Residence Inn Amsterdam Houthavens: Perfect for an extended stay
Expats and travellers working on short and long-term assignments in Amsterdam can find great value, upmarket, extended-stay accommodation at the Residence Inn Amsterdam Houthavens – more of a home than a hotel.
A hub for commerce and industry
From my floor-to-ceiling windows, I watch Amsterdam’s buzzing western harbour come alive. Crew on giant container ships make their final checks and, in the distance, cranes swing into action. Everyone around me is at work, and so am I – but indoors and seven floors up – tapping away at my computer from the comfort of my suite at the Residence Inn Amsterdam Houthavens, just west of the city centre.
This stylish apart-hotel from Marriott’s global portfolio first arrived in the Netherlands in January 2018, with the aim of bridging the gap between home and hotel for travellers staying longer.
In the same spot as the 19th-century timber yard which gives the Houthavens its name, a dynamic community of creative media, start-ups and fashion houses has sprung up, attracting big names like Deckers, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Toms to the state-of-the-art offices which have redefined this historic wharf.
The spacious, suite-only accommodation of the 60-unit Residence Inn Amsterdam Houthavens fits snugly into this new commercial landscape, being ideal for creatives seeking extended-stay accommodation in the Dutch capital.
A stay at the Residence Inn Amsterdam Houthavens can be enjoyed at significant cost-savings, based on the length of stay and additional discounts for Marriott Rewards members. There is no minimum or maximum stay and, given the number of couples at breakfast, the aparthotel is clearly popular with tourists as well as business visitors posted in Amsterdam for short and long-term projects.
A panoramic view
I’m staying in a Studio Suite with a Harbor View. There’s a fully-equipped kitchen with a fridge, microwave oven, hob and dishwasher, a bathroom with a large walk-in shower, a corner sofa and a super-comfy bed. The dining table and desk make "working from home" easy - as does the free Wi-Fi.
The suite, like much of the hotel, has a colour scheme inspired by the blue, yellow and grey of Vermeer, and a décor which hints at the patterns and textures of the wide, wrinkled waters the building overlooks and the wood that was once shipped here. The entire front of my suite is glass.
Last night’s sunset was pure cinema, as the striking waterfront and sky scape changed tone and the panoramic view became studded with lights. Watching the tugs and freighters come and go this morning while I work has a calming effect and reveals another side to the workings of the city.
It’s not the usual canal view that you get in the centre, but - thanks to good transport links - that’s just 10 minutes away, and the hotel team make it easy with bike hire from 15 euros per day.
Unwind after work
What was also relaxing was the swim and trip to the sauna I enjoyed at The Athletic Club last night. Float on your back and you can gaze through the glass ceiling at the work of Dutch artist Vincent Mock: three giant manta ray artworks made from fish hooks, suspended in the vertical shaft overhead as if swimming above you.
There are yoga classes and a trendy retro-style gym, but after my swim, I was more focused on the snacks I saw at the 24-hour Grab ‘n Go Market in the lobby, which made for a cosy night in with the 43-inch Smart TV in my suite. While I sprawled on my queen-sized bed with its soft linen and enormous padded headboard, other residents were relaxing at the bar and lounge on site, where free tea and coffee is available 24/7.
You can also take part in the Residence Inn MIX social nights organised every Tuesday or hang out at the cocktail bar at the trendy Moxy Amsterdam Houthavens, also from Marriott, which occupies the lower floors of the building and shares its facilities - including seven meeting rooms with a modern Moxy twist and a 9th floor roof terrace - with the Residence Inn.
This unique pairing with Moxy, creating a "double-decker" hotel, means I have everything under one roof and is a real added bonus. I’ve brought food with me, but it’s good to know that Moxy sells ready meals, salads and sandwiches, and that fine dining at Lars Amsterdam, on the 1st floor, is also an option.
There’s also no delivery charge for the Residence Inn’s grocery service - a great perk. I love that if you leave a shopping list with reception before 9am, you return home after a day working or exploring the city, to a fridge stocked with food.
It’s surprising to feel so pampered in such great-value accommodation. There’s none of the usual corner cutting - instead, the focus is on making you feel at home. Even the basics, such as dishwasher tablets and washing-up liquid are provided in the kitchen; there’s coffee and tea and the bathroom has some nice-smelling toiletries and plenty of white fluffy towels.
Your suite is serviced daily and the communal laundry room is free to use. Breakfast is included and offers the variety long-stay residents expect, with everything from cereals, pastries, yoghurts, and cold meats, to sausages, boiled eggs and traditional Dutch poffertjes (mini pancakes).
My visit to the Residence Inn is for just one day, and I take full advantage of the 12pm check-out to linger as long as possible. A place like this deserves an extended stay.