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The Amsterdam Dance Event has come to an end. Time for the city to get ready for the next big thing: the holiday season! In the Netherlands we celebrate Sinterklaas at the beginning of December, after which the city will be transformed into a winter wonderland on December 6th. Are you coming to our capital for a city trip? We have listed a number of tips for you.

Christmas markets

For some Christmas shopping, ice skating and hot chocolate you can go to the big squares in the city. There are also a number of one-day Christmas events. For example, go to the popular Sissy-Boy Christmas market on the Amstelveld on December 8th, where you will find brocante, innovative design and exotic art. On 16 December the Funky Xmas Market will take place at the Westergasfabriek and on 22 and 23 December the Amsterdam Christmas market in the Kromhouthal at the IJ will be the place to be for some Christmas fun.

Christmas concerts

Whether you are a fan of classical music or want to attend a classical concert for the first time, in December the best classical musicians from Europe perform in churches, pop temples and concert halls throughout the city of Amsterdam. The Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra will perform a Christmas concert in the Concertgebouw. Or you can go to the Noorderkerk Concert ‘Händel’s Messiah’ or get enchanted by the Erard Ensemble in the Amstelkerk.

Christmas tree on the Dam

There is a twenty-meter high Christmas tree with over 40,000 LED lights on Dam Square every year. During ‘Turn on the Lights’ in mid-November the light in the tree and hundreds of thousands of lights on the façade of department store De Bijenkorf are turned on and illuminate the square and the Royal Palace. Together with the Christmas decorations in the lampposts, they make this spot in Amsterdam truly magical.

Shop windows of De Bijenkorf

Still on the look-out for gifts or the perfect outfit for New Year’s Eve? You will certainly succeed in Amsterdam! As December approaches, the most beautiful Christmas shop windows appear. Don’t forget to pay a visit to department store De Bijenkorf, where in November the shop windows for the festive season will be revealed. A team of creative’s has worked almost all year to create this piece of art.

Amsterdam Light Festival

Another must do is a walk or boat trip along the enchanting light installations of international artists during the Light Festival. It is an annual event which takes place from 29 November 2018 to 20 January 2019. The theme is ‘The medium is the Message’. Over 600 artists have tried to answer the question ‘What role has light as a medium or as a message?’ by creating 30 works of art.

Are you still in Amsterdam after Christmas? There are some great New Year’s Eve parties in our capital as well. So if you are able to extend your stay a bit…

Spend the holidays in Amsterdam

With its beautiful canals, countless lights and the special light artworks of the Amsterdam Light Festival, Amsterdam is the place for a holiday this December. Htel Serviced Apartments will also be completely immersed in Christmas spheres. Especially for this festive month, Htel Serviced Apartments created a holiday special. 

• 3 nights’ (Amstelveen) or 7 nights’ (Amsterdam) accommodation apartment of your choice
• Bottle of mulled wine at the apartment
• Traditional Christmas bread on arrival

You can book this special until 30 December 2018. Are we going to see you soon for a dose of Christmas fun in the form of Christmas shopping, ice skating and hot chocolate in our capital? View the offer here.

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There are many things, habits and products which you can label as ‘typical Dutch’. Some are unique to the Netherlands as others also occur elsewhere, but are seen as typical for the Dutch culture or the Dutch themselves. As an Amsterdam based company we’ve put together a list of 15 typical Dutch habits and products for you to experience or try. And because of our 15th anniversary we also have a special offer for you!

  1. Flat landscape

As flat as the Dutch landscape is virtually no other country in the world. Vast meadows, polders, dikes and dunes; it may definitely be called characteristic. It’s perfect for a walk too, so in summer a great amount of Dutch walk a fixed distance for four days in a row with friends and family, to complete the so called Wandelvierdaagse.

  1. Cycling

With almost 35,000 kilometres of cycle paths, the country of the Netherlands is truly a country of cyclists. The city residents know that the best way to get around and discover Amsterdam is by bike. Almost 63% uses their bike every day. Previously, we have put together a list of 15 great spots to cycle to in Amsterdam. You can find the list here.

