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pakhuis klompen Windmill fiets lighthouse
Here is Holland
ISBN 978-9059721418 - 492 pages


Amsterdam's new "Luxury for much less" hotel

Just when you thought you couldn't afford to stay in Amsterdam, along comes a brand new concept in hotels that fits the bill. Based on 'the-earlier-you-book-the-cheaper' concept of many airlines, Qbic Hotel has just opened its doors at the WTC (World Trade Center) near Schiphol
airport and the RAI Convention Center, just a short, roughly 10-minute tram or taxi ride from Amsterdam proper. Rates for a surprisingly very spacious room outfitted with an all-in-one modular, truly to-die-for, extra-long Hastens bed and adjoining shower unit, and complete with your own choice of different colored mood lighting, flat-screen TV overlooking the bed, in-room safe, rain-style shower head, and free Internet, start at 39 euros per night, depending on how far ahead you book.

Before you run off to reserve a room at this clever place, do be aware that, oddly enough, there is no door on the shower/toilet area, and therefore no privacy for travelmates. While marketed mainly to the businessman or woman traveling alone, we think it's also a real coup for the tourists hoping to visit Amsterdam without blowing their budget.

Entrance through the WTC access is a bit strange, as you must pass through a small TNT postoffice area before entering the actual hotel, but once inside, the rather eclectic lounge and breakfast area is one of the best parts of the stay there -- complete with complimentary buffet breakfast and great cappuccinos offered up around a very attractive breakfast bar. For snacks and drinks at your leisure, an array of vending machines complete the picture, along with a fine selection of books for your reading or browsing pleasure. Fresh coffee and tea are offered up
throughout the day.

Check-in procedure goes along with the mod-squad concept, as it's 'do-it-yourself' via a computer that, once you've completed a simple registration, spews out your key.

All in all, this is one snazzy hotel worth trying, especially for value. It's a bit eclectic, as you'll see by the very idea of a modular unit tucked into a comfortably spacious room, but we do recommend it for those of you looking for something quite different and quite reasonable. Let's
face it, where else in Amsterdam can you find a brand-spanking new hotel for these prices? (If you have indeed found another one, please do let us know by e-mailing us at, as we'll be reviewing similar accommodations.)

In the meantime, order your copy of the brand-new edition of 'Here's Holland', "simply the best all-in-one guide to travel and life in Holland", available on or, to plan your entire trip, and book your Qbic Hotel room well in advance (

Next year, Qbic Hotels plans to open similar accommodations in the southeast Dutch city of Maastricht, as well as one in Antwerp, Belgium, with other key destinations in the works. Soon you'll be able to see Europe on a true budget, Qbic style!

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