As you could have seen in my previous posts I like to play tourist in my own country, as well as unique hotels and city trips, and lately I’m exploring even more of the Netherlands, as staycations are my new favourite thing! Especially while staying overnight in beautiful historic and special hotels, combined with good food and lots of sightseeing.
I love finding the most special accommodations around the world with that unique combination of authenticity and affordable luxury. And although I have stayed in over 300 different hotels, resorts and villas already, I didn’t know the beautiful hotels of the Carlton Hotel Collection until last week.
We did a city hopping tour with stays in 3 of their nicest city locations in the Netherlands. This showed us very well why they call their chain a collection, as all 3 hotels were very different from the other.
The Carlton Hotel Group was founded 35 years ago and currently consists of 10 hotels, of which 7 are located in the Netherlands, all of 4 star level, offering the perfect combination of affordably luxury.
The hotels are run individually in their own way with special features that make each location unique and distinguishing, without a uniform identity or hotel décor, although part of the same group. That’s exactly what makes the hotels and concept extra special to me!
If you’re planning to stay in the Netherlands as well this summer and want to explore 3 Dutch cities and sleep in the best spot of the city center, all in one trip, then this package could be perfect for you too!
The Carlton City Hopping tour of 3 nights in diferent cities with bike rental, a 3 course dinner, some bits and bites, and many other extras, is now available for a very sharp price, starting from €249,50 per person!
Find out more through: Carlton-city-hopping.
In this blog I will show you why we found this tour perfect to rediscover Amsterdam, Haarlem and The Hague, 3 of the classiest cities of the Netherlands, while staying overnight in comfort and style in 3 very unique hotels.
City Hopping with Carlton Hotels
In this package you can choose which of the 3 cities you want to start and end with, and there are many things included! Such as bike rental at each location, of course free WIFI, a nice breakfast and a few other surprises.
Banks Mansion Amsterdam
We started our tour with 1 night in Amsterdam at the monumental Banks Mansion, directly located on the Herengracht with authentic Amsterdam canal views:
Sleeping in a true canal house was something I still really wanted to experience. And our 25 m2 deluxe canal view room with a bottle of wine, signature chocolate as a welcome gift, stocked minibar included and an in-room breakfast in the morning made us feel right at home! Get an impression of the room:
Unique features Banks Mansion
With their full service concept there are many extras included, here’s what I liked the most:
They offer Valet Parking through a third party, for just €15,- per day. With the ridiculously high parking prices in Amsterdam center this is a bargain! It can be ordered in advance and your car will be brought back any time you want.
The hotel offers many extras, like the Nespresso machine, minibar with snacks, drinks, alcohol and decanters with whiskey, gin and cognac in the room, and unlimited use of the open bar in the lobby downstairs, all included in the room price.
The spacious lobby feels like a living room and has an extensive bar where you can make your own cocktails and have snacks throughout the day, or order a Dutch cheese platter, which can be brought to the room as well, all complimentary.
The breakfast room has Live Cooking with omelets or pancakes prepared freshly for you, but breakfast can be ordered to the room as well.
The bikes look very cool and are ideal to explore more of Amsterdam with.
Banks Mansion is perfectly located in Amsterdam city center with the popular '9 straatjes', the canal area with many sightseeing tours, Kalverstraat shopping street, de Munt, Dam square, Spui, the Red light district and the Reguliersdwarsstraat, all buzzing areas with many shops, restaurants, cafés and bars within walking distance of the hotel.
But it’s also fun to explored more of Amsterdam by bike, included in the Carlton city hopping package. See some of my favourite Amsterdam city sights in this gallery:
Carlton Square Hotel Haarlem
Next up was the Carlton hotel in Haarlem and although the exterior has a more business-like feel, it’s very convenient, perfectly located in a quiet, yet very central area of the city, right across from a big park and just a minutes' walk from the shopping streets.
The lobby, private dining area and our room with balcony had a homey vibe and the cozy in-house Bar & Kitchen Zocher serves good food throughout the day, with fresh and classic dishes, prepared with mostly local ingredients.
Get an impression of the room and view:
Unique features Carlton Square
There’s a big parking garage just below the hotel, very convenient!
