With travelling being put to a hold, or minimum we are forced to look at more local options for any form of a get away. Sure, there’s some options on escaping the country, and actually enjoying vacation but it seems like a big hassle these days. And options are limited. Safety first right.
That being said, the “staycation” is now a point of focus for many hotels.
A staycation you say? Whats that, well, simply said just a combination of vacation and staying home. It originated from times where people were low on budget. But you still wanted that little break. Some time away from home. To relax and be with loved ones, friends, of family. So there you have it, the solution: a sort of mini vacation in your own city, or country.
With the Covid impact, and financial crisis luring staycations are a welcome sight. Especially if you happen to be lucky enough to get invited. This for me being heavily impacted financially by the Covid virus thus was a very welcome sight.
In the past, when income was coming in I often declined invites like these. A stay in a hotel, anywhere between 10 an 30 minutes away from home and in the city that I roam with my camera so often, really needed to bring me additional value. Often, this wasn’t available. So in my eyes I saw an offer, which I highly appreciated but which would just cause me work (as nothing is really free) while downgrading from my Amsterdam city apartment to an often average hotel room. Additionally of course I had to offer them something of value as well. (which is my work, and thus I always expect these barter deals to add value for both parties.) This always leads to fun conversations. (And trying to get value for value with something that I don’t really need.)
Ok. Back to business. The Bank Hotel reached out to me and offered me a one night stay in their hotel. With that they offered me their best room. A room that seemed to have a nice city view. Thus I decided to say yes. Even though their return ask was a bit “high” and more work than way more extensive invites asked of me, I decided to agree. This also is a smaller and more local hotel. Therefor I’m surely more willing to help out and provide a bit more of my services in return for a smaller thing. Plus I love the area they are located in. (The Haarlemmerstraat)
If you are reading this, then again, yes, I got invited but don’t think that this influences my judgement and honesty in this article. This post is in no way agreed upon or a requirement and i’m writing this because I want to. And I need more content on this blog.
Of course the invite made me very thankful, and being appreciative will cause a more positive article. But on the other hand, I also hold companies that invite me to higher standards. You invited me. You know why you invited me. You know why i’m there. So it’s only fair to expect a company to bring their A game right?
So I picked a rondom day (Monday July 13th 2020) for my staycation. I checked in Monday afternoon and decided to check out again somewhere late Tuesday July 14th in the morning.
I managed to time it perfectly, so as soon as I had checked out and made my way into the street, it started pouring with rain.
Unfortunately the Hotel Restaurant, Mr Meat Amsterdam, didn’t want to be involved in this collaboration and greeted me with a steady ” No, a dinner here is not included in your stay.” See the honesty here? This is exactly what I tried to explain earlier. I somewhat expected sort of a complete experience and thus would’ve loved to try out the restaurant associated with the hotel, which finds itself in the same building. They said no. So I surely also wasn’t going to spend my money to dine there and write about it. (or photograph it, although it looked pretty nice judging from the hotel breakfast served there.) So I found myself a different place for dinner. Luckily this area has enough awesome options and I pretty familiar here. (I used to work for a company located 1 minute from the Haarlemmerplein, so spend many lunches and dinners around there with colleagues.)
I do apologize for the amount of text that seems to be coming out of my fingers. (I’d say pen, but digital times so i’m just typing on my laptop.)
The Bank Hotel is located in the Haarlemmerstraat 120. More familiar maybe: the Jordaan area. And it’s about as centrally located as possible without being right in the tourist masses. You will more so find yourself surrounded with locals. And lot’s of them. The Haarlemmerstraat is a pretty busy one. A 10 minute walks brings you to Amsterdam Central Station, or DamSquare.
The 3 star Bank Hotel might not have the luxury of let’s say the W hotel, Andaz Hotel or Pulitzer but they indicate they have much more attention to the full journey and experience of the clients. It’s way more personal and intimate. You’re not dealing with a huge organisation here. I always think that is a plus, because you often see the “ego” of these other companies. (Pulitzer hotel for example asked me for a half day of photography work, and the rights for commercial use of those photos and in return offered me a lunch for two. I friendly declined and thoroughly enjoyed a cheese sandwich for lunch.) These smaller brands actually seem to care about their customers.
And during my stay this showed. I had talks with different staff members who all genuinely seemed interested in the chat. Service was great, friendly and complete. The room was clean and as expected had a great view. There was a bathtub, and rain shower. Senseo coffee. A refrigerator so you could bring your own drinks and keep them cold. A chair in case you would want to enjoy the views from a chair opposed to the bed. And oh the bed was large and so comfortable. The buffet style breakfast, had nice choice and everything was fresh and well sealed off. So no complaints at all about the hotel.
I truly used this Staycation as a short moment to relax. I wandered the area streets for some photos, had a drink, had some dinner and returned to the room. Where I spend my time having a long hot shower, enjoying the view, and reading a book. Overall pretty basic, but good to block all the usual thoughts, grab some snacks, and turn off the phone for a moment.
To summarise and conclude the experience, the Bank Hotel is surely a place i’d recommend for your stay in Amsterdam. Sure the Hotel is basic, and doesn’t have much / any entertainment but the location and service are great. (With entertainment I mean, there isn’t a hotel bar, no facilities like a gym, or even common space, other than the Restaurant, which isn’t officially part of the hotel.) But like I said it serves its purpose perfectly for an affordable Hotel in one of the most amazing locations Amsterdam has to offer. So where the in hotel entertainment is pretty limited, you don’t have to go very far to find some.
Here’s some of the photos I shot during my stay. (Sorry about the obvious watermark.)