Wednesday 25 June 2014

NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Dam, Amsterdam

A sprawling hotel in the touristy heart of Amsterdam, the NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky claims five star status, but many of its communal areas feel jaded, rather than luxurious. The original 1866 building has been modified out of all recognition, making the hotel a confusing juxtaposition of old and new. The ground floor is a labyrinth and the lifts are in sore need of an upgrade.  Still, the bedrooms have been modernised and are comfortable and well-equipped with safes, decent WiFi, quiet air-con and other mod-cons. They are decorated with large stylish black and white prints, while the window might offer a view over the rooftops of old Amsterdam. There will be a large free bottle of water in your room.  The staff are well-drilled, but the check-in process can be wearisome. If you don't have a credit card, then they charge 100 euros to your debit card, which you can get back, if you don't spend it.

At breakfast, it can be tricky to get a table in the tired dining t room, particularly if there is a conference on in the hotel. Still the buffet itself is impressive with a broad selection of cold fish, including smoked salmon and anchovies, cold meats, cheese, fruit and rich yoghurts. There is also a good set of hot food - the scrambled egg is really creamy and delicious, while the machine coffees are surprisingly good. And you get a small glass of smoothie as you sign in. It is worth seeking out the elegant 19th century conservatory on the ground floor, which has an arched glass roof and many other  fine period fixtures and fittings. It is a shame breakfast isn't served in this venerable old space. NH The Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky needs a facelift. 7/10