After an amazing time in Dusseldorf drinking our way from alt bier haus to alt bier haus, I caught a train with some friends to Amsterdam. I had planned on reviewing my train trip on the DB Bahn, but I was feeling all of the alt bier we had consumed the day before so I opted to just review the next hotel on the trip. That happened to be the fantastic Element Amsterdam in Amstelveen.
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Although I covet my Starpoints pretty highly, I decided to burn 3,500 Starpoints per night plus $50 in cash for each of my 3 nights at this property. Paid rates at the property were ~$175 per night and the location was near where friends of mine were staying, so it just seemed to make the most sense. I earned most of my Starpoints through the sign-up bonuses and spend on the American Express SPG Personal card and the SPG Business card.
Introduction – Europe On A Whim
Review – United 737-800 BusinessFirst – RSW-IAH
Review – KLM Crown Lounge – IAH
Review – United 767-300 BusinessFirst – IAH-EWR
Review – Lufthansa Senator Lounge – EWR
Review – Austrian Airlines 767-300 Business Class – EWR-VIE
Review – Sky Lounge (Non-Schengen) – VIE
Review – Sky Lounge (Schengen) – VIE
Review – Austrian Airlines Lounge – VIE
Review – Austrian Airlines A320 Business Class – VIE-DUS
Review – Holiday Inn Express Dusseldorf
Review – Element Amsterdam
Review – KLM Royal Crown Lounge – AMS
Review – Air France A318 Premier Class – AMS-CDG
Review – Air France Salon Lounge – CDG
Review – Air France A320 Premier Class – CDG-LIS
Review – Intercontinental Lisbon
Review – ANA Lounge – LIS
Review – Iberia A320 Business Class – LIS-MAD
Review – Iberia Sala VIP Velazquez Lounge – MAD
Review – British Airways 767-300 Business Class – MAD-LHR
Review – British Airways Galleries Lounge – Terminal 3 LHR
Review – No. 1 Lounge – Terminal 3 LHR
Review – Swissport Lounge – Terminal 3 LHR
Review – American Airlines Admirals Club – Terminal 3 LHR
Review – American Airlines 777-300ER (77W) Business Class – LHR-DFW
The Element in Amsterdam is located in the much quieter neighborhood of Amstelveen, which is out by Schipol Airport on the outskirts of the city. There is access to 2 of the major metro lines (the M5 and the M51) a short 5 minute walk away and I was always in the heart of Amsterdam within about 20 minutes. The hotel itself is tucked back into the entrance to a small shopping plaza, though was very retro from the outside.
Upon entering, there were couches and various seating areas to the left and right.
There was no one in line at the check-in counter, so I was checked in quickly by a super friendly associate who acknowledged my SPG Gold status and thanked me for my loyalty. It is a small thing, but I actually really do appreciate that touch.
I was directed towards the elevators which were to the left and past another seating area.
In the far corner were 2 small computer stations which were available for guest use. The complimentary wifi at the hotel was the fastest of all the hotels I stayed at as well, which was nice.
I took the elevator up to the 4th floor where I turned right towards my room. The hotel as a whole felt extremely new and fresh, but without the new hotel smell. That means the hotel was either sparsely used, or extremely well maintained. I tend to think it was the latter honestly.
I quickly found my room on the left hand side – room 411.
Upon walking into the room, everything looked brand new, but with a somewhat IKEA feel to it. And I do not mean that in a bad way as I really do like that IKEA style!
To the left past the standard closet was a small kitchenette area that featured a microwave, dishwasher (!!), sink and small stove top. The cabinets were stocked with silverware, glasses and plates. Waiting on the far end of the counter was a Keurig style instant coffee maker. My only complaint of the stay was that my coffee pods were not refilled each day after housekeeping – though it was a very minor thing to call down to the front desk and request a few extra.
Past the kitchenette was a TV that was mounted on the wall and a very comfortable L-shaped couch.
As with all Starwood properties, the bed was huge and extremely comfortable.
Across from the bed was a small desk with two chairs.
The bathroom was to the right as soon as you walked into the room and was surprisingly spacious for a European hotel room.
The amenities were Pharmacopia, which I had never heard of before.
The shower was a full sized walk-in, which I really appreciate being a tall guy!
Pharmacopia amenities were in the shower as well.
The shower even had one of those rain shower heads, which I only found out about by being directly under it when I turned the water on. The shock that comes from ice cold water early in the morning will wake you REAL quick, believe me!
The hotel offered a complimentary breakfast, though I ended up not partaking on any of the mornings simply because the food elsewhere in Amsterdam is so incredible. If you have never had one, I would HIGHLY recommend you try a Dutch Pannenkoeken. It is a mix between a crepe and a pancake that they top with whatever you want. I opted for stewed apples and bacon every time. Paired with some excellent local Heineken, you really cannot go wrong!
As my friends were flying back to the States, I had some decisions to make on where to head to next. My friend LeeAnne lives in Barcelona and suggested a game of drunken travel roulette – that’s where you have a few drinks and make a decision on where you are traveling to next. So, after a few Heinekens and some discussion with her on where best to explore next, I opted for Lisbon, Portugal. And when I said in my introduction post that I literally booked it 4 hours before my departure, I mean that I literally booked my flight at the Element, checked out from the hotel and caught an Uber straight for Amsterdam Airport (AMS) to catch my flight to Lisbon! And it turned out to be an absolutely fantastic call!
Overall, I was really impressed with the Element brand. This was my first time staying at an Element property and I can say I would definitely go back to not only the brand as a whole, but definitely to this particular hotel as well. Although it was not located in the web that is old-town Amsterdam, the quick metro ride and the extremely reasonable price more than made up for this.
What is your favorite hotel in Amsterdam?
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