För flera månader sedan köpte jag (Yasmin) ett weekendpaket på Steam Hotel i Västerås i födelsedagspresent till en av mina bästa vänner. Det har varit en lång och jobbig väntan – främst för att jag var tvungen att hålla tyst om presenten fram till hennes födelsedag. För ett par år sedan körde vi en s.k. “bästishelg” på Sandhamn och det kändes som att det var hög tid för en repris på samma upplägg (plus att man är väl haxxig nog att ge födelsedagspresenter där man själv är inkluderad?). I lördags var det äntligen dags för avfärd och jag och Svarta Pärlan (min kära Peugot) rullade glatt ut från Kungsholmen för att plocka upp vår reskamrat.
Vi kom fram till att allt över en timmes restid kan klassas som en roadtrip och drygt en timme efter att vi lämnat Stockholm körde vi in på området där Steam Hotel ligger. Hotellet tornar upp sig i ett annat rätt rörigt område med ombyggnationer och en skola, men läget (nära Västerås centrum och precis vid vattnet) är grymt. And here is where the magic started to happen… Eller hmm, för att vara ärlig, vi körde en snabbis till Max för kasta i oss en varsin burgare pga den långa roadtripen hade gjort oss hungriga och vem vill checka in på Steam Hotel med hungersnöd?
Service med guldkant
Jag vill bara förtydliga att det här inte är ett samarbete (som en kollega trodde när jag överentusiastiskt berättade om övernattningen på jobbet) men jag är otroligt imponerad av Steam Hotels förmåga att ge kunden det lilla extra. I ett av mina mejl till hotellet nämnde jag att vi skulle fira min kompis 30-årsdag. Vid vår ankomst gratulerar receptionisten i incheckningen min kompis och när vi öppnar dörrarna till vårt fina rummet med havsutsikt så hittar vi en handskriven lapp med en gratulation från hotellet PLUS en ask med choklad! Denna behandling får lätt 5 av 5 toasters som Benjamin skulle säga! Det, i kombination med den maffiga entrén och det fina hotellrummet, gjorde att Steam Hotel i princip redan hade överträffat våra förväntningar 15 minuter in i besöket.
Steam Hotels uppvärmda utomhuspool
Efter att vi installerat oss på det fina rummet så var det dags att skynda sig till Voltage Lounge (spaområdet) och utomhuspoolen som ligger på våning 7! Vi svepte in oss i de gröna badrockarna som låg vikta på sängen och skyndade oss till Voltage. Det ENDA negativa jag kan komma på om hotellet är att väntetiden på hissarna är hiskeligt lång, så vi tog faktiskt trapporna upp. Vi stannade till vid spa-baren för ett glas vitt vin OCH ännu en gratulation (förstår ni, någon har varit smart nog att lägga in en memo på vårt rumsnummer så Michaela kunde inte för en enda sekund glömma att hon var födelsedagsbarn!). Med två kalla glas vitt så var det bara för oss att sjunka ned i det varma vattnet och beundra solnedgången. LIVETSLIV!
Inomhuspool med Zen
Efter ett par timmar i utomhuspoolen så smet vi in i inomhuspoolen på Voltage Lounge där vi fram till att det är #lifegoals att ha en nice uppvärmd inomhuspool med massor av tända ljus, ett härligt loungeområde samt bastu. Tack för inspon, Steam Hotel! Fick tyvärr inga bilder därifrån utan att behöva störa folk i badandet. Dock inträffade en rätt rolig grej när vi hängde runt i poolen. Ett par i närheten av oss börjar gå längs med poolbotten (kvinnan på alla fyra och mannen sitter alltså på hennes rygg medan hon ”promenerar” fram under vattnet) i några meter innan kvinnan dyker upp vid vattenytan, precis vid ett annat par, som förvånat tittar på dem och utbrister ”Ja, alla gillar vi olika saker?”. Hehe, wtf?
