Arrival/Check-In: It’s the plight of the North American traveler flying to Europe — you arrive at dawn and there’s no available room at the inn. Thus after touching down at 7:30 a.m. and taking the hotel’s complimentary shuttle from Schiphol, I was informed that my room would not be ready for a few hours. The friendly clerk gave me a coupon for a free drink at the bar — café au lait for me — and checked my bag behind the front desk. My room was ready by 11:20 a.m. (17/20)
Guest Quarters: Sleek and modern, the room used its adequate — not abundant — space smartly. A large, blond wood cabinet held the safe, minibar and electric kettle in tidy IKEA style. Behind one door was an iron and foldout ironing board so nifty I was almost tempted to press something. A sliding door partitioned the sleeping area from the bathroom and vestibule, making the room cozier and effectively blocking noise from the hallway. I don’t like glass doors for the bathroom, despite the fact that contemporary hotel designers seem to be mad for them. This one, however, was opaque enough to provide privacy. The combined shower and tub had one of those glass shields that make sense only if you prefer baths to showers and never have to figure out how to position the showerhead to avoid drenching the room. (13/15)
Services/Amenities: Sofitel’s entry in the hotel bed derby is “My Bed” — a feather over-mattress topped by a feather duvet. It’s like sleeping in a cloud, and Sofitel promises that the down has been treated to be “less allergenic than synthetic materials.” Dreamy! The fitness center, flooded with daylight, has new, well-maintained equipment, plus a small pool and a sauna and steam room (the last two are coed and clothing- optional). Two restaurants serve European and Asian-inspired cuisine. There’s a charge for Internet access in the rooms, but you can check your email for free at a kiosk in the lobby. (43/45)
The Experience: Even though there’s a shuttle to the airport, where you can catch a train to the city center, this is not an ideal location if you’re in Amsterdam for sightseeing. It is, however, convenient to the airport, the A4 and A9 motorways and numerous international corporate offices. Those factors, plus stylish ambience and crisp service make this 4-star hotel a pleasant spot for business. (17/20)
Total Score: 90/100
SOFITEL AMSTERDAM AIRPORT
Stationplein ZW 951
1117 CE Schiphol
tel 31 20 540 0777
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