NH CENTRE UTRECHT HOTEL

NH CENTRE UTRECHT HOTEL, NETHERLANDS.
Like all NH hotels, NH Centre in Utrecht is orientated towards people who travel both on business and for pleasure. It is a lovely 19th century building right in the city centre. It is equipped with all modern conveniences, including free wi-fi, tea/coffee making facilities, spacious bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms. The in-room safe is big enough for two laptops. NH Centre is only a few stops away from the central train station by bus 28 and many others; the fare as of January 2015 was 2.70 euros; one can buy tickets on the bus. All the bus-drivers, as practically everybody in Holland, speak English. The bus-stop you need is called Janskerkhof; it is located directly in front of the hotel entrance. The staff are very friendly, efficient and attentive to your needs. You can also fill in an application form for bonus points when checking in. We were offered a room on the top floor, which we did not like: though it was quite big, the twin beds sat in a dark alcove, and there was a wide beam transecting the room and separating the dark part from the window. We asked for a different room, with one double bed. The receptionist suggested that we look at it first, which we did. It was on the first floor, with two tall windows, a large double bed, very nice and comfortable, so we took it at no extra charge. Once settled in, you can make tea or coffee and relax in an arm-chair, looking at the square outside. For those of us topographically challenged, the hotel is easy to find. Just look for the equestrian statue, at the beautiful churches to your left and to your right, and there you are. A long shopping street, with all the familiar chain stores, several bakeries, fast-food joints, souvenir shops, a large HEMA supermarket and a street flower market are all within walking distance. The canal, the main cathedral and many famous attractions are all nearby. The morning starts with a big and varied breakfast on the ground floor. During the day, Broer’s Restaurant, which wraps itself around the façade, serves very good lunch and dinner. Curiously, as compared to some other countries, you enter the restaurant and just sit at any available table. In a couple minutes, a waiter comes up to you with a menu. The service is fast and efficient, though nobody seems to be in a hurry. The prices vary. You can have Caesar Salad for lunch for about ten euros. It is made with hot strips of chicken, and the portion is quite large. At dinner, which is served after 5PM, you can get the usual beef-steak, duck, chicken or salmon, as well as various salads and sandwiches. If you don’t want to spend your evening in a café, you can buy some freshly prepared foods at a supermarket or bakery. They may close circa 5:30PM, or at 7PM, so be sure to leave yourself enough time for shopping. On Sundays, many establishments are closed. True to the country’s reputation, there are flower arrangements everywhere. The only problem you may face when buying a bouquet is that of choice: so many varieties, so many colours!
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