Tag Archives: Waterfront

Movenpick Amsterdam – A Hotel That Won Us Over

By Lakshmi:

A few years ago, we had made plans to spend Christmas in Amsterdam.  It is one of our favorite cities and we were very much looking forward to staying at Dam Square and found a great deal at the Swissotel.  But alas, an illness with a family member forced us to change plans and move our trip to peak Spring season and the best value we could get was away from Dam Square at a property on the water known as the Movenpick Hotel Amsterdam.

We had heard good things about the brand, but had never stayed there.  We were still saddened about not being in the heart of the city at Dam Square.  But we relented and decided to go for this property.

From our very first interaction over the phone to the support provided after we returned home, this hotel made our stay amazing and won us over.  Here’s how they did it.

– The hotel offers a shuttle pick up from Central Station.  We called from the station and due to construction were given explicit instructions on the right exit to take to the spot on the street where we would be picked up.  First handshake – success!

– The property is modern, designed beautifully and occupies prime real estate on the water adjacent to the beautiful Muziekgebouw concert hall.  We loved the aesthetics.

– The front desk staff could not have been any friendlier.  Given the girls excitement, they gave us a room facing the water that simply made each morning and evening that much more special.  And they always had pointers for us on things to do.

– Our concern about not being on Dam Square was more than addressed by these facts.  It is a short 15 minute walk or a few minute tram ride to the Square and most importantly being on the water helped us escape the bustle of the city whenever we wanted to.

– The breakfast was awesome.

– At the basement of the hotel is a bike rental place that we used to rent bikes and do a tour of the dutch countryside.  Great convenience.

– Now for the ultimate in service.  Upon getting to the airport, we realized that we had forgotten a key purchase at a locker in one of the city’s museums.  We called the museum, asked if they could ship it which they declined.  We called the hotel concierge and they immediately set the wheels in motion to help us.  Not only did they pick up our purchase, they mailed it to us without charging us a dime.  This despite our multiple offers to pay.

Amsterdam is absolutely one of our favorite cities in the world and we are glad to have found a gem to return to on future journeys.

To learn more about this beautiful property click here:


Walking Across the Brooklyn Bridge to DUMBO – A Great Way to Experience New York Away from the Crowds

By Lakshmi:

Who?  Anyone interested in walking around New York City, experiencing a part of Brooklyn, eating some good food, walking into boutique shops and art galleries and relaxing by the waterfront.

What? Walking around DUMBO also known as “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”, the 90th historic district of New York City.


– Pick a lovely day

– Don a good pair of walking shoes

– Add in some friends for company

– Bring a good appetite

– Plan to dedicate 3-4 hours for a total experience

Why? I will admit that till a colleague told me about DUMBO, I knew nothing about this lovely, waterfront Brooklyn suburb.  So, one beautiful spring day, a group of us decided to start our walking tour at City Hall on the Manhattan side of East River.  (FYI….Tell any Manhattan cab driver that you want to walk the Brooklyn Bridge and he will drop you off at the right spot.)  Take the pedestrian walkway on the bridge and walk across, pausing to take lots of pictures and soak in the sights.  As you come towards the end of the bridge, follow the sign downwards to DUMBO, and walk towards the water and you will be there.  If you are hungry, stop by Ignazio’s for some good pizza followed by dessert at either Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory or at my favorite, Jacques Torres’s shop which includes amazing desserts and ice cream by one of my favorite pastry chefs.  A meal like that and I am ready for a nap.  So, what better way to relax than head to Brooklyn Bridge Park and watch the boats, people and take a nap.  If you are short on time, you can take a ferry from here to Manhattan.  If not, head to one or more of the many boutiques and art galleries located here. You can return back to Manhattan via a ferry, taxi or of course walk back on the Brooklyn Bridge in time to catch the sunset.