Amsterdam Hotels Articles

June 4, 2010

Hotel Saves the Day


These days, it’s not often that air travel ends up as a disastrous failure, but I am minded of a time some years ago when this is just what happened…and how eventually everything resolved itself.

My plan was a relatively simple one; fly to Amsterdam, drop off my luggage at my hotel, be picked up by a representative of the firm that I was visiting, conclude my business and overnight at my hotel until my departure the next day. Now, this seemed simple enough, but I had not bargained for a Europe wide blanket of fog to scupper my plans.

My departure from Heathrow and the subsequent 45 minute flight to Amsterdam went as it should have done; just before landing though the pilot judged conditions too hazardous to make a landing, and after circling for a while, was diverted to an alternate airport and when this too was judged unsuitable I developed a nagging feeling of worry.

The next port of call was a military airport on the Belgian border and I was gradually realising that we would have to land this time whatever the conditions, as our fuel was getting worryingly low. I’m happy to say that after three attempts and a very rough landing, we did finally make it.

We were bussed along with our luggage, to our original destination, Amsterdam Airport, from where I caught a taxi to my Amsterdam hotel…I was now some six hours late and my nerves were understandably frazzled. Languishing in my taxi I cursed my circumstances and reflected that this was my worst business trip ever, but as I pulled up to my destination, the Gresham Memphis Hotel in Amsterdam, I cheered slightly.

The Gresham was positively salubrious and as the smart, courteous and understanding reception staff expedited my check in, my mood thawed a little more. When I saw my room, I decided that the grand surroundings that I found myself in, should make me resolve to make the most of the situation…that said, I headed to the bar/ restaurant for some dinner. There I enjoyed some hearty fare and as I sunk into one of the bar’s armchairs, I finished the night off by sampling some of the extensive cocktail menu…after all, I figured that the Company’s expense account at least owed me that much!

The next day I felt on top of the world. A great evening in the most congenial of surroundings had turned my whole situation around…even more so, as I started the day off in just the right way with a hearty breakfast in the Gresham’s Breakfast Room. On offer was an extensive Buffet Breakfast of the traditional Continental variety as well as the hot British variety…I had both…all washed down with lashings of strong black coffee.

It’s amazing how failure can suddenly turn into success and my wise choice of Amsterdam hotels had certainly achieved that; I hired one of the hotel’s well equipped conference rooms that morning and arranged for the company that I was visiting to have our meeting there. I was all done by 1 O’clock, had lunch and caught the 4 O’clock flight home. As Voltaire might say; I’d had the very best outcome in this best of all possible worlds.

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