The NH Doelen is a grande dame of a hotel, which looks utterly gorgeous from the outside with its beautiful brickwork and detailed plaster mouldings. Add to this a fantastic canal-side location in central Amsterdam, and it looked like the perfect spot. It should have been a delight to stay here.
If only the inside had lived up to the promise of the facade.
Unfortunately, the facilities were average at best. The public areas were a little tired, but acceptable, and had some nice features like a central light well and a towering grandfather clock in the lobby. But it was the bedroom which really disappointed me, with its shabby furniture, chipped paint, and grimy wallpaper. There's no overhead light (one of my pet peeves in hotel rooms) which means there isn't anywhere near enough light in the rooms, even in daylight. I usually take photos of a hotel room when I arrive, but this one felt so dreary that I just didn't bother. The bathroom was the only space that felt clean and spacious. I found the mattress only tolerable, and the sheets scratchy.
Given its perfect location, and NH Hotels' self-positioning as a quality hotel chain, I really think this place could do with a facelift. The rooms may be tiny, but with clean decor and better bedding, it could still be great. But unless I hear of a serious refurbishment project, I won't be staying here again.