The ups and downs of sleeping on a boat

Today, we will review Hotelschip Gandalf, an affordable yet central accommodation in Amsterdam. The main draw of this hotel boat is its location. Gandalf is only a ten to fifteen minutes walk (or a three minutes bus ride) away from the central train station, and on a sunny morning, there are superb views of the water, the neighboring boats and the city.

The entrance to our hotel in the morning light - Olympus OM-D EM10 with Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm (90mm equivalent), 1/640, f8.0

The entrance to our hotel in the morning light – Olympus OM-D EM10 with Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm (90mm equivalent), 1/640, f8.0

We had a twin cabin with attached bathroom. As expected, both the cabin and the bathroom were tiny, making this type of accommodation best for those with a packed itinerary (i.e. those who do not plan to spend a lot of time inside the cabin). Neither the boat nor the cabin or bathroom are easy to navigate for anyone of more than average height or width. The mattresses are relatively hard, which I do not mind at all, and the gentle rocking of the boat made it easy for me to fall asleep in the evening.
Our cabin on board of Hotelschip Gandalf - Olympus OM-D EM10, 14mm (28mm equivalent), 1/10, f3.5

Our cabin on board of Hotelschip Gandalf – Olympus OM-D EM10, 14mm (28mm equivalent), 1/10, f3.5


To compensate for the smallness of the cabins, guests can sit in the common room, where they can enjoy free tea and coffee in the company of a huge and gentle dog. There is also wireless and a fridge with soft drinks and beer that can be purchased at a very reasonable price. Breakfast is served in the same room from nine to eleven and includes toast, raisin bread, muesli, orange juice, tea and coffee, and a view on the water. On Saturday, there were also fried eggs.

We recommend the hotel boat preferably for a stay in late spring or early autumn because temperature regulation inside the cabin and bathroom might be an issue when it is very cold or very warm outside. The cabins themselves have heating but, even though there was a thermostat in our room, the heating was either on at full power or off. The bathroom had no heating and it was really cold in there during our stay around Christmas. In summer on the other hand, it might be difficult to let any heat escape the cabin through the two small windows.

For a short stay during a period of moderate temperature however, it offers a basic yet clean and affordable accommodation in a great location and with a more individual touch to it than your standard hotel. After all, it is a boat.

Amsterdam city lights at night, seen from near Hotelschip Gandalf - Olympus OMD EM-10 with Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm, 3.2, f4.5

Amsterdam city lights at night, seen from near Hotelschip Gandalf – Olympus OMD EM-10 with Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm, 3.2, f4.5

What about you? Can you recommend any hotel in Amsterdam? Head to the comments section to let us know about it!

And for future updates ..
 



 
This article was published on perelincolors.com.

8 thoughts on “The ups and downs of sleeping on a boat

    1. perelincolors

      I didn’t write what we paid because we stayed there over Christmas and I assume that prices change according to the season and the date. With the constraints of wanting a “room” and bathroom to ourselves while staying close to the center, it was the most affordable we could find – but Amsterdam is not very affordable in general. Just about everything there was a factor 1.3 to 1.5 more expensive than in Germany, for example. On a budget, it might be a better choice to stay in a dorm or to stay away from Amsterdam entirely.

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      1. Michael

        The Netherlands is an expensive country, that is true. And Germany in general is much cheaper. Sadly, the hostel prices in Amsterdam are sky-high as well, due to very high demand at all seasons. Staying out of Amsterdam is a rigorous, but effective way to stay within your budget.

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  1. darwinontherocks

    We stayed in an boat hotel in Stockholm a week ago, and it was a pleasant experience. The heat was good enough, and it was quiet. My only problem was the lack of shelves to store your stuff (especially if you stay several days), it can be annoying to leave everything on the floor when you are backpacking (it’s not as convenient as a suitcase)

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