Other reports from this trip –
Introduction: Christmas in Hawaii
Report: Heathrow and the Concorde Room
Review: British Airways A321neo in Economy
Review: Hilton Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Review: British Airways lounge, Amsterdam Schiphol
Review: British Airways A320 in Club Europe
Review: British Airways 777 in First Class
Review: American Airlines A321 Transcon in First Class
Review: Hilton LAX Airport
Review: Hilton Grand Vacations, Grand Islander, Honolulu
Review: SouthWest Airlines in Economy
Review: Hilton Garden Inn, Kauai
Review: Hilton Grand Vacations, Kingsland, Waikoloa
Review: British Airways lounge, Boston
Review: British Airways 747 in Club World
Review: Hilton Budapest
With a one night stopover in Amsterdam, en route to Hawaii, and a need for a cheap hotel, I originally booked the Hampton by Schiphol Airport for just €70. However, as our trip got closer I started looking at other hotels and noticed that the Hilton Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is connected to the airport by a walkway, which would save us the hassle of taking a bus. It was a little more expensive than the Hampton, at €110, but it also has what appeared on the website to be quite a nice spa, with jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, something Danielle really loves in a hotel. As our Hampton reservation could be cancelled free of charge, I decided to pay the extra and go for the Hilton instead.
In this review…
I booked this hotel directly on the Hilton website, taking full advantage of the EMEA winter sale, and stuck with the basic room option, a King Guest Room with Atrium View.
I could have used points, but at 42,000 points per night, or 0.25p per point, it just wasn’t good value so, in this case, cash was definitely king!
One of the main advantages of this hotel is that it is on the airport property and directly connected to the terminal via a walkway, which removes the time and hassle of taking a shuttle bus.
The Hilton website gives pretty good directions on how to find the hotel and states that it’s a ten minute walk from the terminal.
Arrival and Check In
From the Arrivals hall, we followed directions on the Hilton website and headed for the area where the hire car desks are located, before taking the escalator up to the walkway, which, incidentally, wasn’t working. That seemed to be a common theme in the airport, something that soon became incredibly annoying!
The walk to the hotel actually felt further than I expected, although it did take us about ten minutes, as stated on the website. I looked back with a little bit of jealousy as we passed the Sheraton, as it was so much closer to the terminal.
As we continued walking I said to Danielle that we should probably have booked the Sheraton, but she pointed out that we hadn’t seen the Hilton yet and it may be lovely so we should wait before making any judgments. She’s definitely the sensible one!
We passed more and more moving walkways that weren’t working. Had they been, the walk may not have seemed quite so long . Eventually we arrived at the entrance, tucked away at the end of a narrow corridor. At this point my expectations were low…
My initial impression on entering the hotel, however, was one of surprise. Built around a central lobby area, with coloured lighting all the way to the ceiling, it was a lot bigger and grander than I expected. The mezzanine level overlooked what appeared to be a very nice bar and lounge area.
As we had entered the hotel from the walk way level on a mezzanine level, we had to take an escalator down to reception to check in.
Check in was friendly, quick and efficient and we were made to feel very welcome at the hotel. The gentleman checking us in explained the layout of the hotel, gave us details of lounge opening times and some vouchers for extra points based on spend in the restaurant and spa. We were also given an upgrade to a King Deluxe Room with Airport View. During check in I mentioned that I really liked the look of the hotel, especially the coloured lights in the lobby. I was then asked my favourite colour. When I said red, our host disappeared behind a wall for a couple of seconds, came back and told me to look up. He had changed all the lights to red, which was a really nice and fun touch. The stay was starting well.
The lobby and bar area felt very airy, sitting in the atrium of the hotel, and was very nicely fitted out, with lots of individual seating areas around a corner bar. While it may not have had the atmosphere that you’d get from a more compact setting, it definitely seemed like a nice place to sit and have drinks.
