Jan242019

Review: Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam City Hall

Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam City Hall opened in April 2018 in a location about 15 minutes walk east of Centraal Station. I wrote in January 2018 that I thought it unlikely the reward rate would remain priced at 20,000 points for very long. I booked the hotel in October 2018 at 20K per night for a January 2019 stay. The hotel is now priced at 35,000 points per night.

HIX Amsterdam City Hall room view 5001

Seems like every year a different hotel becomes the best deal I find for Amsterdam. In 2016, Best Western Hotel Couture (rebranded) for $60 or 10,000 points was a real deal and Park Plaza Vondelpark offered rates under $75 per night in winter during promotion sales.

2017 and early 2018 our go to hotel was Ramada Apollo Amsterdam when it was 3,000 points + €62 for an Executive Panoramic View room. Since April 2018 Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam City Hall was the best deal in the city at 20,000 points. At its current 35,000 points price I would only stay here when prices are around €100, which knocks out most dates.

Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam City Hall

HIX Amsterdam City Hall entrance

HIX Amsterdam City Hall is light colored building. Waterlooplein Metro station is near end of street about 7 minutes walk.

HIX Amsterdam City Hall street exterior

Lobby

Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam City Hall Christmas tree

Large maps of Amsterdam cover the walls in the hotel lobby entrance

A small lobby bar located on the other side of the reception desk.

HIX Amsterdam City Hall bar seating

Rooms

The hotel has 7 floors of guest rooms.

There are seven rooms on floors 2-6, nine rooms on the ground floor and 22 rooms on Floor 1. The hotel has an interesting layout with the main building at the entrance, a connecting hallway for building B at ground level and another canal side building C.

HIX Amsterdam City Hall rooms are in three locations with the main building and B and C buildings.

Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam City Hall Floor 1 room map

Room 50.01

We received an upgrade to one of the canal view rooms in the main building as seen in the first photo of this article. Most rooms in the main building face the street and do not offer a canal view Rooms 01 and 07 face the canal.

HIX Amsterdam City Hll Room 50.01 twin beds.

These beds and pillows were comfortable to us. Two USB ports and a plug outlet between beds.

HIX Amsterdam City Hall 5001 twin beds

Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam City Hall room 50.01 TV

HIX Amsterdam City Hall room 50.01 closet

HIX Amsterdam City Hall room 50.01 chair and table

HIX Amsterdam City Hall room 50.01 bathroom.

HIX Amsterdam City Hall Room 50.01 shower

The main complaint about the room is no refrigerator. Ice was available from the lobby bar to chill the room temperature beer we purchased at the supermarket.

HIX Amsterdam cup of ice from lobby bar

HIX Amsterdam City Hall seen from Peperbrug

In the photo above the Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam City Hall (light colored building) is seen from Peperbrug bridge. Our room 50.01 is the second window from the top in the building set back from the canal (open curtain in window on left).

Amsterdam Peperbrug bridge view

Peperbrug bridge seen from room 50.01.

Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam City Hall Breakfast

While breakfast included in the room rate is a welcome amenity for a stay at Holiday Inn Express, the breakfast buffet layout in a minimal space was a nightmare for guest congestion.

HIX Amsterdam City Hall breakfast room

HIX Amsterdam City Hall breakfast room off lobby.

HIX Amsterdam City Hall breakfast buffet

HIX Amsterdam breakfast room congestion

Just out of frame to the left is bar table seating meaning people have to line up to get coffee and get to the plates and utensils in a space only large enough for two people side-by-side.

HIX Amsterdam City Hall breakfast buffet

Breakfast included cold cuts, cheese, breads, pastries, yogurt and some veggies. There was no hot food and no eggs, even though eggs were mentioned in the hotel breakfast description.

Fortunately there was a second coffee machine in the middle of the breakfast room to relieve some of the buffet area congestion.

HIX Amsterdam City Hall second coffee machine

HIX Amsterdam City Hall breakfast room

There is also a lobby market for some items.

HIX Amsterdam City Hall lobby market

Albert Heijn Waterlooplein is a major supermarket less than 10 minutes walk from the hotel and a Spar market is even closer across the street from the hotel.

HIX Amsterdam City Hall front entrance

I love the location of Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam City Hall for its easy access to Waterlooplein, Rembrandt House, easy walk to Centraal Station and a great location for walks east into the historic Jewish quarter of Amsterdam with its museums and Artis, the city zoo.

At 35,000 points for a reward night I don’t know when I will return, but given a competitive room rate, I would definitely go back.

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.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Comments

  1. Ric —

    Not sure if you know, but the Radisson Blu Alcron is now independent and is just the Alcron hotel Prague.

    On the other hand, the Sheraton Prague that is no more is renovating and will re-brand as the new Radisson Blu in Prague.

  2. @Hadley – Thanks for the information. I did not know about Alcron and Sheraton.

    https://www.alcronhotel.com/

    I see Alcron at 127.50 EUR in April for prepaid rate and 150 EUR flexible. Hotel was $250 night low rate on Oct and Dec 2017 dates when I stayed using Radisson free nights.

    https://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2017/10/09/art-deco-at-radisson-blu-alcron-prague/

    Looks like a good price for Alcron compared to Hilton, Marriott, InterContinental hotels in city.

  3. Regarding the price point at which you would consider staying at that Amsterdam Holiday Inn Express again, isn’t the cost of almost all central Amsterdam hotels of this quality and above going to be around 100 Euros a night at the very least, winter or summer? Thanks, and enjoy your very practical posts.

  4. @Larry – Yes. Amsterdam is an expensive hotel city and the destination that turned my focus on hotel loyalty programs. I have redeemed points for about $40,000 in Amsterdam hotel rooms over the past 20 years. My points investment was well under $10,000 for stays at Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, Radisson, Hyatt, Best Western and Wyndham reward nights.

    Not sure how I am going to get $100 room nights in the future, but I have always found a way in Amsterdam. And I have nearly always stayed in upper upscale hotel rooms in the city.

    More realistic is to plan on upping my hotel budget for Amsterdam to $130 per hotel night in the future.

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