Is it worth staying extra days in Amsterdam?

Hello -- we are on a June '19 trip from Milan to Amsterdam and we are debating whether or not to stay extra days in Amsterdam. We are 62 years old and we have read about the museums, but we're not sure if it's worth checking into a hotel for a night or two to see more than what we'll see in the afternoon when we first get there. Also, the W Amsterdam hasn't had the greatest reviews and yet it's around $650 to $700 per night. So any thoughts on the W or staying somewhere else? Also, I talked to Tauck, and if we stay elsewhere, it sounds like we'll have to provide our own transfer to the hotel and then they'll provide the transfer from hotel to the airport. Thanks in advance for any comments!

Comments

  • Phil. We thought it was worth staying a few extra days in Amsterdam. We stayed at the W Amsterdam in April and we enjoyed it. There are some wonderful museums (Rijksmuseum, Rembrandthuis, Van Gogh) and the Anne Frank House. There are many more interesting museums however we did not have the time to get to them. It's also a great city to explore on foot.
  • Yes, it is worth spending a few extra days in Amsterdam. It's a charming city to walk around (but watch out for the cyclists). You can search on line or in travel guides for things to do in addition to the museums. I loved finding the hidden Begijnhof (courtesy of Fodor's) and the flower market. I can't imagine going to Amsterdam and not going to the Anne Frank House. As many people have noted on various forums, you should get your tickets in advance.
  • If you stay and want tickets to the Anne Frank House, you must get them online. They open the sale two months prior to the date. I was just in Amsterdam and went to the Anne Frank House. You can no longer just walk up and stand in line. All tickets must be prepurchased online now according to the sign. You get a certain time to go in and the time on the ticket is the time that you get on the line.
  • edited September 2018
    Yes!! There is so much to see and do in Amsterdam that Tauck doesn't cover. Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, Zaanse Schans, many canal-side restaurants to explore. We also really enjoyed taking the train (15 minutes) to Haarlem, a marvelous small town near Amsterdam.

    We stayed at a marvelous AirBnB for the first 2 nights after arrival (https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/7458963) which we HIGHLY recommend, before moving to the Tauck hotel, The Conservatorium for our "Gift of Time." We wished we had stayed in the AirBnB the whole time and were very thankful we weren't paying for The Conservatorium, which we found to be a very mediocre hotel. The only good thing about it is that it is located only 2 blocks from the Van Gogh Museum, so it was easy to go there in the morning of river cruise departure day. We flew back to Amsterdam at the end of our trip and stayed in an AirBnB for 2 more nights before leaving for home from AMS; there are still many things on our Amsterdam to-do list we weren't able to cover.
  • Phil—-Yes, it is worth spending some extra time in Amsterdam. We did not see anywhere near as much as we wanted in our one extra day due to the extremely slow unloading of the riverboat and the horrible situation at the W Hotel. It is the worst hotel on the planet. If I were on a Tauck tour and that was the hotel, I would either 1)make other arrangements and transfer by Uber or 2) find another tour company. Find out what other hotels Tauck uses for Amsterdam stays and use one of those.
    Do not miss the Van Gogh Museum, and go early in the morning. We enjoyed it much more than the Rijksmuseum.
    Have a good time on your trip.
    Nancy
  • Nancy, what is the problem with the W hotel? We are staying on there for a couple of days next year after our riverboat tour and Mr B is already bemoaning the price per night. Surely it is not that bad or Tauck would go elsewhere.
  • Oh swell! I'm staying one night at the W before our cruise begins on Sept. 27. To top it off, I used SPG points to pay for our room and two other couples. Now I'll have to listen to everyone complain if anything goes wrong. The only potential problem I saw was that the W appears to be the swinging hotel in town. Lots of millennial beautiful people eating carrot sticks and listening to loud music. Since we are staying on a Wednesday night, we may avoid the noise.
  • Stayed there two nights (Thu & Fri) in April 2018. The W is actually two buildings separated by a street. We were in the one that is a little bit closer to the Anne Frank house. We had no experience with "millennials, carrots or loud music." We had a very nice room, comfortable and quiet. Hope that it turns out that way for you too.
  • Also, the W Amsterdam hasn't had the greatest reviews and yet it's around $650 to $700 per night. So any thoughts on the W or staying somewhere else? Also, I talked to Tauck, and if we stay elsewhere, it sounds like we'll have to provide our own transfer to the hotel and then they'll provide the transfer from hotel to the airport. Thanks in advance for any comments!