  1. Sinterklaas

Nowhere in the world the birthday of Saint Nicholas (Sinterklaas) is celebrated as extensively as in Holland. The saintly man arrives mid-November on a steam boat filled with gifts. On December the 5th the gifts are exchanged after the children sing Sinterklaas songs. Colourful shop windows adorn the streets of Amsterdam for several weeks: it marks the beginning of the festive December month.

  1. Stroopwafels (Dutch cookie)

Every year more than 22 million packs of stroopwafels are consumed in the Netherlands. Van Wonderen Stroopwafels in the Kalverstraat is the place to be for the best sticky waffle with the characteristic checkered pattern. We also like to eat stroopwafel ice cream, stroopwafel souffle and stroopwafel pie or cake.

  1. Clogs

The image that exists abroad is many Dutch people walk on clogs. But the number of times we have seen someone walking on these wooden shoes can be counted on one hand. Clogs aren’t even typically Dutch, the wooden footwear was worn centuries ago in large parts of Europe as well. Nowadays clogs are a popular souvenir from Amsterdam.

  1. Tulips

Tulips are often seen as typically Dutch but originally the colourful flowers did not grew in our country. Only they proved to thrive well here because they need a cool winter to grow. The tulip is now a symbol for the Dutch flower bulb industry as it has the largest share in the export of tulips and tulip bulbs worldwide.

  1. Polder mills

The Netherlands is known for the numerous polder mills. These mills move water from a lower to a higher level using the power of the wind. Although the function of polder mills in many cases has been replaced by steam pomping stations, you still see many polder mills in the Dutch landscape. They represent a cultural-historical role.

  1. Barrel organ

Barrel organs can be seen all over Europe, yet they are often associated with the Netherlands. In the Dutch streets, you will still encounter quite a few street organs. The Netherlands has more than fifty active organ players who play Dutch classics such as “Tulips from Amsterdam”.

  1. Pea soup & hotchpot

Another one in the food category: pea soup – also called ‘snert’ – is made from split peas and is a popular meal during the winter months. The soup is also eaten in other countries, but ours is much thicker.

  1. Delfts Blauw

Delfts Blauw is pottery with blue decoration made in the city of Delft. It was produced as a cheaper alternative to Chinese porcelain in the mid-17th century. Today, around one hundred pottery factories are still open, manufacturing pottery for mainly the tourism industry.

  1. Gouda cheese

The Dutch, yellow cheese is the number one product that Dutch people who live abroad buy to enjoy ‘something from home’. The craft of cheese making has been passed on for generations and has resulted in a delicious full-fat, naturally matured cheese. The base consists of real Dutch milk from Dutch cows grazing on green pastures.

  1. Kingsday

In April it is King’s Day. On the 27th of April of each year the birthday of our king, Willem-Alexander, is celebrated grandly. Amsterdam colours orange – from orange clothing to orange delicacies – and there are markets, activities for young and old, and parties at locations just outside the centre.

  1. Food from the wall

Nothing is as Dutch as a wall display full of fried snacks. Mexicano, pikanto, frikandel, kroket (croquette) or a cheese souffle; you can’t find the snack bar like this in any other country. Is the snack bar closed? Then we just pull that kroket out of the wall, for example at the FEBO on the Nieuwendijk.

  1. Peanut butter for breakfast

There are only a few countries in the world where people love peanut butter and the Netherlands is one of them. On the Czaar Peterstraat you will find a real peanut butter shop with flavors such as Caramel Sea Salt and Dadel-Cinnamon. Sprinkle it with hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles) and your Dutch breakfast is ready for you to enjoy!

  1. Three times

In Holland, we do three. Three kisses on the cheek when greeting. It can be confusing while in most places around the world two kisses are the standard. That we kiss each other 3 times to greet is only 50 years old. It would have originated in the province of Brabant and is also called the Brabant drieklapper (three-fold).

Special offer: Htel stroopwafels (Dutch cookies!) at check-in!