I loved the big sunny outdoor terrace of Zocher, where you can enjoy some bits and bites and your complimentary Zocher plate and cocktail till late outside, all included in the package as well.
The hotel has 124 rooms with 6 room types to choose from.
The interior with unique design and many art-deco elements is very nice, as you can see here:
Zocher Bar has an open kitchen and for breakfast you can order your omelets freshly prepared.
They offer private dining as well in this beautiful room:
Haarlem is perfect to explore by rental bike which is included in this package, and the beaches of Bloemendaal and Zandvoort are just 30 minutes cycling away.
This lovely city is nice to tour by boat as well, or just stroll around the small streets and alleys to discover historic buildings like de Amsterdamse Poort, authentic boutiques, for example in the buzzing Grote Houtstraat near the hotel, and enjoy some of the many terraces.
Get an impression in this gallery:
We however preferred to venture outside the city for a day at the beach of Bloemendaal. This popular seaside resort with many beach clubs can be reached by car of public transport in just 15 minutes.
But in my opinion it’s even nicer to go there by bike as there are many cycling paths leading you through the nature areas of Zuid-Kennemerland with stunning dune routes like this:
Carlton Ambassador The Hague
For our last city hopping stop and another perfect combination of city and beach, we stayed overnight in my hometown The Hague. And although I’ve lived there now for 14 years I had however never stayed at this 19th century Carlton hotel in the classy Embassy District.
The Carlton Ambassador exudes class with its monumental façade, typical for this area of the city. The building is more than 100 years old and always had a hospitality function, which shows through the grandeur both inside and out, with a beautiful lobby and distinguishing rooms, all different and unique!
We slept in one of the 8 exclusive themed Residences, with stunning décor, a skylight and lovely bathroom with rain shower. But also a welcome gift, stocked minibar with snacks and Prosecco included in the room, and many other extras to give us a warm welcome!
Get an impression through this gallery:
Unique features Carlton Ambassador
The hotel has 3 room types to choose from: Classic, Royal or the Residences, each with their own unique look and features.
The Residences are modern, refurbished in 2018, with everything you might need, like a spacious in room seating area, exclusive Rituals bath products, and a private entrance and stairway on one side of the hotel. But also still have the original ornaments from the 19th century!
With a stay in the Residences many extras are included; Nespresso machine, minibar with snacks, (alcoholic) drinks, a complimentary glass of champagne or Gin & Tonic can be ordered to the room, and breakfast service in bed is all included in the room price!
Delicious dishes prepared with fair products are served at the in-house restaurant Sophia, with atmospheric outdoor terrace. We had the Puur menu which was included in the city hopping arrangement, and were lucky to be able to dine outside, surrounded by olive trees in this lovely setting!
Breakfast is served at Restaurant Sophia as well, and can be enjoyed both in or outside, both lovely settings for this nice and complete breakfast.
Private parking right next to the hotel can be reserved in advance for just €19,50 a day.
The hotel is situated perfectly in a quiet and classy street, amongst several embassies and with The Hague city centre just a 5 minutes’ walk away.
Also here bike rental was included in the package, the perfect way to explore my city, and the beaches of Kijkduin and Scheveningen are also within 10 minutes cycling.
But also the trendy Zeeheldenkwartier, with many shops and terraces is very nearby, Noordeinde, one of the oldest shopping streets of the city with various art galleries, the classy shops of the Hoogstraat, the stunning Dutch Parliament: ‘het Binnenhof’ and the Hofvijver are all within walking distance of the hotel.
And it’s surrounded by 2 palaces, several museums and several parks. See some of my favourite The Hague city sights in this gallery:
In my opinion this makes the Carlton Ambassador the perfect hotel location if you want to experience The Hague in a more unique and classy way!
For more info about all unique features of each Carlton Hotel you can check their website and book directly for more benefits: Carlton Hotel Collection.
I hope that my experience and pictures can inspire your next staycation and convinced you that this will make the perfect city hopping combination to spend your summer in the Netherlands as well!
If you’re looking for more tips, inspiration, unique hotels and sights to visit for your next staycation or visit to the Netherlands, you can also check these Netherlands blogs, or follow me on social media, via the icons at the bottom of this page for daily posts!