What is(are) your name(s)?
Mrs Lesley Marsh
For how long have you been running a B&B?
Seven years but forty years in the International Hotel business
Please share something about the history of your present bed and breakfast.
I bought this beautiful Townhouse in the centre of Amsterdam seven years ago when I returned from India where I had lived for ten years running my own travel company. This house appealed to me because of its warm atmosphere and i thought it would make an ideal B&B. It is located on a very quiet street wedged between the Amstel River and the Utrechtse straat which has more than 18 cafes, bars and restaurants so a perfect location. The house has two front doors. Originally two families occupied the house; one upstairs and one downstairs. Each bedroom and bathroom take up an entire floor of the house. The floors, beams, doors and even the glass in some of the windows are all original. There is an open fire in the kitchen surrounded by original Delft tiles which is always lit on cool mornings.
What are the unique characteristics of your B&B?
Aemstelhuys was built in 1780 and is a Monument of the State. It retains almost all of its original features but offers warmth and modern comforts - really good beds, hand blocked white sheets, private bathrooms, home made breakfasts in the cosy kitchen with an open fire.
Based on your guests' opinions, what feature of your B&B has made their stay special?
Many guests are happy to stay in such an historical house which retains so much character but offers all modern comforts. The breakfast is a particular favourite, very extensive and served with freshly home baked breads and croissants each morning. Being able to converse with my guests in their own language is another aspect which makes guests feel at home and an up to date knowledge of what is going on in Amsterdam, the good places to eat and how to get around and what to see add to their comfort.
Please describe in short your bed and breakfast and its general services and amenities.
The 18th Century townhouse is built on a quiet street in the posh residential area of Amsterdam = the Canal Belt which has recently been given Unesco World heritage status. It is built over four floors, three of which comprise one bedroom with ensuite bathroom. The first floor is the dining room and kitchen with open fireplace which leads on to a small garden at the rear.
How many rooms are offered at your B&B and what is its maximum capacity?
The Colony Room - lower ground floor with separate entrance. King size bed and possibility for one extra single bed - max.capacity 3 pax.
The Lady Grey Room - top floor - twin beds and possibility for one extra single bed max.capacity 3 pax.
What kinds of rooms do you offer?
The Colony Room is cosy and has a separate entrance so optimum privacy.Windows front and back. King size bed and en suite shower room.
The Lady Grey Room is on the top floor (stairs!!) and offers two single beds with poss. for one extra single bed. It is light with windows front and back and looks out across the rooftops of old Amsterdam.
The Mistress Suite is on the middle floor and has a large double bed with large ensuite bathroom with bath, hairdryer and separate shower.Windows front and back,
Please describe the in-room facilities for each type of room in your B&B.
Colony Room:heating, hairdryer, kettle, coffee machine, two winged armchairs, coffee table, lamps, wardrobe, wooden floor and carpets.
Lady Grey: heating, En suite shower room , kettle, coffeemachine, chairs and table, hairdryer, Wooden floor with carpets.
Mistress Suite: Heating, kettle, coffeemachine, chairs and table, hairdryer, sofa, large HD television. Wooden floor with carpets.
Which room is your personal favorite?
I like all three as each has its own style and character.
What do the room rates include?
Price includes all taxes, internet and extensive breakfast.
Do you offer any special packages?
What may guests expect from a typical breakfast at your property?
Breakfast includes four types of Dutch cheeses, four types of jams, honey, fruit. Muesli, yoghurt, boiled eggs, brioche, genoise, tomatoes, three types of chocolate flakes, peanut butter, orange juice, bread basket with home made bread rolls and croissants, brown bread, muesli bread, freshly brewed tea of your choice and coffee of your choice. In the winter pancakes with syrup and hot chocolate.
When and where is breakfast served?
Between 08h30 and 10h30 Mon - Sat
Between 09h30 and 11h00 Sundays
Served in the kitchen with open fire.
Are dietary needs accommodated?
The breakfast is already vegetarian.
Do you serve other meals?
Are there cooking facilities, which guests may use?
Is your bed and breakfast suitable for children?
No not suitable for young children under the age of 12 yrs old.
Do you accept pets?
No, we already have a cay (Puddy) in the house.
What is your smoking policy?
No smoking in the house but you can go out to the garden and smoke.
Is there a parking facility on premises or nearby?
There is parking on the street outside but very very expensive. Cheap Parking facilities are available and all information is given to the guests upon making a reservation.
Is your B&B suitable for disabled guests?
Not at all - everything is excessible only by staircase - Being a listed building lifts etc are not allowed.
What safety precautions are provided at your B&B?
Smoke and fire alarms
What is your check-in/check-out policy?
Check in after 3 pm but guests are welcome to bring their luggage earlier if required. Check out is before 11am.
Are there a minimum number of nights for staying at your B&B?
Two nights minimum.
How can guests check availability and make a reservation?
Preferably via email. For reservations I need full names of all guests, home address, contact numbers and (flight) arrival information.
What is you cancellation policy?
100% refund (minus an administration fee of Euro 50) if the cancellation is made 2 months in advance
50% of that deposit will be refunded if cancellation is made 14 days or more before arrival date
20% of the deposit will be refunded if cancellation is made 8-14 days before arrival date
No refund if cancellation is made within 7 days of arrival
No refunds in case of shortening your stay after arrival.
What types of payment do you accept?
Cash only upon arrival. Deposit to be paid in advance via bank/wire transfer.
Is there a special etiquette that guests should know about and comply with?
General good behaviour. If guests arrive home late at night it would be nice if they removed their shoes before walking up the wooden staircases in deference to other guests.
Please tell us what things guests might enjoy visiting, seeing, doing, etc. in your area.
A whole scala of Museums from a handbag Museum to the National and van Gogh museums. Boat cruise through the canals. Renting a bike and cycling along the canals and through the parks. Shopping the the 9-streets and the Kalver street. Farmers Market on Saturday morning. Visitng the Anne Frank House, the Red Light District, Madame Tussauds. Sauntering along the Canals and taking refreshment at one of the many cafes Amsterdam has - there is one on the corner of each street.
Where is your B&B located and how it may be reached?
From the Central Railway Station it is a 10 minute tram ride to my house on the Tram number 4. Get off at Prinsengracht stop and walk down the street for 50 meters. Turn left into the Utrechtsedwarsstraat - you will see the Carre Theatre at the end. Aemstelhuuys is at no. 150 on the right with two red doors.
What would you say to people who have never stayed in a bed and breakfast?
Breakfast is served over a period of two hours so if you wish to dine alone it is not a problem. In a B&B you need to be prepared to meet people of different cultures, traditions, and different languages. Do not expect the services which a Hotel provides (restaurant,bar, room service, laundry service etc)