While the staff at the Amsterdam Hotel will do all they can to ensure your stay a happy, comfortable and memorable one, like any major international city in the world, there are the minor and slightly unpleasant pitfalls that you have to look out for when you are out and about in the city that might otherwise put a dampener on your stay.
1. Being caught in rush hour on the tube (underground)
Approximately 24 million tube journeys are made in London every day. Naturally enough, these journeys peak during the morning and evening rush hours and are legendary. This means that if you are part of a small group, you will have to take great care if you want to stay together – nothing gets in the way of a Londoner wanting to return home from a hard day’s work! It also means that like any major city when you’re in a crowd, you have to watch you, your family and your possessions don’t get crushed or lost and that you don’t fall foul to pickpockets who thrive in a bustling environment. Leave a little earlier for your journey if it is likely to involve peak journey times.
2. Being at the back of a never-ending London queue
There can sometimes be endless queues in London, not only for transport, but for tourist attractions, bank machines, restaurants and more. The message here is to leave a little extra time for buying your admission ticket, and if you can book online in advance, it might save you some effort. For example, make sure you buy an Oyster card for journeys on tube or bus, get your cash from the machine before you arrive in the city centre and book your restaurant by phone.
3. You arrive at the Amsterdam Hotel London, but the airline has sent your luggage to Amsterdam … in Holland
There’s nothing worse than losing your luggage, especially if you have travelled a long distance and your clothes are about to walk into the washing machine by themselves! Make sure you report your missing belongings with the airline desk at the airport before you leave. This is why it is always sensible to take a light change of clothing in your hand luggage, in which you should also have kept your phones, tablets (PC and medical!), cameras and jewellery. And if you have lost your money (or it has been stolen!) contact a branch of your own bank – there is bound to be one in London.
London is a very busy, international city, so there is always something going on, be it an exhibition, conference or event. So to avoid paying unnecessarily high rates for your room, it makes sense to book your hotel room reservation advance before you leave home. That way you can get some of the best deals around.
5. You arrive from 31oC Florida in your Bermuda shorts and Hard Rock t-shirt to icy winds and pouring rain
Take a jumper, light waterproof clothing and footwear, and a fold-up umbrella in your hand luggage. If you are nearing the luggage weight limit, wear them at check in – you can always take them off while waiting for your flight and then put them on again before boarding.
6. You are served a sub-standard meal in a busy restaurant by a rude waiter
It doesn’t happen often, but it can, especially if the restaurant has been very busy, the previous customers have been obnoxious and the waiter (who might not be paid that well) is coming to the end of their shift. Don’t make a public scene that could otherwise embarrass you and your other party members. Ask for the restaurant manager (be firm) and explain what has happened as he/she will be the only one empowered to correct it for you. Write to the restaurant or head office afterwards outlining the precise problems you had.