Middag på 18:e våningen på Locavore
Middagen intogs på 18:e våningen på Locavore (deras rooftop-restaurang). Medan vi väntar på maten kommer servitören med två glas champagne från hotellet för att fira Michaelas födelsedag! Medan vi skålar in kvällen så kommer vår första rätt som bestod av bland annat forell, fänkål och äpple, följt av anka till varmrätt, supergott! Tummen upp för både maten och vinet. Under tiden vi åt middag fylldes rooftopbaren på med bådehotellgäster och lokalinvånare, så vi avslutar kvällen med att insupa pulsen vid baren med en sista drink.
Jag köpte ett paket som innefattade övernattning för två personer, frukostbuffé, två rätters-middag och entré till Voltage Lounge (dvs poolerna och bastun) för 1925 SEK. Det som tillkom var i princip kostnader för dryck. Kostnad för parkering tillkommer också (150 kr blev det för oss från kl 15.00 till 12.00 dagen efter) och ni parkerar utanför Kunskapsskolan som ligger precis bredvid hotellet. Vi är båda supernöjda med både rummet, maten, servicen, spa:et, frukostbuffén och allt däremellan, så utlåtandet lyder: ÅK! Du kommer inte att ångra dig.
Praktisk information om Steam Hotel
Adress: Ångkraftsvägen 14, 721 31 Västerås
Fredrik Sandell, the owner of Sweden’s first Hobbit Hotel
Sweden’s first Hobbit Hotel has opened – and it’s located in the middle of a residential area in Stockholm suburb Nacka, 15-20-minute drive from the city center. You can now spend the night in a replica of the Frodo and Bilbo Baggins-house, and experience the magical Hobbiton setting IRL. We are Nodes got a grand tour of the 1- room Bed and Breakfast, so join us as we interview the Hobbit Hotel owner, try on the precious ring (!), and learn about hobbit breakfast habits.
Even though we had seen pictures of the Hobbit hotel before we visited, we both were surprised about the striking resemblance when we arrived. It’s almost unreal to see a full-scale replica of the Baggins house in the middle of a residential area in Stockholm. They opened only a month ago, but the Bed and Breakfast has already been featured in Swedish local TV (Nyhetsmorgon) and newspapers. And – to the owner Fredrik Sandell’s big surprise – without any real marketing efforts from their side, visitors from all over the world have started to find their way to Sweden’s first Hobbit Hotel. “We had Germans visiting yesterday, and an English couple the week before. I want this to become an international tourist attraction.”
We were super happy to be among the first ones to visit Sweden’s first Hobbit Hotel
Entrepreneurial Lord of the Rings fan
During the time we were visiting, several neighbors stopped by for a chat, and an upcoming guest that had reserved the room for her parents, walked by to say hi and check out the 1-room building. “The interest from neighbours and people walking by has been huge”, Fredrik explains. And we can clearly see why – the hotel is extremely welcoming, and not only because of its extraordinary exterior and interior, but also because of its owner and founder; Fredrik Sandell. He’s a true entrepreneur who has a impressive amount of energy and passion for his project(s). Besides the Hobbit Hotel, he has a full-time job, runs two cafés and trains two soccer teams.
Our first question was of course excatly HOW big of a Lord of the Rings-nerd he is? Fredrik laughs, he has heard the same question many times before. “I wouldn’t describe myself as a hardcore Lord of the ring-fan… Although I have read the books twice, and I stood in line from 4 am to get in to the movie premieres.”
Don’t forget to check out our new vlog from HobbitStockholm!
How it started
Originally, the idea was to build a small apartment for their daughters to stay in when they got older, but the idea quickly evolved to become something bigger – and with time, the Hobbit Hotel was ready to welcome its first guests. However, it took almost 8 months to even get the permit to build the house. At first, Fredrik considered doing only the exterior inspired by the Baggins house, but when he mentioned the idea to his friends, he could tell by their ecstatic reaction that he should go all in with the Hobbit concept. And we’re lucky he did, because the interest for extraordinary and genuine travel experiences is just growing, and we’re confident that the Hobbit Hotel is going to be a huge success!