Htel Serviced Apartments celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. To celebrate we created a special offer. If you book a stay at Htel Serviced Apartments in November, you will receive Htel stroopwafels (Dutch cookies!) upon arrival! More information about the conditions and to book can be found here.

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With almost 35,000 kilometres of cycle paths, the country of the Netherlands is truly a country of cyclists. The city residents know that the best way to get around and discover Amsterdam is by bike. Almost 63% uses their bike every day. We would like our guests to experience Amsterdam like the locals do, so we have collected 15 great spots for you to cycle to!

  1. Street art tour

Park your bike near the Spuistraat and walk through the side streets full of coloured artworks. Or cycle to the NDSM-werf (shipyard) across the IJ. You will find former ship halls here which offer a raw environment where the street art colours seem extra powerful. In the Marnixstraat behind the fire station there is also an inlet full of graffiti artworks.

  1. Vondelpark

The Vondelpark is the largest park in Amsterdam. Many activities are organized here and you will find various cafes here. Cycle through it at ease, past ponds and bridges, and stop for a snack and a drink at, for example, the Blauwe Theehuis (Blue Teahouse).

  1. Port area

Four recreational cycling routes run through the port of Amsterdam called ‘Havenfietsen’. The routes have been created, each with its own character and are provided with information boards at prominent points in the port.

  1. I Amsterdam

You can’t ignore – even if you wanted to – the red and white I Amsterdam letters on Museum Square. They are more than 2 meters high and extend in width over 23.5 meters! The letters have quickly become the symbol of the city. Visitors to Amsterdam photograph themselves in, around and on top of the letters.

  1. Along the Amstel River

Amsterdam owes its name to the Amstel, so a ride along the river is a must do during your visit to our capital. Cycle along the Blauwbrug (Blue bridge) and along imposing canal houses, the National Opera and Ballet and Koninklijk Theather Carré (Royal Theatre). You can also pass the city borders and cycle towards Ouderkerk aan de Amstel to discover the natural environment.

  1. Through the Jordaan

The Jordaan is a real working-class neighbourhood. Young entrepreneurs, artists and students like to meet in one of Amsterdam’s typical pubs here. You will also find the famous gay monument, the Johnny Jordaanplein (square) and stately mansions along the beautiful canals.

  1. De 9 straatjes (9 streets)

The 9 Straatjes, located in the Jordaan and in the middle of Unesco World Heritage, count numerous monumental shops. Trade, craftsmanship and culture predominate in these streets. You will find small, original and exclusive stores here.

  1. Dam Square

At Dam Square in the centre of Amsterdam you will find the Paleis op de Dam (Palace on Dam Square), the Nieuwe Kerk (church) where high-quality exhibitions are organized, Museum Madame Tussauds, the war memorial and the luxury department store De Bijenkorf. Have a break on one of the benches or the stairs of the palace and look at the diversity of street artists before you move along.

  1. Amsterdamse bos

In the Amsterdamse Bos (forest) you can find more than 50 kilometres of cycle paths. For example, follow the red poles, this is a cycling route of 14 kilometres long along some of the most beautiful spots in the forest. Make a stopover for something to eat or drink at one of the two farms in the forest.

  1. Jewish Cultural Quarter

Impressive synagogues, buildings and memorial places adorn the streets of the old Amsterdam Jewish quarter. In the heart of the neighbourhood is the Jewish Cultural Quarter, formed by the Jewish Historical Museum, the Portuguese Synagogue with the ancient library Ets Haim, the Hollandsche Schouwburg and the National Holocaust Museum.

  1. De Diamantbuurt (De Pijp)

Near the Jewish Cultural Quarter is the Diamantbuurt (Diamond Neighbourhood). In the past, many diamond cutters used to work for the Koninklijke Asscher Diamant Maatschappij. Today, emperors, kings, queens, presidents and other dignitaries visit the building to marvel at all the beauty. Unfortunately you can’t go inside as a tourist, but the building itself is already admirable.

