Intro: Two New European Cities And The Hamburg Do
Part 1: Luxurious Layovers – The Amex Centurion Lounge And Lufthansa First Class Terminal
Part 2: Springtime In Amsterdam
Part 3: The Hamburg Do
Part 4: Dublin And The Ride Home
Upon landing, I located the airport train, and about 30 minutes later was checking into the luxurious, boutique style Art’otel, a Club Carlson property in a historic building in a prime location just across the water from the train station.
The redemption rate for this hotel recently increased, though I had booked my two night stay prior, at a cost of 50k points for both nights with the CC Visa benefit. A steal with regular nightly rates at over 400 euros.
A bottle of wine and hand written welcome note were waiting for me in my top floor, waterfront room.
The room was spacious, and looked as if it had been recently renovated.
The decor of the hotel is very modern with unique furnishings and other art throughout. Yet the building still has old world charm and the rooms are very cozy and comfortable. The location is excellent.
Breakfast came with the room and included decent buffet options along with made to order items off of a menu. Overall, a really nice place, even at the newly increased redemption rate.
Amsterdam is a marvelous place to explore on foot, with beautiful canals and interesting shopping everywhere. I got lucky with amazingly warm, spring weather throughout my five days.
There are a lot of goods and services that likely wouldn’t be tolerated in most parts of the world. Here, just about anything goes.
I spent a few hours in Vondel Park, the Central Park of the city. There were lots of locals enjoying the well groomed paths and beautiful grounds.
Colorful, springtime tulips were in full bloom everywhere around the city.
I didn’t visit this trip, but the Heineken Brewery is a popular attraction.
Even though one could spend days here just wandering around the beautiful canals, there are a plethora of other things to see and do.
I can at times can have a low tolerance for large crowds and claustrophobic venues, but The Van Gogh museum does an outstanding job of managing capacity, crowd flow, and more importantly kept me interested and occupied with a lot of interactive displays, stories and other facts about the art. Probably one of the most interesting and enjoyable museums I’ve been to.
I also made sure to pay a visit to the Anne Frank House, which was truly surreal.
After two great nights at the Art’otel, I moved to the Radisson Blu in order to capitalize on another second night free benefit in this ultra expensive hotel city. The property is in a more residential area, on a quiet canal, yet still steps away from all the action.
My room was clean and comfortable, though pretty standard for a European hotel. It did have my favorite feature, heated bathroom floors! It seems that there is no standard policy on breakfast at this chain, and it wasn’t included here. But at around 300+ euros a night, I was happy to be able to pay for the room with points and get breakfast elsewhere.
I spent my final night in town at the rather swanky looking Hilton Doubletree located right next to the central train station. My flight to Hamburg was late evening, so the location, executive lounge, and late check out privileges (as a Diamond level guest) made this a good strategic points redemption, enabling me to enjoy another full day in the city.
My room was a one bedroom suite, though I think they might all be. It was really spacious and nice, though a relatively expensive points redemption at 50,000 HH points for the night.
After a late 4pm check out, I planted in the executive lounge for a couple of hours to catch up on some emails, and later, headed to the train station. A short time after I was boarding my flight on low cost carrier German Wings for the quick hop to Hamburg.