Fredrik has planned and designed the hotel, which has got underfloor heating, a fridge and freezer, toilet, running water – everything one could need for a comfortable stay. Visitors can try on the “Precious ring” (if they dare), and Fredrik has geared up with plenty of Hobbit and Lord of the Rings video material for the dedicated fans.
Yasmin tried the Hairy Hobbit slippers and pictured herself as a Baggins…
The ultimate Lord of the Rings experience
Here’s how Fredrik recommends his visitors to experience the hotel in the best way possible:
“You come here to unwind, preferably after a full packed day in Stockholm city. You arrive at the Hobbit house, sit down in the patio and pour up a drink (prepared in the fridge) and relax for a while. Later, you out for dinner somewhere nearby, come back home, light the fire and watch Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies as long as you are awake… There are 18 hours of video material! When you wake up the next day, it’s time for breakfast number 1. As you know, hobbits eat two breakfasts, so after the first round, you can take a stroll around the area or go for a swim, and then it’s time for breakfast nr 2, which consists waffles.”
So, for any of our international readers or local followers, make sure to take your Stockholm visit or staycation to a new level! We want to thank Fredrik for the grand tour of the Hobbit house, and we look forward to following him in the future – something tells us this is not the last project he will launch that will take the travel community with storm!
How many can stay in the room: Double bed for 2 persons, plus extra mattresses (maxium of 4 persons)
How to get there: You can take plenty of different buses (409, 471, 414) from Slussen. Jump off at Nacka Forum, and take a short 5-10 minute walk to the house.
Address: Lillängsvägen 91, 131 41 Nacka
Price: From 2000 SEK (200 euro) and up.
Read more about the rates and practical information on their official website: http://www.hobbitstockholm.se/
Make sure to follow We are Nodes on Facebook for more travel tips, reviews and guides!
Written by Yasmin
Read the first part of our Palma trip here: A Palma Weekend in 26 Photos
When I (Yasmin) found out that we were going to Palma and Hotel Saratoga, I started looking up the hotel on Instagram and other social media platforms. First thing spotted; a rooftop! #winning. Also, since I’m a member of the Swedish Facebook group Vi som gillar att resa (an awesome way to get some great travel tips btw!), I noticed that several of the members spoke very highly of the hotel, so I was very excited to check it out upon arrival.
- The location. The hotel is perfectly situated in central Palma, with walking distance to the old town and city center. We took a cab from the airport to the hotel which was around 20-25 euros.
- The rooftop – do I need to say more? Perfectly suited for both sunbathing and evening drinks, we took every chance we got to hang out here – it’s just impossible to get enough of the magical view over Palma. The pool closes at 10 PM, and from 7 PM and forward, you order drinks in the bar downstars (adjacent to their Jazz bar).
- The “event lights” in the hotel rooms. I’ve written about my passion for coloured lightening before, but Hotel Saratoga took it to the next level (scroll down for photos). The rooms were overall a pleasure to stay in!
- The friendly and service minded staff.
- Lack of bar food at the rooftop bar. Our solution for that necessary afternoon-snack was to buy some tapas from El Corte Inglés and enjoy it on the balcony instead.
- No possiblity to create your own omelette at the breakfast. Since we’re true breakfast lovers, we like when hotels walk the extra mile, and omelettes or freshly made smoothies or juices could be a way to go. The fried eggs that were served were really good, though!
- The area around the second pool (on ground floor) could be a bit more exciting. The second pool is partly in shade, and the area next to the pool (below the stairs) wasn’t really used for anything special. I see it as an area with great potential to create something as equally cool as the rooftop. Looking forward to seeing what Hotel Saratoga can make of it!
- There should be more tables placed in the outdoor area during breakfast.
Summary: I had a hard time coming up with some cons, since I was so pleased with our stay at the hotel. I give 4-star Hotel Saratoga 5 stars for a perfect hotel experience. Here’s a recap in photos of the rooftop, pool area, breakfast, hotel room. Enjoy!
