World Reviewer rating

Worth a detour
Rating 2.2 (180 votes)

Piet Hein

Listed under Places to Stay in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

  • Photo of Piet Hein
  • Photo of Piet Hein
Photo of Piet Hein
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Intimate but rather uncharismatic, 'stuck in a design timewarp' would be my first and abiding feeling for the Piet Hein. A family property, independent since 1982, with the bonus of a resident manager, this hotel comprises three Amsterdam Villas and has a steep approach of steps to the front door but a very unloved façade.

It is the design which is so questionable and it doesn’t feel very loved. The whole look is based on the nautical reference to Piet Hein the legendary Dutch mariner, an Atlantic Ocean hero who conquered the Spanish over 200 years ago. So in comes pine furniture, porthole imagery, rope-tying patterns and old-fashioned maritime pictures.

Hardly an in-house fashion catwalk for the design-conscious clientele but highly highly convenient for the predominant clientele of youngish professionals aged between 35 and 50. Two minutes from the Museums (Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum), one minute walk away from the equally ideal vicinity of the Vondel Park, Amsterdam’s major green area for joggers and walkers. But perhaps most critically it is the Fashion District (the streets of PcHoofstraat and van Baerlelstraat) which is only seconds away that appeals most of all. Tommy Hilfiger has his headquarters nearby and there are many seasonal commercial art and jewellery fairs (Mode Fabriek in January and June) and Westergas Fabriek.

It just lacks any real love or imagination both in décor and in service. No recognition is granted to the ever-humbled guest on arrival, until whatever it is, is done (and if necessary checked with someone somewhere else who is also in no rush). You feel very unimportant, as though queueing in a bank! They simply haven’t learnt the basic need to unburden people on their long-awaited last part of the journey.

Yes it is very efficient, functional and clean with the obligatory flowers and candles, but this 3* hotel has no restaurant, predominantly Dutch visitors and few of the basics - be it shampoo or a mini-bar. If ever the soul of an ancient mariner might affect its surroundings it is not here. There is a boardroom, a pleasant-enough garden, wifi internet service, but ultimately this is a base to drop things and go local. Restaurants are widespread and very local to compensate for the lack of anything more than bar food at the hotel. Also in its favour is the actual result in terms of image, a hotel belonging more appropriately to the Old South of Amsterdam -  traditional and prosperous neighbourhood.

Piet Hein , Vossiusstraat 51-53 , 1071 AK Amsterdam, Tel: +31 (0)20 662 7205

Written by  Adam Jacot de Boinod.

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