Feb292016

Hotel Review Radisson Blu Amsterdam

The weather sucked. Rain with a smattering of sleet had fallen on us for about five minutes as Kelley and I walked from the tram line on the Rokin along canal streets, in the general direction that I remembered Radisson Blu Amsterdam being located from having passed by the hotel some ten or more years ago. I had a map, but it was difficult to read in the rain and I am not so modern that I actually use a cell phone in Europe. Still, I came close to walking us directly to the hotel. When I stopped a guy to ask where the hotel was located, he spoke English, like nearly any local does, and pointed to the next bridge along the canal and said go left at the bridge.

There is no public transportation to Radisson Blu Amsterdam, except a tram to Spuistraat (400 meters walk) or the Metro to Nieuwmarkt (500 meter walk) will get you within a five to eight minute walk to Radisson Blu Amsterdam. The train station, Centraal Station, is 1.2 km and probably not too expensive a taxi ride. The metro or tram will cost 2.90 EUR for a single ticket.

Arrival

We were surprised we could check-in at noon on a Sunday. Saturday nights are usually a busy time in Amsterdam.

Rad Blu Ams-atrium glass

Radisson Blu Amsterdam has recently renovated and the new interior atrium’s lobby appearance is from January 2016. Having never been to the hotel before, I do not know how much of the current interior existed in the previous form of the hotel.

The atrium provides an interesting play on light through the glass panels and roof.

Rad Blu atrium room

Radisson Blu Amsterdam is located in two separate buildings. Our room was an interior facing room on the 4th floor of the main lobby six-floor building.

Radisson Blu Amsterdam Room Designs

Atrium View Room 415

Rad Blu room-1

The bed pillows were soft and very comfortable. A card on the nightstand listed five pillow types available on request.

Rad Blu AMS- room 2

Kelley assumed the plate placement was a worker’s poor design. We stayed in two other rooms at Radisson Blu Amsterdam and the asymmetrical plate placement is intentional.

Radisson Blu chair

Possibly the coolest feature of the atrium facing room is the patio door and stand-up balcony overlooking the hotel atrium and lobby.

Rad Blu 415 Balcony

Radisson Blu Amsterdam lobby. 

Rad Blu lobby

This was the view if I stood by the window and looked down into the lobby.

Hotel entrance is beneath the wooden paneling in lower right. The photo angle creates a kind of optical illusion. The wood pattern is the vertical XXX city symbol of Amsterdam. The tables and dark wall outline on left is the hotel bar. We enjoyed the bar for its traditional dark bar style. There is a very cool table for two up a spiral stairway.

But, when I stepped out on the balcony and looked over, straight down into the lobby, the view was this atrium first floor level lounge area above the reception desk.

Rad Blu atrium view-2

The room had a Nespresso coffee maker with three pods and a hot water pot. Ice machines on every other floor were available.

Rad Blu coffee   Rad Blu minibar

Although the mini-bar was an electronic refrigerator, meaning you can’t move the items, there was some space available for personal food and drink.

Bathroom

Looked nice and we had good water pressure and temperature.

Rad Blu Bathroom-1

Nothing says you are in a tourist hotel like the room design that includes all kinds of Dutch kitsch in the carpet weave pattern.

Rad Blu AMS carpet-2

Tulips, windmills and wooden shoes – oh my!

Radisson Blu Amsterdam Exterior View Room 338

I hated the atrium facing location. I want to look outside and not inside a hotel building. I don’t want to see other guests in their hotel rooms.

While I should have gone down to the desk right away the first day to request an exterior view room, I didn’t. We were ready to walk around after nearly 24 hours of travel with the long flights from California. And then we were ready to pass out and sleep when we got back to the room.

As the evening hours rolled around and the after-meeting crowd gathered in the lobby bar on a Sunday night, the noise was too much to keep our balcony door open. Once I closed the doors and shut the curtains, I felt like I was in a dark cave. The cave room was good for a first night’s sleep, but I wanted some city action for the second night of our stay.

The next morning we changed rooms for an exterior view room. The front desk moved us to another room with no question.

Rad Blu room 2a

The natural light flooding the room during the day made room 338 a delight. After the initial rain and sleet on our Sunday arrival, the next three days in Amsterdam were gorgeously clear skies and near freezing cold temperatures. The windows opened in room 338 providing cool fresh air and the sounds of Amsterdam. The atrium room was great for sleeping, but this exterior street room made us feel like we were part of Amsterdam.

Rad Blu room2b

Screaming people on the streets at midnight is something reserved for New Year’s in Monterey, California. Part of the charm, or annoyance of Amsterdam, are the number of people out on the streets all night long, sometimes drunk, sometimes exuberant, sometimes angry, sometimes just a bicycle bell warning pedestrians to stay out of the way. Few cars drive these city center streets until the morning deliveries start the day of business in this city of canals.

Rad Blu room 2c view

Radisson Blu Amsterdam view over Rusland Street.