  1. Weesperzijde

If you’re in the area anyway: the Weesperzijde – on the other side of the Amstel – was voted the number 14 of most beautiful streets in Amsterdam by the readers of the newspaper Het Parool!

  1. Prinseneiland

The Bickerseiland, Prinseneiland and Realeneiland are also called the Western Islands of Amsterdam. They form a world themselves. The Prinseneiland is not yet discovered by tourists, but definitely worth a visit. You will see beautifully renovated warehouses and buildings that used to serve as storage facilities for grain, tobacco, wine and salt.

  1. Chinatown

Like many big cities, Amsterdam also has a Chinatown. The first Chinese who settled in Amsterdam worked on large passenger ships. When this industry slowly disappeared, the Chinese opened shops and eateries in this neighbourhood. The best Chinese products and food can be found in the old city centre. It is also the place to celebrate Chinese New Year in Amsterdam.

  1. Nieuwmarkt (Chinatown)

In 1614 part of the canals in Chinatown were drained and the Nieuwmarkt was created. The square fills daily with stalls and every Saturday you will find a variety of organic products on the organic market. On the square you will also find the striking building ‘De Waag’. And the largest Buddhist temple in Europe, built in traditional Chinese palace style, is just around the corner at the Zeedijk.

Special offer: free use of our Htel bikes!

This year, Htel Serviced Apartments celebrates its 15th birthday. The coming weeks we celebrate with special promotions. In October: free use of our Htel bikes when booking a stay at Htel Serviced Apartments! Htel Serviced Apartments is the perfect place to stay during a holiday in Amsterdam, so you can visit all of the above yourself. More information about the terms and conditions and to book your apartment: click here.

 

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The profile of international employees is changing. The highly-skilled worker who comes to the Netherlands for a few months and then flies out again is on the decline. Today, international employees are more eager than ever to adapt to Dutch life and live like a local. As Htel Serviced Apartments is an expert in the field of employee housing for 15 years, we’ve gathered 15 tips to live like a local when working abroad.

  1. Dutch lessons

Almost everyone in the Netherlands speaks English, but speaking even just a little bit of Dutch can really help make you feel like part of the community. Start with some key phrases in Dutch to thank the locals (“Dank je wel!”) or order your meals at restaurants in Dutch.

  1. Housing in residential areas

Stay in one of the quiet neighbourhoods just outside the tourist centre. By settling in a green environment with schools, sports parks, playgrounds, shops and parks, you will really feel like part of the community.

  1. Jump on a bike

Once settled jump on your bike to go to work, to do groceries or when you go out. As central areas aren’t congested with traffic as most people travel by bike, Dutchies go anywhere by bike! In your free time cycle to the Amsterdamse Bos (forest) for a picnic.

  1. Dutch snacks

While getting your kroket or a frikandel (Dutch snacks) out of the wall is described as a pretty touristy thing to do, every Dutchie gets their food out of the wall once in a while. Just pay a euro or two and choose your snack. Another tip: get yourself a freshly baked stroopwafel (Dutch cookie) from the market!

  1. Brown café

Visit a bruin café (brown cafe) with your friends. These traditional bars, complete with dark wood furniture, soft lighting and an abundance of antique clutter, make you feel like you’ve been transported back in time. That’s what we call ‘gezellig’ (roughly means cosy).

  1. Sport club

Sport has a connecting factor. In the Netherlands fitness is the most popular sport. So the local fitness club is not only the place to exercise but also to make new friends. When moving to The Netherlands with your family: soccer is still the most popular sport among children and young adults.

  1. Housewarming

We also like to invite friends over in our warm and homely ambience to experience that gezellig feeling with friends, a couple of beers and a portion of bitterballen (Dutch snacks). Also Dutch: make an appointment first.

  1. Characteristic quirkiness

Step outside the comfort of the canals and explore the neighbourhoods that give Amsterdam its characteristic quirkiness, such as Amsterdam Noord’s industrial-artsy vibes or Oud-West’s culinary and cultural delights.