    Hi,

    I am taking the Rhine, Swiss Alps and Amsterdam riverboat cruise next year and am staying one extra night in Amsterdam before the trip starts. We stay at The Pulitzer instead of the W, but it's also expensive - $699 double and $654 single. Luckily I am using my "gift of time" for my extra night, but hotel cost is one of the reasons I'm not staying more than one extra night.

    Has anyone stayed at The Pulitzer? Any opinions about that hotel compared to the W?

    As for ground transportation, when I did the Christmas Markets on the Rhine, there was no hotel as part of the cruise, but Tauck had a recommended hotel that they would include in your reservation if you paid for it. It was more expensive than other hotels, but they said if I went somewhere else, they would only provide transportation to either the hotel or airport (I forget which) but not both. I decided to just stay at their hotel and it was fine. Others from the tour stayed there too, so we went out to dinner and went to the airport together the next morning...all arranged by Tauck. It was just easier.
  • Travelcrazy -- I stayed at the Pulitzer in 2011 and loved it. It was quaint. We were in a huge room on the top floor that was oddly shaped and had timbered ceilings. Their website says that the hotel was completely modernized in 2016, so the "quaintness" might be gone now, but if I were returning to Amsterdam, I would not hesitate to stay there. It's within walking distance of the Anne Franke House and Dam Square and lots of other neat places.
  • Hi,

    I am taking the Rhine, Swiss Alps and Amsterdam riverboat cruise next year and am staying one extra night in Amsterdam before the trip starts. We stay at The Pulitzer instead of the W, but it's also expensive - $699 double and $654 single. Luckily I am using my "gift of time" for my extra night, but hotel cost is one of the reasons I'm not staying more than one extra night.

    Has anyone stayed at The Pulitzer? Any opinions about that hotel compared to the W?

    As for ground transportation, when I did the Christmas Markets on the Rhine, there was no hotel as part of the cruise, but Tauck had a recommended hotel that they would include in your reservation if you paid for it. It was more expensive than other hotels, but they said if I went somewhere else, they would only provide transportation to either the hotel or airport (I forget which) but not both. I decided to just stay at their hotel and it was fine. Others from the tour stayed there too, so we went out to dinner and went to the airport together the next morning...all arranged by Tauck. It was just easier.
  • Hi,

    I am taking the Rhine, Swiss Alps and Amsterdam riverboat cruise next year and am staying one extra night in Amsterdam before the trip starts. We stay at The Pulitzer instead of the W, but it's also expensive - $699 double and $654 single. Luckily I am using my "gift of time" for my extra night, but hotel cost is one of the reasons I'm not staying more than one extra night.

    Has anyone stayed at The Pulitzer? Any opinions about that hotel compared to the W?

