Netherlands 2015: Introduction

by | Sep 7, 2015 | International Travel, Travel

After a summer at home we were itching to travel again, and visiting The Netherlands was an easy way to transition back to suitcases, airplanes, and lots of photos. We’d been to Amsterdam in August 2011, so for this trip we wanted to see some other cities too. Our long weekend trip featured:

  • Four flights covering 8,176 miles
  • Five train rides
  • Three cities: ‘s-Hertogenbosch (aka Den Bosch), Amsterdam, and Utrecht
  • beer! & seeing NC friends who moved to Amsterdam in 2014.

Where we stayed

The Duke Boutique Hotel – there aren’t many options in the old town part of Den Bosch, but the recently opened Duke piqued our interest especially due to its location in the middle of town just down the street from the Sint Jan Cathedral. Reception was on the second floor and all 17 rooms were on the third floor. Our room wasn’t ready when we arrived in the morning, but they gladly held our bags while we explored town.

In the afternoon we returned and our room was ready. Room 316 faces away from the street, so the view of the neighboring roof wasn’t memorable. Thankfully the room itself was pleasantly modern with dark walls, a very comfortable bed, and the best plugin speaker I’ve experienced in a hotel room.



The bathroom featured brass fixtures and nice amenities; the shower lacked a door, so it could be chilly in colder weather (not a problem in summer though). Thankfully the toilet had it’s own separate door. We definitely enjoyed our stay given the comfortable accommodations and good location.

Park Plaza Vondelpark – Amsterdam is an expensive hotel city, so we opted to use points and the Park Plaza had availability. Located in a quieter residential area, it is about about three blocks to an entrance for Vondelpark and two blocks between tram stops which took us into the city center in about ten minutes.

We had a fairly small room on the 5th floor with a sloped ceiling that was definitely showing signs of age with peeling paint, small holes in the carpet, etc. Though relatively small it did have a small wardrobe with hangers and a small refrigerator. The bed was European queen sized and a bit too firm for our tastes.


The bathroom was a combination of clear and frosted glass with a door that didn’t close quite all the way – a pet peeve of ours. Our stay was fine, but I don’t think we would return outside of another point redemption.

citizenM Hotel Schiphol Airport – Given our early morning flight we decided to stay out at the airport on our last night. The Citizen M was a short walk from the terminal and a good rate so we decided to try their modern concept. The lobby was large with lots of couches, bar, and a TV area. Several computers were available for self-check-in, and two minutes later we were on our way to our room.


Definitely small, but quiet and clean. The front features different parts of the bathroom, and we were warned that the shower wouldn’t start until the doors were completely closed – makes sense once you see the layout! It was relatively easy to control.

The room was controlled by an iPad, including colored LED lights, the TV, movies, etc. that was found next to the large, comfy bed that stretched from wall to wall along the back of the room and decorated with cheeky pillows.


Overall the Citizen M was a good place to crash for a few hours before we started our trip home.

Our Itinerary

2024 Trips

San Diego, CA (Jan)
Sarasota, FL (Feb)
Valencia, Spain (Mar)
Mallorca (Apr)
Croatia (May)
Faroe Islands (Aug)
London, UK (Sept)
Bari, Italy (Sept)</br />Rome, Italy (Oct)
Frankfurt, Germany (Oct)

2022 Trips

Florida (Feb)
NC Mountains (Apr)
Washington DC (Apr)
Valencia, Spain (May)
Hilton Head, SC (May)
Pacific NW (Jun)
Long Island (Jul)
Florida (Sept)
Chicago (Sept)
Poland (Sept)
NC Mountains (Nov)
Euro Xmas Markets (Dec)