  1. Amsterdam weather

The weather in Amsterdam is unpredictable. One minute the skies are blue, the next it’s pouring rain. Fortunately, we’ve a great app called Buienalarm (rain alarm) that alerts you when a downpour is due so you can plan your journey accordingly.

  1. Terrace life year round

No matter if it’s overcast, cold, raining or snowing, you’ll always find people sitting outside on a terrace enjoying coffee, a beer or a snack. And there are plenty of bars and cafes in Amsterdam that prepare for these all-weather visitors by providing blankets and heaters.

  1. Sailing to secluded areas

The canals of Amsterdam are packed with official tourist boats, but you’ll often see smaller boats sailing by with just a few people enjoying the company of friends. Rent a boat yourself to sail around Amsterdam’s picturesque canals and escape the tourist trail by sailing to secluded areas.

  1. Culinary trip

Amsterdam is a cultural melting pot, which is summed up perfectly in its eclectic cuisine. After you’ve had your fill of Dutch treats and sweets, sample some of the foods brought to the city from around the world. Indonesian and Surinam food are particularly popular.

  1. Picnic at the park

The vast majority of tourists end up at the Vondelpark at some point. It is close to the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, and a good place to have a break. But we recommend a visit to the Westerpark. Pick up some local food from the market and enjoy a picnic.

  1. Albert Cuyp market

A huge open-plan market doesn’t necessarily sound like a place that is off the beaten track but at the Albert Cuyp Markt, in the Pijp district, you’ll quickly see it is the residents of Amsterdam that dominate its stalls, cafés and shops. If you want to feel part of the local culture, you should pop along here.

  1. Beach life

When residents of our capital want to escape the crowds for a bit, they go to the park or to the beach. The train to Zandvoort aan Zee leaves from Amsterdam Central Station twice an hour. The double-decker train takes thirty-minutes to carry you to the coast. On the outward journey, sit on the left-hand side for great views of Haarlem, a beautiful town that is well worth a visit too.

Htel Serviced Apartments is the perfect place for international employees (and their families) who come to the Netherlands for a short or extended stay. The apartments are spacious and our team will do anything to ensure that you feel at home when you are away from home. Our apartments are located in a quiet, green neighbourhood with schools, parks and other important facilities nearby. You can explore the neighbourhood on one of our Htel bikes, as true Dutchie. Like to know more? Click here.

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You can safely say that the METS TRADE Show is the one-stop-shop for marine industry professionals. With excellent networking opportunities, a broad range of showcased innovation and located in Amsterdam, this show is where you do business. The next edition will take place from November 13-15 at the RAI Exhibition and Conference Centre.

The METS TRADE Show is the world’s biggest and most visited B2B leisure marine equipment show. It brings the marine industry together for decades now. The Amsterdam RAI will be packed with marine equipment, materials and systems. But what more can you do?

Programme METS Amsterdam RAI

Roundtable sessions will focus on the most relevant topics related to new materials and construction techniques for all types of boats and yachts, at the E-nnovationLAB Stage is spoken about overcoming the weak link in electric propulsion through advances in battery technology, and during the Boat Builder Awards nominees are acknowledged across ten categories of business achievement. The complete programme will soon be published on the website of the METS Trade Show.

Accommodation METS Trade Show 2018

Haven’t booked your accommodation for your visit to the METS Trade show yet? Our serviced apartments are your home away from home. You can experience the freedom of your own apartment – spacious and fully furnished – and enjoy the services of a 5-star hotel. Our apartment buildings are located near the Amsterdam RAI, the Amsterdam city centre and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. At Htel Serviced Apartments we also have a lot of experience accommodating corporate groups. So, why wait any longer? More information can be found here.

Htel Serviced Apartments & the marine industry

Marine industry companies are often looking for short stay solutions. For example for their management team visiting one of the local offices, for crew members who have sometimes been at sea for weeks, or for international employees who get stationed in The Netherlands for a longer period. Our flexible concept also offers a solution for each of these groups. 

