Staying in a former bridge house in Amsterdam - small but perfectly formed
Having spent two nights in a tramcar at the Hotel Not Hotel in Amsterdam I decided to switch to somewhere else for a night. Truth be known I could only get two nights at the Hotel Not Hotel, so the change was pretty much enforced – but I was glad to try a different place. I had been thinking about stopping on a houseboat – a must-do thing when staying in Amsterdam, but it was really, really expensive. Yet I found the next best thing, which sounded really cool – a bridge house on the canal.
Sweets Hotel operates 28 Bridge Houses as one hotel. It is a really interesting concept! As you might expect it not easy to have a reception desk for 28 rooms spread over quite a number of square kilometres. In this day and age technology makes this not a problem – of course, there is an app for it! This uses Bluetooth – but you need to initiate it with an Internet connection which did cause us a little problem – but a trip to a close-by bar really helped!
The bridge house was small, we tiny actually but it had everything we needed including a very compact ensuite bathroom. Luckily, the bed was amazingly comfortable and for one night that was the most important thing! This is tiny living so everything has its place and the bridge house was well equipped with everything the earnest traveller would need. Just don’t bring too much luggage.
Just a short skip-hop jump from the Bridge House is Vondelpark, the largest city park in Amsterdam and almost certainly the most famous park in the Netherlands. It is well worth exploring – be warned it is fairly large so you might want to join the thousands of cyclists and tour it by bike. We opted to walk through it – but beware there are lots of locals and tourists on bikes so it can be a little hair raising going through the park on foot. If you stick to the grass rather than the paths you will be a lot safer.
The areas around the park have some of the most exclusive residences in Amsterdam, so it is fun to leave the confines of the park itself and walk along the leafy streets, admire the lovely houses and gardens and see the rows of parked Porches, Mercedes and Ferraris.
If you are looking for somewhere to eat and drink there are plenty of bars and restaurants in the area, the most convenient of which is located literally across the street from the Bridge House, Gent aan de Schinkel. This place can get quite lively but during our stay, we didn’t hear much noise coming from it. More disturbing (and exciting) was the bridge next to us going up and down to let passing boats through. Gent aan de Schinkel has a nice, covered outdoor area (so you can even sit out and enjoy during rainstorms) and serves some great beer. The menu is traditional Dutch fare but there was a vegetarian option that they veganised especially for us – it was super tasty but don’t ask me what it was called as Dutch is a tricky language.
If you are looking for somewhere different to stay during a short trip to Amsterdam and don’t mind splashing out a bit of cash then I recommend looking at one of Sweets Hotels bridge houses. You can’t get a lot closer to the iconic canals – unless you are on a boat!