There was a small desk area in front of reception with a computer on either side, which would be handy for quickly logging on and checking flights, public transport, activities etc.
Keys in hand, we headed to the lifts to check out our room.
Coming out of the lift on the 9th floor, the view over the lobby gave a real sense of the size of the hotel.
Despite the walk from the terminal, our stay had started off a lot better than I expected. So far I was really impressed with this hotel.
We left the lift and walked along the corridor to our door, passing an ice dispenser on the way. We were assigned room 904, a King Deluxe room on the 9th floor, with views towards the airport.
First impressions of the room were good. It was by no means huge, but it was well laid out, nicely decorated and perfectly functional for a one night stay.
The bed was the equivalent of a UK super king, with plenty of space to spread out, and the mattress was very comfortable. There was a bedside table on either side of the bed, with a clock and telephone on one. There was also an electric socket on either side, which was useful, but no USB sockets.
There was a desk in one corner of the with another telephone and a lamp on it, a lazy chair beside it for relaxing on and a TV on the wall. The desk housed another plug socket, this time with two USB ports. Useful, but I would have preferred to also have some beside the bed.
As per the name, the room had views towards the airport. Although not visible in this picture, we could see the control tower and runway operations in the distance. Perfect for a flight geek, such as myself!
We were given water bottles on check in, which is pretty standard in most Hilton hotels, but what I really liked is that these were reusable. We actually packed them in our case when we left to take to Hawaii.
In the corner of the wall separating the bedroom and bathroom was a minibar and coffee machine. I didn’t use it during our brief stay, other than to store some personal items, but it was well stocked to the usual standard. The stand also contained a Nespresso machine and a kettle.
Storage-wise, there was only one cupboard in the room, containing a safe, an ironing board and an iron. Most people staying in an airport hotel are there for one night, so I’m sure this wouldn’t be too much of an issue.
The bathroom, to the right, just inside the room door, was a good size and contained the usual Hilton products by Crabtree and Evelyn. There was no bath, but there was a large, walk-in shower with a waterfall head and good water pressure.
There were also two bath robes under the sink, which we used that evening in the spa.
For what we paid, the room was excellent value and perfect for a one night stay. The desk allowed me to do some work while Danielle slept and the comfortable bed ensured that we were both well rested ahead of our flight the next day.
The only real complaint I had about the room was lighting; I couldn’t find a way to switch the desk lamp on without switching the main lights on as I had to turn on the master switch, which operated the main lights, before the lamp would work. This meant I had to work in the dark, using only the lights from my laptop keyboard, as Danielle was sleeping. There may have been a way to do it, but I couldn’t figure it out. It did make me appreciate the back-lighting on my MacBook keyboard, though!
We arrived at the hotel at 7.40pm and the chap who checked us in advised that they would be serving food in the executive lounge until 8pm. One of the great benefits of Diamond membership with Hilton Honors is that I get lounge access for myself and one guest when I’m staying at any property in the Hilton portfolio with a lounge, with just a couple of exceptions. As we were both feeling a bit peckish, we dropped our bags in the room and headed straight there.
The lounge is on the 10th floor of the hotel and can be accessed via the lift or, from the 9th floor, up a set of stairs.
Services in the lounge are mainly limited to the evening, but the following was advertised at the lounge entrance –
12:00-17:45 Biscuits, crisps and candy
18:00-20:00 Warm and cold canapies, cheese and biscuits
18:00-20:30 Beer, wine, vodka, gin and whiskey
20:00-21:30 Biscuits, crisps and candy
Soft drinks, tea and coffee are available all day, until 22:30
The lounge was split into two distinct sections, with an area near the entrance for eating and, further back, an area for relaxing.
Food was still being served when we arrived. While hot options were limited to vegetable samosas, there were a few, tasty salads on offer and a small cheese platter.
Drink options included tea, coffee and soft drinks and the evening service included wine and a small range of spirits, which were available to free pour.