The rooms at Hotel Saratoga
Thank you for the nice welcoming, Hotel Saratoga! It’s not everyday you are greeted with some nice olive oil 🙂 Since we tried embracing the Spanish dinner hours, a snack at the hotel room was much needed. This is the perfect way to unwind after a long “hard” day at the beach. There is a El Corte Ingles situated a short walk from the hotel, highly recommended if you want to pick up some tapas on your way back to the hotel.The view from our balcony. Here you can see the pool located on the main floor.
This was my favorite part of the breakfast! Spanish Churros with chocolate/nutella. It reminded my of my time in Madrid, we used to eat them all the time! I even had to send a snapshot of them to my friend Bess in NY, whom I got to know in Madrid 🙂
Many thanks for a wonderful stay, Hotel Saratoga!
Adress: Passeig de Mallorca, 6, 07012 Palma
Read the first part of our Palma trip here: A Palma Weekend in 26 Photos
Written by Yasmin
Every trip has its purpose. Sometimes accommodation is less significant (‘We’ll never be in the room anyway’), and sometimes the hotel becomes a very central part of the whole travel experience. For me (Yasmin), Hotel Sadova definitely was a part of shaping my Gdansk experience. The design hotel opened in June 2016, and is located 7 minutes from the city center. The hotel gave a fresh impression; combining industrial and modern interior with facilities like an indoor pool, sauna and an attractive bar. Here’s a list of our favorite parts of the hotel!
5 things we enjoyed about Hotel Sadova, Gdansk:
1. Gin and Tonics at the Hotel Bar
We established a little “vacation routine” (gotta love those!) of beginning every evening with a Gin and Tonic on Bombay Gin at the hotel bar, adjacent to the entrance and lobby. Mouthwatering! Give them a try if you’re ever around!
2. The indoor pool
When I posted an image of the indoor pool on my Instagram, people joked about vampires and blood because of the dramatic colour. For everyone’s information, the pool actually shifts colours, so unfortunately (having just re-watched the two first seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), there were no vampires in sight. The red colour was my favorite, though!
Maybe it’s because of my event background, but I really love when venues put some effort into enhancing the esthetic touch and visual experience of facilities. With colour lightning and a contemporary art constellation in red, this indoor pool became so much more than just a fitness area. The hotel also offered a small gym for its sporty guests, and an infrared sauna (slightly too cool for me, but I guess those require less power and therefore are a better and more sustainable alternative). With a blizzard outside, we really enjoyed being able to escape the cold in the hotel’s relax area – and I wouldn’t mind having even longer opening hours for the pool (currently it closes at 9 pm).
3. Restaurant Papieroovka
Second evening, we decided to try out the hotel’s own restaurant and explore their mixture of Polish and European cuisine. After eating appetizers, beef tartares (my favorite!), duck and meat, we were very happy with our decision!
Appetizer: Duck’s breast sous vide served with potato fondant, hazelnut powder and pear mousse. Starter: Beef tartar with apple sauce and parmesan crisp with a glass of white Chardonnay was a great choice for starter. I’m a huge fan of beef tartars, and love to try new variations of them. The fruity elements were, for me, a new take on the classic dish. Maincourse: Duck with red cabbage puree, romanesco cauliflower, potato fondants and caramelised orange.
4. The Breakfast Buffet
Breakfasts are really my THING, so we spent at least 2 hours, eating, drinking coffee and reading books (yes, we do bring books to the breakfast) every day. Best part of vacation!
5. The Rooms
The rooms were of high standard with a modern and elegant touch, including all necessities that one could need. The only thing that would made it better would be a better view – but that’s hardly a dealbreaker for me when I’m on a weekend trip. The rooms were overall a pleasure to stay in!
