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The Netherlands offers a variety of accommodation to suit every traveller’s taste and needs, ranging from cheap budget accommodation to expensive luxury. You can stay in one of the luxury hotels of international chains, although there is also good accommodation to be had in old castles, farms, historical buildings and houses that have been converted into hotels, pensions, youth hostels or B&Bs. Campers, too, will be spoiled for choice in the Netherlands, with numerous campsites and caravan parks, which are often situated in stunning locations. Camping is an especially economical way to stay in a particular area over a longer period of time. If you need more spacious or convenient accommodation over a longer period, you can book into one of the 350-odd bungalow parks in the country, or rent an apartment in one of the many coastal towns. The hotels listed on pages 392–405 vary in both class and price, and are considered either the best or the most pleasant hotels in that particular area or town.


There is a huge difference in the price, quality and facilities offered by different hotels. The choice is greatest in Amsterdam and the larger cities, where there is something to suit every traveller’s pocket. But even further afield there is also plenty of choice. After hotels, bed-and-breakfast (B&B) accommodation is becoming increasingly plentiful in the Netherlands. This type of accommodation varies greatly, as these lodgings are provided by individuals rather than by chains. One night you might be staying in an ordinary family home, and the next you might be staying in an old historical building. Bed & Breakfast Nederland can help with reservations at specific B&Bs. Traditional pensions are now fewer in Holland than they were some decades ago. The main difference between a pension and a bedand-breakfast is that in a pension everybody eats the same meal and guests tend to stay slightly longer. You will find pensions mainly in the south of the country. You can also stay in a farmhouse. Farmhouses offering accommodation are usually members of HoeveLogies Nederland, and they often provide stabling for horses, or you can help with the farm work. For slightly more upmarket farm accommodation, you can visit the Hotel de Boerenkamer in North Holland. The least expensive form of overnight accommodation is the youth hostel (jeugdherberg). Stayokay runs no fewer than 30 youth hostels throughout the country. They are no longer exclusively reserved for young people. Accommodation is usually in dormitories of four to six people, and you have to bring your own bed linen, or you can rent it for the night


Just about all major hotel chains are represented in the Netherlands. You will find most of them, such as the Hilton, Mercure, Golden Tulip, Marriott, Best Western, Holiday Inn and Ramada in the big cities, although some like the Bilderberg are situated in country areas. The hotels range from good to luxury, both for tourists and for business travellers. The scale of these hotels and the often internationally recognized style means that they are less personal than small hotels, but when you spend the night in one of them you get what you pay for and are assured of excellent service and a high level of comfort.


Hotels are classed by a variety of systems. Some hotels, for instance, are recognized by the ANWB. ANWB sets store by the management of the hotel and the quality of the facilities. Regular checks are carried out on these hotels. You can recognize them by the blue ANWB sign, and they are listed in a guide which is available from the ANWB office and bookshops. After ANWB-recommended hotels, there are those listed by Holland Hotels Hartverwarmend which are characterized by the personal atmosphere they offer. Lists of these hotels are available for a small charge from places such as the VVV offices. All hotels in the Netherlands have to be categorized under the Benelux Hotel Classification system, which awards each hotel with between one and five stars. The number of stars given depends on the minimum facilities on offer.

The more stars a hotel has, the more luxurious it is. A one-star hotel is simple and may or may not offer breakfast. In two-star hotels, at least 25 per cent of the rooms will have their own bathroom or shower and WC. These hotels will also have a guest lounge, and it will have a lift if it is more than three storeys high. A threestar hotel is considered middle of the range. Their rooms have central heating and at least half have their own bathrooms. Four-star hotels will have a night bar, 80 per cent of the rooms will have ensuite bathrooms, and all of them will have telephones. A five-star hotel will be of deluxe category, having 24-hour service, large rooms with ensuite facilities, a restaurant and so on. One slight drawback of this classification, which looks mainly at the facilities provided and ignores both the hotel’s location and atmosphere is that many simple but pleasant little hotels do not score well. The hotel’s star rating is displayed on a blue and white sign by its main entrance.


The number of self-catering apartments in the cities is limited, and you will usually have to pay a considerable deposit. VVV will inform you of organizations which rent out apartments, or you can look in the Visitors’ Guide section of the Yellow Pages (Gouden Gids). If you hire an apartment through an agency, you will generally be required to stay for at least one week. It is also possible to hire apartments through some hotels, for example, the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel.

Along the Dutch coast, in Zeeland and on the West Frisian Islands, there are many “apartment-hotels”, which are apartment buildings with hotel facilities, such as bars, swimming pools and reception areas.


Room prices generally includethe toeristenbelasting (tourist tax) as well as breakfast. In the larger and more expensive hotels, breakfast is usually charged separately. Obviously, a hotel which provides more than the average facilities will be pricier than a basic hotel. Hotels in larger cities, particularly in Amsterdam, are relatively more pricey than those further afield, although in large towns it is easier to find hotels in widerranging price categories. People travelling alone usually end up paying only 20 per cent less than the same accommodation would cost two people sharing. People travelling in larger groups can stay more cheaply by sharing a meerpersoonskamer (multiple room).


The springtime, when the tulips are in bloom, is the busiest time for tourists in the Netherlands. If you wish to book a hotel room at this time, you should do so several weeks ahead, particularly if booking in the major cities and along the coastline. For popular hotels along Amsterdam’s canals, book well in advance all year round


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