Hilton lounges are definitely in decline these days and quality seems to be dropping in most hotels, so it was refreshing to find some good offerings in here. While the hot options could have been better, we really enjoyed the salads in the lounge. Having eaten in the Concorde Room before we left Heathrow, neither of us were particularly hungry and didn’t want a full restaurant meal, so this gave us the perfect snack we need to see us through the evening.
The staff working in the lounge were also very cheerful and came to check if we wanted anything else before closing the buffet, which was nice. Overall, the lounge gets a thumbs up from us!
As I mentioned earlier, one of the reasons I chose this hotel was for the spa, as I know how much Danielle enjoys relaxing in the jacuzzi and steam room, so I was looking forward to trying it.
The spa is on the mezzanine level of the hotel, accessible via the lifts or by using the escalator from the ground floor. It can either be accessed via the main spa entrance or via the gym entrance, by using a room key on the door.
Inside there is a gym, steam room, sauna, jazcuzzi and treatment rooms, should you wish to have a massage or beauty treatment.
The gym is free to use for hotel guests. It is small, but has a reasonable amount of equipment, including exercise bikes and free weights. Towels and water are also provided.
The spa is also free to use for hotel guests and, as promised on the website, contains a jacuzzi, sauna and steam room.
Was it a great spa? No – the jacuzzi was far from hot and was more of a gentle whirlpool, and the sauna and steam room could have been warmer, but the area was beautifully fitted out and was very relaxing so we were delighted to have access. Despite the shortcomings, I was still glad we booked this hotel with the spa in mind.
Food and Beverage
As mentioned above, there is a very nice looking bar in the lobby of the hotel, called the Axis lobby and cocktail bar, with plenty of seating and a very open and airy feel. It is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 1am and from 10am at weekends. As well as a wide variety of drinks and cocktails, it serves local Dutch cuisine and typical hotel comfort food.
The Bowery restaurant, located on the ground floor of the hotel, serves ‘international and Asian cuisine made with fresh authentic produce’. This is also where breakfast is served.
Other than lounge food, we didn’t eat in the hotel due to our late arrival and early departure. However, for the sake of the blog, I did check out breakfast in the morning and it looked very good.
Breakfast is served in the Bowery restaurant, on the ground floor of the hotel, and is available between 6am and 10am, Monday to Friday, and until 11am at weekends. Coffee is available to take away every day from 5am.
The restaurant was nicely decorated, with ample seating, and felt very welcoming.
A lot of effort had clearly been put into the breakfast presentation, with everything nicely laid out and well presented.
There was a great choice of pastries and breads, some of which was freshly baked, or at least warmed up. There was also a nice continental selection, containing cold meats, cheese, fruit, yoghurt and honey.
The hot selection contained all the usual suspects, with three different egg options.
Fresh omelettes were available to order, with a choice of ingredients, cooked by a very pleasant chap who seemed to really love his job, which is always refreshing to see.
Drinks wise, as well as the usual tea and coffee options, there were various flavours of fruit juice, as well as plain and fruit-infused waters.
It was now 8.30am and time for us to leave. With a 10am flight, I really felt the benefit of staying in a hotel connected to the airport as it allowed us to sleep in until 8. Check out was quick and easy, with nothing to pay other than the room rate so we settled the bill at reception and, ten minutes later, found ourselves at the check-in desk, ready for the start of our trip.
Flightguys verdict – Hilton Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Room booked – Standard King
Room received – King Deluxe with Airport View
Price paid – Approx. £95 (€110) for one night
This hotel really surprised me. I went in with fairly low expectations and it exceeded them in pretty much every area. The biggest benefit for me, though, was the proximity to the airport, which made our quick stopover in Amsterdam much easier. With nice rooms, a good lounge, inviting public areas and a relaxing spa, this is definitely a hotel we would happily recommend and one that will be high on our list the next time we stay over here. I still want to try the Sheraton, though…