By Anton Constantinou
We love Amsterdam, so much so that we recently visited the Dutch capital on a business trip. Back in April, we wrote about some of the free things to do there, and also gave you some interesting facts about the city. This time around, our focus is on how to experience Amsterdam as a business traveller.
Amsterdam, like many European cities, is an important commercial hub, home to major corporations and big banks, including the world’s oldest stock exchange. Dutch Paintmaker, AkzoNobel, is headquartered there, as is the insurance company, Delta Lloyd.
Being a cosmopolitan city, Amsterdam is popular with tourists, offering a comfortable balance of rural and urban life. Of the 820,000 or so people settled there, many come from the international community. Tax breaks and a booming startup scene make it an attractive destination for new business owners. Expats are, likewise, drawn to its good schooling, housing and healthcare.
Our visit to Amsterdam may have been short, but it certainly wasn’t dull. As well as property visits and meetings, there was plenty of time for a bit of sightseeing.
After touching down at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, we made our way towards the pick-up point. Schiphol, like most airports has a designated taxi rank.
Between the 11 of us, we stayed at four properties: World Fashion Apartments Amsterdam , Hotel TWENTY EIGHT Amsterdam, Yays Zoutkeetsgracht – Concierged Boutique Apartments, and Htel Serviced Apartments Amstelveen, all of which are impeccably furnished and close to the airport. The transfer to World Fashion Apartments alone only took 15 minutes and set us back €15.
World Fashion Apartments Amsterdam
The Penthouse Suite here is stunning. It’s large, modern, and consists of three bedrooms, each with a double bed. Apartment features include fully equipped kitchens and terrace areas. Guests also benefit from access to an on-site food shop and restaurant.
Our balcony was huge. We sat out on it several times and found the seating to be extremely comfortable. Indoors, this property sees a lot of light due to its floor-to-ceiling windows, which, together with the wooden flooring and white walls provide a great sense of space. The welcome hampers we received were a nice touch and included chocolates, cheese and Prosecco. Dimitrios Kales, our host, couldn’t have been friendlier, and recommended some great places for us to visit.
Hotel TWENTY EIGHT Amsterdam
What’s not to love about this property? All apartments are finished to a high standard and feature modern furniture and luxury bathrooms. We especially loved the restaurant on the ground floor. Getting your head around the menu is a bit difficult if you don’t speak Dutch, but the food is fantastic. The property also boasts a fitness centre, spa and sauna.
Hotel TWENTY EIGHT is located in a quiet, safe suburb, just twenty minutes outside the city centre. This makes it ideal for families, or those after somewhere residential to stay. There are various shops nearby, including a bakery, supermarket and off-licence.
Also down the road is Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium. Built in 1928, this famous arena recently played host to the 2016 European Athletics Championships. Definitely pay it a visit if you’re into sports.
Guido Lips, Managing Director of Amsterdam ID Aparthotel, made us feel right at home by providing a tour of the property, along with some canapés and champagne.
Yays Zoutkeetsgracht – Concierged Boutique Apartments
First impressions are everything when it comes to accommodation. What you get at Yays is a strong sense of character from the very start. The property itself is an old, 18th century building that has since been converted into modern apartments.
The one bedroom units we stayed in have large island kitchens which would be great for families. The living areas are equally spacious. Housekeeping is provided once a week along with communal laundry facilities. A 24-hour reception also features on-site.
Location wise, this property is in easy reach of the city centre. A number 48 bus can be caught close by and takes you all the way to Amsterdam Centraal station in less than 15 minutes.
We were given an extensive welcome pack on arrival that included stroopwaffles and Willy Wonka style chocolates.
Htel Amsterdam Amstelveen
Of the properties we visited, Htel Amsterdam Amstelveen is a good corporate option. It’s located close to both a mini market and Amsteveen city centre, where you’ll find numerous HQs for big firms like British American Tobacco, Nestlé and Yakult . There’s also a hospital in the immediate area, and Ouderkerkerlaan subway station can be reached in 10 minutes by foot.
All apartments feature fully equipped bathrooms and bathrooms, along with free Wi-Fi. We’re a big fan of the luxury extras at this property like the jet stream pool, Turkish steam bath, and sauna. We also used the Boat House room on-site to conduct a group meeting.
Eager to see some of Amsterdam, we embarked on a boat tour across the city. Damtours provided a 2 hour, open-top cruise of the canals which included unlimited Prosecco and beer.
After the cruise, it was time for dinner. We booked a table at an authentic Dutch restaurant in central Amsterdam called Haesje Claes, where we had a private room. It was traditional, cosy and served delicious food. After dinner, a few of us chose to stay out, while others headed back to their apartments.
On another night we visited this awesome eatery, Cannibale Royale. As the name suggests, this place is a BBQ joint. The steak here is to die for.
Later, we went to an award-winning rooftop bar called Skylounge Amsterdam, renowned for its views of the city. What a charming venue it is. There’s comfortable seating indoors and out, and it’s intimately lit, creating a romantic atmosphere, perfect for a meeting or a date.