Thursday, 7 April 2016

W Amsterdam: Not the Finished Product yet, January 2016

Not the Finished Product yet

Published 7th April 2016
Visited Jan 2016


It is now a year since I experienced my inflight emergency, and in that unfortunate (with reference to the elderly gentleman) event, I got a upgrade voucher from Singapore Airlines as a gesture of goodwill.

Unfortunately (again), when I was considering my return to Paris, the infamous bombing occurred (#prayforparis).

Thus, I contacted Singapore Airlines for alternative arrangements.

After some discussion, I was allowed to use the voucher to any destination in Europe (Thank you, Singapore Airlines!) and I chose Amsterdam as one of the stops on my way to Iceland to catch the Aurora Borealis also known as the Northern Lights.




While planning for the trip, the perennial question of which hotel to choose popped up as expected.

As a Starwood fan, there were 2 choices, the Sheraton at the airport and the rather new W right in the canal part of Amsterdam. The Element was not opened in January of 2016.

A quick search of the rates during my travel dates showed the Sheraton was going for about 200 Euro a night and the W above 300 Euro a night!

I was devastated.

I didn't want to stay at the airport and travel all the way to the city and back, but the cost was really substantial.

Fortunately (finally something good), I was able to catch a better rate at the W at about 280 Euro (still expensive of course) and now write this review!


So after an expected great flight with Singapore Airlines, I reached Amsterdam Schiphol Airport uneventfully and took the train to the central station.

From the station, going to W Amsterdam seemed rather easy as it was near the Royal Palace.

The Royal Palace in the background

However, the roads were not really smooth and the luggage took some minor punishment from the bouncing and heaving.

Still, it was an easy walk as I just had to look for the signs directing to the Royal Palace.

I read online that the hotel is split into 2 buildings across a road, but I didn't get to the part that the other building was not ready.


After locating the hotel, getting into it was comparatively harder as the entrance was on the side away from the Palace and less conspicuous in contrast to the other W Hotels I have been to.

The ground floor had only the Concierge (WHATEVER in W lingo) and the elevator.

The front desk was located at the top of the building which was a little different from the usual.


Welcome Drinks

Night View


Check-in took a bit of time, more than what I was expecting, and was not particularly smooth. I guess this was probably inexperience and would get better soon.

The views from the top floor was not too bad. The pool located here was, however, not available for use yet as the permit had not been issued yet as I was told by the front desk agent.



The Pool, which was not opened.


So we were showed the same elevator down to our room from the front desk.



The elevator shaft had some markings for decorations which was somewhat refreshing whenever I used the elevator.

The corridors were a tad too plain for me. And a little too dark.




I was upgraded to a Fabulous Room (perks of hotel programme loyalty!) and was not too disappointed.

The size of the room was okay and the view was okay too.

Nothing to shout about, but I just felt it was not a great value.


I asked if we could go outside (doors were locked), but was told it was not allowed.

The ceiling lights reminded me of spider legs and I tried not let my imagination run wild. (Read: I do not like spiders)


The shower is again translucent with reduced privacy so I do not advise staying with less familiar people.

What I really didn't like was that there was only 1 button to select the water flow and I couldn't find a way to increase the water pressure. Rain-forest shower is always great to have for me.



Rain-forest Shower! And the button.



Minibar items

Sound System

I was able to see part of a canal from my room which made me felt better about the price I was paying.


The Breakfast

This is probably the best thing during my stay.

I chose breakfast as my hotel amenity (another perk of frequent stays with Starwood) and was informed that breakfast would be at (the restaurant) Mr Porter.


Display right outside Mr Porter

I was allowed to choose a hot dish and the items from the spread.




The range wasn't bad at all and the quality was good.


I chose my favourite Eggs Benedict as shown below.


Overall, I was pleased with breakfast and this increased my perceived value of my stay.

The Unfinished Product

So why is the title of this piece "Not the Finished Product yet"?

There was undoubtedly some work going on and the knocking did disturb my nap.



I walked around and saw some renovation going on as in the picture below.



I also asked about the gym, and was told it was not ready yet. However, I was given a coupon to go to the nearby commercial gym.

Thus, there was no gym, no pool and some noise, as well as the other building, which in conclusion, I have to say the hotel is incomplete.

In view of the rates and my experience, I would think my stay was just okay.

I do hope all the work is done by now!

Happy and Healthy Travels!