Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Visting Amsterdam with Hotel The Exchange

Early in November I was lucky enough to be taken to Amsterdam with Hotel The Exchange to come and spend a couple of days in their gorgeous hotel in the heart of the city. I was even luckier to be able to bring over my wonderful friend Lindsey Holland (we made many a Holland in Holland joke don't you worry) - I will link all her fabulous platforms at the end, you have to follow her she's one of the best human beings ever ok, thank you. 

As I was saying, we both jetted off for a couple of days out in the Dam. 

When the hotel first got in touch with me, I was so interested by the whole concept of the hotel itself, it was nothing I had really seen before let alone stayed in. No two rooms are the same in aesthetic or overall theme, they are all individually designed. The most interesting aspect of this hotel for me was the fact that all of the room designs came from fashion designers at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. So it effortlessly combines a gorgeous hotel setting with a hell of a sense of style. 

What struck me and Lindsey so much was the location of this hotel. We had gotten the train from the airport (which was an absolute breeze, I couldn't recommend it more if you're visiting and staying central). I was amazed at how the centre of Amsterdam was to the main train station, you could pretty much see the main square from the entrance of the train station. It was a one or two minute walk max from the train station to the hotel, and it was absolutely in the HEART of Amsterdam. Dare I say its the best location of any hotel I have ever stayed in. 

The amazing location meant that every day we were within walking distance of exactly what we wanted to see that day. Boy did we walk far! There were restaurants and shops on the main road our hotel was on, which meant if we needed anything we could easily pop out (there was a Starbucks on the road so naturally I was in my element being in walking distance). 

I have to say, the food we ate was incredible. I am not sure whether it was all the amazing recommendations that Lindsey came along with, although I am sure that helped... but everything we ate was to die for! There are so many really lovely independent food cafe's in Amsterdam, something I really love when I travel. I like feeling like I am eating somewhere thats new and exciting and not readily available to me at home as opposed to a chain or food I have easy access to when I am back. We ate some gorgeous cafe lunches and dinners, always a sucker for food when I travel I can't help it!

Aside from wandering the gorgeous streets of Amsterdam, we ventured to the Red Light District (with some interesting stories never to be told!! haha), The Canals, Museums and the Ann Frank House, all of which were amazing experiences. There is such an aura of uniqueness in Amsterdam, I think there is something about European cities, they have a cultural edge I feel we lack in the UK. 

Amsterdam is somewhere everyone seems to visit at some point, for whatever reason that may be... haha. But I really wasn't too sure what to expect, but its a really gorgeous city, one of the most beautiful looking cities I've stayed in. There are also its unique quirks that pull a lot of tourists over in the form of certain coffee shops and a certain district. I really wasn't sure how 'in your face' so to speak that aspect of Amsterdam would be, but its really not. Its there if you want it or fancy it, or it doesnt bother you at all, and that was one of my favourite things about Amsterdam. The fun was there, but only if you went to it. 

The Ann Frank House was without doubt my favourite aspect of the trip as it was truly fascinating. This alongside seeing some of Van Gogh's work in one of the Art Museums. It was incredible to be somewhere and inside somewhere you heard so much about in school when you were younger and still continue to hear about today. It was a lot larger than I anticipated and is perhaps portrayed. However, the thing that fascinated me the most, was the extent of Ann's writing. She wrote and wrote and wrote, not just her journal but she was working on novels. It was incredible to be able to stand somewhere where such historically important events occurred, and also to learn some aspects of that history you may not have known before. 

Hotel The Exchange was a truly gorgeous hotel to stay in, and I couldn't have placed it better if I tried, so thank you so much to them for sending me and Lindsey to such a gorgeous city for a couple of days. 
If you are looking for somewhere in Europe to visit on a short stay, we were there for two nights and three days and in my eyes that was plenty of time to soak up the beauty of Amsterdam! I would really recommend here if this is the sort of weekend get away you are looking for. It wasn't too expensive and a lot like home, with relatively cheap flights all year round and even cheaper if you're flexible, it would be an easy way to travel on a budget. 

I hope you enjoyed this post, some more travel goodness!


H x



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