April 7, 2017 / 4 Comments
No matter where we travel, we look for the same three things in the hotel where we stay – location, affordability and security. We’re far from high-brow, mind you, as what we’re really seeking is a trust-worthy location that allows us to enjoy the area in which we’re traveling. Sometimes, however, we get surprised by the small, boutique establishments where we call home during our short visits. Somehow, we find hidden gems.
Located on the Prins Hendrikkade, a prime location facing Amsterdam Centraal Station, the A-Train is a warm, beguiling place. While seemingly blending in with the shops and restaurants along the main thoroughfare where bicyclers, tourists and revelers of the day and night wandered, the A-Train enraptures you upon entry. The small entry gives way to a shotgun-style lobby with old, stained wood supporting a mammoth collection of travel memorabilia – true to the thematic title the A-Train bears. The entire hotel has a great feel as a type of old train car, itself, and is incredible captivating as a cheap hotel in Amsterdam.
The reception was warm, with multi-lingual host staff manning the entry desk and a secure front entry that made us feel both at home and secure. The tiny elevator, adored with more early 20th-century travel collectibles, opened to a well-lit hallway where we found our room adjacent to the opening of the doors. The rooms? Small, in a general sense, but none-the-less cozy and comfortable. The room had a feeling of crisp cleanliness, and we were surprised to see a widely outward-opening window which gave us a bird’s-eye view of the warm rooftops of the neighborhood that lay behind the primary street on which we were staying. This only added to the feel of “home”.
First, let me say that the location was splendid. Not only were we within steps of the Centraal Station, but in front of the station was the primary canal that separated Amsterdam by north and south bank. Here, you could rent canal passes, sunset cruises and hop-on, hop-off canal boats that made for easy access to the greatest sites around the city.
To our right, within 50 feet of the entry way, was the more than 400-year-old Cafe Karpershoek – an Amsterdam landmark that opened in 1606. Beyond that was a number of excellent restaurants, pubs, coffee-shops, and the primary walkway that led approximately ten minutes to the Red Light District. Lastly, we stocked our room on numerous occasions with the groceries and beer sold at the Albert Heijn market, which was directly next door. We used this ideal proximity not only for groceries, but also to get cash, ask for directions and even for aspirin to help us get over our first Amsterdam hangover!
You simply couldn’t get a better location.
The affordability of the A-Train can’t be overstated. We actually booked our trip through Tripmasters, a site we have used myriad times to explore the world, and A-Train was one of their favored locations. If you are booking independently, the A-Train can be had for less than 100USD per night. The hotel next door? More than twice that amount. I’m not sure about you, but I’m not paying double for 30 extra square feet in my hotel room. When all was said and done, we paid about 65USD per night through Tripmasters for our room at A-Train, which really is one bar-tab more than the cost of a hostel. I’ll take the security, privacy and coziness over the bunk-beds, thank you.
Lastly, our room included a morning breakfast that was more than simply continental fair. Fresh, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and a litany of fruits, breads and juices were available each morning upon arrival – even when we had to leave at 6:00am for our early trip back to the airport! The coffee was strong and hot, the food was delicious, and it had us well on our way toward exploring the city.
In all, you simply can’t do any better for the price you pay than to stay at the A-Train. Along with Venice’s Hotel Vecellio, it’s among the happiest we’ve been with a hotel selection in the entirety of our travel experiences. If you’re looking for an affordable, cheap hotel in Amsterdam that also provides a quality stay, give the A-Train Hotel a try.
Our verdict: Highly recommend.
Address: Prins Hendrikkade 23, 1012 TM Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone : +31 20 624 1942