seeking convenience on a budget but wanted to avoid generic chain hotels. In general, Amsterdam is an expensive city to visit. It is on par with Paris as far as price but with far fewer hotel options (with the average 3-star hotel cost reaching as high as 147 Euros per night or 168 dollars).
The Citiez had a very understated, tastefully modern entryway with a bench on either side of the door. The check in counter doubled as a snack bar and was lined with a display of Tony’s colorful Dutch chocolate bars. The entire hotel complex was just two floors. The entryway of the Citiez would lend to the perception that the hotel is very small but stepping off the elevator revealed a labyrinth of rooms. Each room in the Citiez is named after a city. We pre booked the Beijing room with Breakfast for 101 Euros a night. This room was not designed for an extended stay but was a triumph of efficiency of space. The Beijing had no closets but the nook beneath the bed easily accommodated 2 large suitcases. At the foot of the bed was a condensed space with a sink, a cabinet, a refrigerator and a large screen TV. A single large window with heavy drapes above the bed overlooked the community courtyard.
One common perception about Amsterdam is that the food options within the City are few and that Dutch cuisine is very limited. The breakfast at the Citiez was terrific. It included a variety of cereals, fruit, meats, cheeses, bread, and pastries including decadent chocolate croissants. Directly outside the Citiez is a shopping district and markets that surround a courtyard. The diverse array of food options in the mall was astounding and included Dutch, Chinese, Turkish, Surinamese and Afghani food options. We got 2 large Turkish Doners and Pineapple sodas for less than 20 Euros. A 5-minute walk east is the Sloterplas pond and Sloterpark. This area is great for a short hike and picnic.
The Citiez is a 25-minute bus ride from the Schipol airport. Due to the fact that we had to fly out early, we decided to try the car service from the hotel. 40 Euros for such a short cab ride is steep even for Amsterdam but the quality of the ride was excellent. The Escalade SUV was large enough for 6 passengers and was the epitome of luxury making it worth the cost.