Room 338, our second room had a feature of a couple of steps at the doorway. I commented to Kelley how there should be a nightlight by the steps. The next week when staying at the Venetian Las Vegas there was a nightlight beside the two steps to their living room suite.

Rd Blu room 2 steps

Two steps into the Radisson Blu Amsterdam room.

The bathroom was smaller in room 338 than room 415.

Rad Blu room 338 view-2

View of Radisson Blu Amsterdam second building from Room 338.

The building seen inmy photo has Kloveniersburgwal canal facing rooms. I walked around the other building, apparently still being renovated on some floors. It appeared that most of the Business Class rooms are on this side of the hotel.

Rad Blu Business Class

The lobby building where all three of our hotel rooms were located is separated from the two adjacent canals by a row of townhouses.

Radisson Blu Amsterdam has 252 rooms and suites. The top floors of the other building have some incredible looking suites as seen in hotel website photos. You can see a gallery of photos including three specialty suites: Ruyschen Suite, New Amsterdam Suite and Mezzanine Suite on the hotel website.

The fitness room is underground between the two hotel buildings. There is a cool model of the hotel on the lower floor level beneath the lobby.

Rad Blu Ams model

Radisson Blu Fitness Room

Apparently from hotel reviews I read, the hotel bar was located recently in the underground passage until the remodel was completed in January 2016.

Rad Blu -1floorb   Rad Blu-1 floor

The fitness room is accessed by going to the –1 floor and then walking up another stairway.

Rad Blu fitness-2   RadBlu Fitness-1

The equipment looked too tightly close together to me in the relatively small space. Not a problem, since I was the only person in the room when I exercised.

Radisson Blu Amsterdam Room 512

Our first stay at Radisson Blu Amsterdam was two nights and then we went to the InterContinental Amstel, a hotel stay we absolutely adored. Then we returned to Radisson Blu for another two night stay.

The first thing I asked upon our return is not give us an atrium facing room. The receptionist commented that was in my profile and they had booked us into a 5th floor room with an exterior view.

Rad Blu 512 view

This room had a much smaller window than room 338 overlooking Rusland, but the added benefit was the room was on the west side of the hotel behind the row of houses on Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal. The room noise at night was far quieter than the Rusland facing room due to the houses between the room and the canal side street.

Rad Blu 512 TV

Some Fun Hotel Photos

Doors

Pixelated bathroom doors in hotel lobby.

Radisson Blu Bar

Rad Blu bar-1

The private upstairs nook is an adorable feature of the bar.

Rad Blu bar-2

Spend anytime in Amsterdam and eventually you will become impressed or at least informed about their history of ship trade around the world during the 17th century.

Rad Blu bar-3

There was one particular tree I became enamored with as I walked the hallway between the elevator and our room.

Rad Blu tree view

Majestic (elm?) tree rising above the six story buildings in Amsterdam.

Yesterday I wrote a post on the location of Radisson Blu Amsterdam near the main Red Light District of Amsterdam.

Loyalty Traveler – Radisson Blu Amsterdam location is perfect for poke and toke.

In that piece I drew a rough approximation outlining the red light district of Amsterdam. Low and behold, a quick Google Search revealed an actual Google Maps outline for Amsterdam Red Light District.

Google Maps Red Light District

Radisson Blu Amsterdam is located on Rusland right where the street name is shown on the map below the #6 bullet for the Hash, Marijuana and Hemp Museum Amsterdam.

Radisson Blu Amsterdam is a Club Carlson category 7 reward night at 70,000 points per night. Room rates average over $250 USD per night year-round. I booked the hotel last May 2015 before the Club Carlson Visa changes discontinued the benefit of one free night on reward stays of two or more nights. I paid 50,000 points per 2-night Category 6 hotel reward stay at the time I booked our stays. We stayed four nights for 100,000 Club Carlson points. Four nights at Radisson Blu Amsterdam hotel in 2016 is now priced at 280,000 points.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. Ric – Thanks for the report on the Radisson Blu Amsterdam. I’m looking forward to staying for two nights at the Rusland property in April. I haven’t been to “The Venice of the North” for many years, so I’m excited to catch up on the renovated Van Gogh and Reijksmuseum.

    I will fly direct from SFO as well (30K miles on KLM/Delta), but stay for only the two nights (same 2-4-1 deal) before heading to Italy and back through London. I’ve got Radisson properties booked before June, 2015 in Rome and London along the way.

    I agree that the canal side location is preferable to the hustle & bustle near Central Station. A’dam has so many charming neighborhoods that I avoid the main streets as much as possible. Hopefully, the inevitable jet lag won’t keep me from making the most of the whirlwind visit. Who knows, I might get into a little ‘toke & poke’ – for old time sake!

  2. We are doing a whirlwind 2-night pass through Amsterdam too in April before heading to Vilnius and Stockholm. We will be on the Prinsengracht next time around at Hyatt Andaz.

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