To sum up, it was a pleasure to experience Gdansk while staying at Hotel Sadova. As long as the price level in Poland is so much cheaper than in Sweden, I think it’s worth spending some extra money on both good food and accomondation. Hotel Sadova is a very new addition to the hotel market in Gdansk, and currently building its reputation, but I’m sure it will end up being one of the most popular hotels in the area. The staff were super friendly and had great English skills, which of course makes the hotel experience much better. Thank you for this time, Hotel Sadova!
Read more about my Gdansk trip here: 3 Reasons to Visit Gdansk, Poland
It’s July and the rain is pouring down. As usual, our umbrellas are left at home, so when we get off the bus stop at Järva Krog, we run the short distance to The Winery Hotel as fast as we can. Nearly out of breath, we step into a huge lobby, designed in industrial style with a raw warehouse feeling and magnificent ceiling height. The lobby with tables made of old wine barrels, stands out from all the hotels we have visited before. We are Nodes have been invited to The Winery Hotel to get a private tour by the hotel’s very own Jan Söder, Design and Concept Manager, and Moa Söder, Marketing Coordinator. Our guides for the day welcome us with big smiles.
The Winery Hotel felt like an exciting topic to write about for several reasons. The increasing curiosity and engagement around wine has created new ways to network and socialize through, for instance, dinners, wine tastings, wine tours and trips to different wineries. The Winery Hotel is therefore very timely. Wineries, a property where wine is produced, in combination with accommodation, food and drinks is already popular in big cities like New York and London. Now, the owner families of Winery Hotel (Söder and Ruhne) hope that the Swedes will jump on the trend too.
Jan Söder has been the concept manager from day one. Together with Lina Östlund, he got the responsibility to create a design concept for the building inspired by the heart of the hotel; the winery. With inspiration from wineries and renowned concept hotels in New York, Jan began to formulate a vision for the hotel (some of his biggest source of inspirations was the New York City Winery, Red Hook Winery, Ace Hotel and Wythe Hotel). Jan and Lina also travelled to Tuscany and visited many different type of vineyards to get additional inspiration.
The urban winery/boutique hotel is located close to the bus stop Järva Krog in Solna, a suburb approximately 10 minutes from Stockholm. The location is strategic from several perspectives. Since the highway (E18/E4) where the airport shuttles stop is only a stone’s throw away, the Winery Hotel indirectly becomes an airport hotel. Rental rates are naturally lower than in the city center. Another reason for the location choice is the growth and development of Solna. The city was recently elected Super Municipality of Stockholm and is growing every day. Jan nods when we ask if the fast growth of Solna has something to do with the location choice:
“We probably would not have chosen this location if we had not known everything that was planned for the area. Friends Arena was already built and we knew that Mall of Scandinavia and several big companies would move their headquarters to Solna. The hotel has now become a destination, you come here to take part of a whole experience.”
Moa Söder agrees:
” The hotel packages that include guided tours, wine tastings and three-course dinners are very popular. Our impression is that people who come here really want to experience the whole concept.”
Working with concepts is Jan’s area of expertise. He created the concept for Nordic Light Hotel and Nordic C Hotel with the well-known ice bar. From experience, he knows that it takes about 1-2 years for a concept to “break through”. It took nearly five years for Nordic Light Hotel to be known as Stockholm’s first design hotel. Therefore, he is aware that it requires time and a great deal of patience before the word of Winery Hotel’s unique concept will reach a majority of the public. Despite their expected time frame, the hotel already has received a lot of attention and press coverage, both locally and internationally.
Jan and Moa show the way to the restaurant and it is noticeable how proud they both are of the venue. The same warehouse atmosphere that stroke us in the entrance is also apparent in the restaurant.
The restaurant can fit up to 140 guests. Additionally, there is a chambre séparée which is primarily used for wine tastings. The buffet table, where the breakfast is usually served, is the same place where the popular “Winemaker’s Dinners” are held.
“Instead of people saying that they are going to AG, they will start saying that they are going to WK”, Jan smiles and continues the tour.