    As for ground transportation, when I did the Christmas Markets on the Rhine, there was no hotel as part of the cruise, but Tauck had a recommended hotel that they would include in your reservation if you paid for it. It was more expensive than other hotels, but they said if I went somewhere else, they would only provide transportation to either the hotel or airport (I forget which) but not both. I decided to just stay at their hotel and it was fine. Others from the tour stayed there too, so we went out to dinner and went to the airport together the next morning...all arranged by Tauck. It was just easier.
    We stayed at the Marriott centrally located and it is fabulous Take the tour to the windmills There is tons to do in Amsterdam One day not enough We have been several times
  • British and others
    There are so many things wrong with the W that I could write all day. 1) It is in 2 buildings across the street from each other....a street filled with cars and crazy bicyclists. Different things are in the different buildings, and whatever we wanted at any given time was always in the other building. 2) The service was atrocious. Check in time was 3:00 p.m., and when we arrived right at 3:00, our room was not available, along with lots of other rooms for our group. It was 6:45 before we got a room. The understaffed front desk personnel did not care at all. 3) The room was very dark, hard and edgy looking. The bathroom sink was next to the bed, no towel bar near the shower, the toilet in a separate dark closet. Worst of all, the a/c did not work. We tried to change rooms, but no luck. 4). The bar was full of millennials and blaring music. We got off the elevator, turned around and went right back down to the lobby, then found a little bar near the hotel. This is a hip and happening place, and somehow I don’t think Tauck travelers fit into this category. 5) Breakfast was so slow that we almost missed our transfer to the airport.
    We stayed in the Bank Building; perhaps the other building is better. Go online and look at the pictures of the rooms. They are strange indeed. Amsterdam is an expensive city, and the W is an expensive hotel. Too bad it is not worh a fraction of its cost.
    When we returned from the trip, we sent a real letter with a stamp to the CEO of Tauck. His assistant called us to express her apologies and noted that they have had many complaints about the W. Hopefully, they can find another hotel to take its place, and they do use other hotels for the various Amsterdam trips. Just find out what they are and stay at one of them.
    I hate to be so negative because our experience with Tauck hotels has generally been extremely good. Unfortunately, the W took the bad experience to the ultimate low extreme.
    Whatever you do, have fun doing it, and best of luck with the hotel.
    Nancy
  • edited September 2018
    Dixie Chick,

    The morning the Inspire reached Amsterdam, approximately what time did the group leave for the canal boat ride/lunch and approximately when was it over? Trying to discern how much time there is after to do things before having to return to the ship.

    Staying 2 nights at the W after the tour and very concerned. Tauck contracts for X nights per year well in advance so they cannot just switch to another place so we 2019 travelers are “sol”. Oh well, the hardships we endure to be able to travel with Tauck :).

    Any inside info you can provide on this this trip (on any subject) will be much appreciated.

    Bryan & Laura
  • Bryan and Laura
    We were on a different river cruise, so our timing was different. Our canal cruise lasted an hour, or a bit longer. Since you have lunch on the cruise, you should have most of the afternoon to explore Amsterda. The farewell reception and dinner will probably begin around 6 or 6:30, so be back at the boat about hour ahead to freshen up for the festivities. When we disembarked the boat in Amsterda, the people staying extra days were the last to get off the boat. We had bought tickets for the Van Gogh Museum for 10:00, and we barely made it. Took a cab from the hotel. We really enjoyed that museum, but it gets more and more crowded as the day goes on. There are several stands outside the museum to get a light lunch or snack after your visit. The museum cafe is only so-so. I prefer the Impressionist art to the Old Masters, so depending on your taste and tolerance for museums, choose according betwee VG and Rijksmuseum. We did not have much time, and we wasted a lot of it waiting for our room, so we only had time for the VG and the floating flower market. We left the next morning. I guess that means we have to go back. Everything is crowded, and we were in Amsterdam on a Saturday. We were not able to get Anne Frank tickets online. Oh well, we read the book and saw the movie. I would encourage you to get tickets for what you really want to see online, plenty of time in advance.
    Concerning the W, I would suggest that you request a room in the building across from the bank. Surely it could not be worse, hopefully better.
    Have a good trip.
    Nancy
  • Nancy,

    Thank you for the update.
  • Thanks NANCY, yikes. I did read many of the reviews on TripAdvisor but do trust you sum up the place. We do like to be amongst the hip crowd, we hang out with many younger friends in our ‘acting crowd’ but we are past the loud music and noise unless we are dancing too. I assume that due to the large number of people on the river cruises, the choice of hotels is much more limited than on the land tours. We have arrived on our latest tour today and when we just now arrived back to our hotel from a walk and great ice cream, we bumped into a wedding crowd which always makes me fear noisy corridors and loud music when you are trying to sleep.
    We went on our first Small ship cruise earlier this year and discovered that Tauck guests were staying in two different hotels pre ship. You can’t help wonder if one hotel was better than the other.
    I’m amazed if reviews have been consistently bad about the W that Tauck still stays there. Maybe there is no better choice for a large group of people. Even from your poor experience, I’ve recently stayed in much worse hotels, though not with Tauck, luckily we are not in the rooms much.
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