Apr072016

Hotel Review: Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Centre on Wyndham Rewards GoFast rate

Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Centre may become my new go to upscale budget hotel for Amsterdam stays. The hotel itself is mostly upscale. The location is not really center Amsterdam for a tourist, but Dam near. The hotel location is west of city centre Amsterdam on the #13 tram line with frequent service all day long and only 12 minutes to Dam Square by tram.

Ramada Amsterdam

Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Centre seen from Rembrandt Park.

3,000 Wyndham Rewards Points Gave $190 Discount

My stay was booked on a Wyndham Rewards GoFast rate for 3,000 points + 54.60 EUR ($62 USD) for a King Executive Room. This was a significant savings on the lowest published rate for the same room category at 223.13 EUR for an advance purchase nonrefundable booking. That is 168.53 EUR off the room rate for 3,000 Wyndham Rewards points. A room rate discount of $190 USD by redeeming 3,000 Wyndham Rewards points is a redemption value of $63 per 1,000 points.

Ramada AMS lobby-1

One of the best features for the hotel is free shuttle transportation from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to the hotel. There is a 5 EUR charge for the hotel shuttle one-way to the airport.

Ramada shuttle

The Ramada hotel is by the #13 tram line and only 12 minutes from Dam Square by tram. Trams run about every 7 minutes in daytime hours and about every 10 to 13 minutes in the early morning starting at 6am and evening hours to midnight. The tram stop is a four minute walk from the hotel entrance.

Ramada lobby-a

Ramada gift store

The lobby is a relatively large space with a gift store, seating for dozens, a small café and a couple of computers. The main hotel restaurant and bar is located on the 17th floor.

Ramada lobby computers

Ramada lobby seats

An interesting aspect of the Ramada Apollo Amsterdam is its location adjacent to the HotelSchool The Hague, a business university for hospitality industry education. The young front desk staffer at check in seemed to me to exemplify best practices in welcoming a guest to the hotel.

Ramada AMS cafe

King Bed Executive Room

The hotel has 19 floors. Our room was a corner King Bed Executive room on the 11th floor.

The deal with Wyndham Rewards is there are often a choice of hotel room categories when booking a reward stay. There were three room categories available for points during our dates: Standard, Deluxe, and Executive. Of course, I booked the highest room category available.

Wyndham Rewards Ramada AMS room types

I find value in Wyndham Rewards points, regardless if the prevailing attitude of Wyndham Rewards among points and miles enthusiasts is a hotel loyalty program not worth much consideration.

Ramada Executive-1

Ramada Executive-2

The TV is positioned on a counter at the foot of the bed and swivels to face the bed or the couch/desk side of the room.

Ramada Executive-5

The cushions on the couch were too soft and thin and the couch seemed lower than a standard chair. I kept making hard landings when I sat.

Ramada Executive-3

The room had a mini-frig, safe and iron in the cabinets.

Ramada Executive-4   Ramada frig

Ramada iron   Ramada safe   Ramada ice

There was an ice machine on Floor 11 and plenty of ice. We did not find an ice bucket in the room. There were no containers at the ice machine. We had our own clean plastic containers we carry for food storage when traveling.

Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Executive Bathroom

There was a shower stall and bathtub and two sinks in our Executive bathroom.

Ramada bath-3

Ramada Bath-2  Ramada bath-1

My primary complaint was the accessibility issue for the rooftop lounge patio and the basement fitness center. These spaces are only accessible by stairs as far as I could tell.

Upgrade Room and Free Drinks Too

I received two free drink coupons for the 17th floor Skybar. We had drinks and bought appetizers at the Skybar. The hotel fine dining restaurant is simply called Floor17. The place was popular among locals too with sweeping views over central Amsterdam on a sunny April evening.

Ramada SkyBar

From the 17th floor, there are stairs to the 19th floor rooftop. The hotel holds outdoor concerts on the roof and the season started April 1.

Ramada 19th rooftop

Ramada rooftop flag

Access to the basement fitness center was one part of the hotel that I felt needs to be improved. A couple flights of stairs in an unattractive unpainted stairwell to reach the fitness room was a space I thought would be greatly improved with some paint to create a more welcoming approach. I thought the space seemed a little intimidating and scary.

Ramada stairs to gym  Ramada gym door

Ramada gym-1   Ramada gym-2

My key did not work to open the fitness room door, which is why my photos were snapped from outside the room viewing through the door glass.

Guest room hall-1   Guest room hall-2

Room floor imagery at Ramada Apollo Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Hotel Locations

April is tulip season in Amsterdam. I was shocked to see hotel rates were nearly double in Amsterdam compared to our trip six weeks earlier in February. The historic 17th century canal ring is the most desirable location in Amsterdam where hotels like Hyatt’s Andaz and Waldorf-Astoria are located.

Google Maps AMS Ramada Apollo

Google Maps shows the distance between Ramada Apollo Amsterdam and Andaz Amsterdam at 25 minutes travel time using #13 tram with 9 minutes of that time walking from the tram stop to Andaz and 5 minutes from tram stop to Ramada Apollo.

On my three trips to Amsterdam so far this year, I have chosen to stay at hotels outside of city center to get far lower hotel rates. My previous trips in January and February included stays at Best Western Premier Hotel Couture, about 15 minutes west of Museumplein on Tram #2. Loyalty Traveler – Best Western Premier Amsterdam Hotel Couture hotel review. (Jan 31, 2016).

For me the trade-off of paying hundreds of dollars per night less for a hotel located 15 minutes from city center is a good deal. City trams are efficient and cheap with a 24 hour ticket priced at 7.50 EUR and rates dropping for multi-day passes. Individual ride tickets are 2.90 EUR for city public transportation.

Kelley enjoyed the city park location of Ramada Apollo Amsterdam. I assume this Amsterdam hotel will become one of our go to hotels for affordable stays in Amsterdam.

Ramada bikes

Bicycles at Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Centre.

Wyndham Rewards points go on sale Monday April 11 at 1pm ET through the U.S. Travel Association Daily Getaways. Each Wyndham Rewards member can purchase 15,000 points for $150 or 30,000 points for $300 while supplies last. There are 1,333 sets of points for sale.

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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