The hotel rooms
Next stop on our tour is the hotel rooms. Our first thought when entering the room (a standard room of 20 m2) is the striking contrast between the industrial interior with colours from the nature and the heavily trafficked highway outside the building. We can see treetops and greenery emerge somewhere far behind the rushing cars. The window itself is framed by a New York-inspired brick wall. Urban meets Tuscany in its purest form. “It feels a bit surreal, right?” Jan says when he notices our reaction. “Like being on the countryside but with a city feeling.”
We curiously look around in the hotel room. The bathroom has white tile and fashionable gold taps. The closet in the hallway does not have any doors, a result of Winery’s own design in order to preserve their distinguishing interior style. Jan points at the mini-bar: “It is located at a good height. Usually mini-bars are hidden and placed very low, but ours are more visible which has been really profitable – we have increased sales a lot!” Jan does not seem bothered from sharing the best practices of the hotel, an entrepreneurial and modern attitude that we really like.
“The industrial table-, floor- and bedside lamps are from a French company called Lamp Gras. There is an incredibly wide range of industrial lamps today, but these are of very high quality, which was important for us”, says Jan.
It’s all about the details
As we walk towards the meeting rooms, we point out how beautiful and carefully thought-out all the details in the hotel are, something even an untrained designer eye easily can notice. Jan lights up: “It’s not the first time we’ve been told that.”
He explains how the designer team spent hours on finishing the graphic profile and how time-consuming it has been to apply it to the entire hotel – as far as to material, color selection and fonts on the Do Not Disturb-sign. Jan talks about his passion for design in a joyful tone and claims he could talk about areas like radiators for ages. Speaking of heaters, Jan persistently opposed the radiators that were ordered to the hotel by Faberge. “They asked me if I could for once be happy with something they had chosen,” Jan laughs.
However, it did not take us long to understand that Jan is not the type of person who backs down in a discussion about something he believes is important for the hotel experience. It is the same will power that, for instance, has made sure that the notebooks in the meeting rooms have printed wine stains on them as an extension of the hotel’s soul.
We are excited to check out the meeting rooms, especially since Yasmin has a background in event planning and production. The Winery Hotel has chosen shutters instead of the classic blackout drapes and brick walls instead of the typical discreet light colors.
“The chairs are from a brand called Offecct that I did not really like because their design is so ‘corporate’. They have tried to sell their products to me for more than 10 years, but when I saw this chair I really got fond of it,” explains Jan when we test sit the chairs.
The Winery – The heart of the hotel
“Are you driving? No? Then you can have a glass of Winery Red!”, Jan proclaims as we are done with inspecting the meeting rooms. Our host and hostess leads us back to the winery. The hotel’s heart and pride. The same spot where the hotel’s wine is produced and where the popular 20-minute guided tours are arranged. The guided tours are always finished with a tasting of the hotel’s own wine; Winery Red. The really wine interested can add an in-depth wine tasting to their visits. At some occasions, the hotel fly in renowned winemakers from Italy to host their own ¨Winemaker’s Dinner¨ in the restaurant.
We are Nodes’ Yasmin Tilles & Sheida Tilles.
Visitors can also purchase an electronic card that can be topped off with the amount of their choice. The cards are later used to try different wines from the hotel’s ‘Vinotek, located on the ground floor. Guests can choose between a small sample, half or a whole glass.
The hotel’s own Winery Red is sold as assortment order at Systembolaget for 179 SEK per bottle. The main grape in Tuscany is Sangiovese and it constitutes 80% of Winery Red. The remaining 20 percent consists of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grape. “I think it’s pretty damn good,” says Jan with a smile and pours up two glasses for us.
Travel Q & A with Jan and Moa:
What is your favorite weekend destination?
Jan: New York, the city has everything when it comes to the areas I like; interior, design and atmosphere.
Moa: I will go for Copenhagen, although it might be a boring answer. It is located on a convenient distance from Stockholm, but has a nicer and more relaxed atmosphere. Plus, many great restaurants!
Where do you prefer to go on holiday in the sun?
Moa: I recently discovered a new destination in India called Varkala, it is a surf town with nice and calm vibes. Those who previously traveled to Bali to surf and find it’s too much tourists there now are going to Varkala.
