Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Living like a local in Amsterdam

There's something about staying in an apartment that trumps a hotel every time. Like staying with a friend, or even living for a short while in a foreign city, booking a short-stay apartment allows you to feel like you belong. You step out of your own front door and it's as if you live there. There may be no fancy lobby or on-site swimming pool but what you lose in facilities you more than make up for in personality. Because apartments, although sparsely decorated, are never as homogeneous as hotel rooms. There's a kitchen, not a minibar; neighbours instead of a concierge and, in the case of this Amsterdam apartment, a fascinatingly vertiginous spiral staircase instead of a featureless lift.
Booked through Short Stay Apartments Amsterdam, our apartment at 36 Brouwersstraat in Amsterdam's funky Jordaan district was perfect for a short stay in the city. Had we wanted to cook we could have (it had not only a stove and microwave but also a dishwasher and proper coffeemaker) and the lounge area was spacious enough to loll around in on lazy afternoons - and far enough from the separate bedroom to feel like a proper living room. We found ourselves discussing where our stuff would go if we moved in, entertaining furniture fantasies and visualising dinner parties, and revelled in having a place to retreat to when the sightseeing got too much.

The location was perfect for us - near enough to a selection of inviting restaurants and bars, but far enough from the crazed bustle of the old centre. We could walk everywhere and were right in the heart of the action without having to be kept awake by it come nightfall. The bells of Posthoornkerk
marked the hours (which only became annoying when those hours were the early morning ones) and our view over the Brouwers canal meant minutes were whiled away watching boats float by and bikes meander past.

My only complaint about the apartment would be that the bathroom was small and not well-designed (the cord from tap to shower snaking across the bathtub was pretty poor), but this seemed a small price to pay for a home away from home in the heart of Amsterdam. Next time we visit, we won't be booking a hotel.

1 comment:

  1. I believe that you will get a better feel of Amsterdam city if you choose to stay at a Amsterdam apartment instead of a commercial hotel.