Jan: I am absolutely crazy about Mallorca and a hotel called Esplendido in Puerto de Soller, 5-6 (Swedish) miles from Palma. (Read our Palma guide here.)
The Winery Hotel
Adress: Rosenborgsgatan 20, 169 74 Solna
Phone number: +46 (0) 8-14 60 00
Have you been to The Winery Hotel or do you have any questions? Drop us a comment! We’d love to hear your thoughts!
Want to know more about what to do and see in Stockholm? We have gathered all our previous blog posts about our beloved hometown. Read our Stockholm guide »
Stuck at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, at nine o clock on Sunday evening, with the first flight leaving the next morning is not exactly the ideal situation when you should be at work on Monday morning. Let’s just say that there comes a time for each traveller when the travel plans take unexpected turns. Bad weather conditions, flight delays and technical issues are just some of the external factors that can cause you to have to rearrange your schedule and spend those extra hours at a so called airport hotel. On this late March evening, We Are Nodes didn’t have any other choice but to explode the myth about those airport hotels once and for all:
Airport Business Hotel – Van der Valk Hotel Schiphol A4
After an hour and a half of waiting at the airport, we were finally on the shuttle bus taking us to Hotel Schiphol A4, our stay for the night. Van der Valk Hotel Schiphol A4 is a partner hotel of the Dutch airline company KLM, meaning this is the place that you must likely will end up on if KLM cancels your Amsterdam-flight. Never having spent the night at an airport hotel before, we must admit that we weren’t exactly thrilled. Checking in to a hotel in the middle of nowhere with no luggage probably isn’t high on any travellers list.
A fifteen to twenty minute drive later, the bus stopped outside of a large building with the hotel sign glowing in the dark. From the outside it didn’t look for much, but as soon as we got in to the hotel lobby we got a pleasant surprise. With a large reception area, friendly and helpful staff and a welcoming interior, we immediately got a warm and positive feeling. This airport hotel didn’t look like anything like the old concrete building with “cell-block” hotel rooms we had pictured in our heads.
Late night buffets and early breakfasts
The first thing we noticed just when were about to stand in line to check-in was that the dinner buffet still was open. Not thinking twice, we decided to skip the queue and hit the buffet instead. Turned out to be a good choice! A wide selection of warm and cold food, desserts, beverages and above all, a serene ambience with lit candles everywhere was exactly what we needed after a really long day. If it wasn’t for the fact that the clock already was past eleven p.m, we would easily have spent a couple of more hours here.
Checking in late turned out to be a good idea as we were given two of the newly built “I Am Superior” rooms and were the first guests to get to sleep in the comfy new Hypnos beds (which were voted bed of the year in 2012!). An other positive thing that struck us was that the rooms at Van Der Valk were quite spacious for thinking European-standards. Besides the large and comfortable twin bed, the I Am Suprior Rooms also had a big balcony, a desk and a sitting area.
The semi open-plan bathroom is a growing trend at many hotels, and while it definitely adds a cool “Ibiza vibe” to the interior it also means that you can forget about privacy.
In other words, you should be comfortable with your travelling companion if you are planning to share a room. But style goes before functionality right?
Wellness area: The Schiphol A4 has a large wellness area with both an gym overlooking the garden and an indoor swimming pool with a relaxing area.
Garden: The perks of not being a hotel in the middle of a city is that there is a big garden where you can do outdoor sports or go for a walk.
Working spaces and meeting rooms: For the business traveller there are plenty of quiet corners where you can sit and work, or rooms that can be booked to have meetings or seminars.
Conferences & events: The hotel has a floor area of 2.000 m2 that can be used for fairs, conference rooms and are experienced organizers of weddings and parties.
For being a four star hotel outside Amsterdam city center, Hotel Van der Valk Schiphol A4 surely blew our expectations! The next time We are Nodes are stuck in Amsterdam, will be more than happy to be back! And hopefully not in such a hurry.