 

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On Monday afternoon, September 24, the third edition of the Business Travel & Mobility Conference will be organized by Zakenreisnieuws.nl, branch network organization Business Travel & Mobility Club and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. The Htel Serviced Apartments team is also present at the Claus Congres & Event Center in Hoofddorp to get to know travel & mobility managers, travel coordinators, buyers, management assistants and frequent business travelers.

Programme BTMC

Why go? During the afternoon high-quality speakers will give presentations on the future of business travel and mobility – for example, Joris Melkert (TU Delft) speaks about ‘The future of mobility for business travelers’ – and various suppliers from the business aviation, travel and mobility industry present themselves. Of course there is the possibility to network and the winners of the awards for ‘Corporate Travel Professional of the Year’, ‘Travel Management Company of the Year’, ‘Business Airline of the Year’ and ‘Mobility Provider of the Year’ will be announced.

Short stay provider

Htel Serviced Apartments provides fully furnished apartments for short and extended stay based on full service. We have 300 apartments in two locations: Amsterdam Buitenveldert and Amstelveen. The apartments are luxurious, spacious and vary in size from 22m2 to 335m2. Htel is unique for business stays and corporate groups and our team will gladly tell you what we can do for you. You can schedule an appointment in advance by sending an email to sales@htelapartments.com or you can just pop by (registering for the fair itself is necessary) at the BTMC. See you there?




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On 13 September it is International Chocolate Day. On this day the founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company, which produces the popular Hershey chocolate bar, was born in 1857 (Milton S. Hershey). To celebrate this day we have listed the 5 best chocolatiers in Amsterdam for you.

  1. Puccini Bombini

Puccini Bombini, founded by Ans van Soelen, has taken over the tenth place on the list of best chocolatiers in the world. So for handmade chocolate – try the bonbon with vanilla poppy seeds, rhubarb, pepper or calvados – you should pay a visit to the Singel 184. What makes the chocolate so unique is that no sugar, fondant or butter is involved. There are also no artificial colorants, flavourings and aromatics added.

  1. Ganache

Ganache is housed in the Oude Kerk national monument (Oudekerksplein 17) and has an extensive assortment of handmade chocolates and truffles. Try the ‘chocolate of the month’ or pick the handmade truffles with Flower Power. Ganache is Flower Power’s first supplier in the Netherlands: a unique taste sensation is created by processing real fruits, flowers and the finest herbs.

  1. Holtkamp

Since 1886, a confectionery has been established in a nostalgic building at Vijzelgracht 15. In 1969 Cees Holtkamp, a well-known name in the Amsterdam pastry and chocolatier world, successfully took over the store. You can now buy handmade chocolates, chocolate tarts and ‘free from’ chocolates (nut and lactose free, halal, without gelatine, without egg, etc.) here.

  1. Tout

In the beautiful shop of the Amsterdam chocolatier and patissier Job van Berkel – Tout on the Maasstraat just outside the city centre – you will find handmade chocolates, chocolate bars and chocolate cakes. After Job worked at renowned hotels and restaurants and as a chef pastry with famous chef Herman den Blijker, he started Tout together with his partner. In addition to delicious chocolates, they also have macaroons: super-airy colourful French cookies filled with ganache.

  1. Metropolitan

Owner of the Metropolitan is Kees Raat, the first bean-to-bar maker in Amsterdam. He processed the beans from the Dominican Republic into chocolate himself and was also the first to experiment with flavour combinations such as salt, pepper and vinegar. In his chocolate walhalla at Warmoesstraat 135, you will not only find bonbons, but also fruit sticks with dark chocolate, chocolate chunks with nuts and lemon peels with a chocolate layer.


Are you going to try them all during your stay at Htel?
If you haven’t booked yet, we have some brand new specials for you! You can find them here.

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The economy is growing and talent is becoming scarcer. Many companies attract talented employees from abroad, which also helps them in communicating with foreign clients. But how do you ensure that they quickly feel at home in the Netherlands? As Htel Serviced Apartments is an expert in the field of employee housing for 15 years, we’ve gathered some tips!

  1. The right match

It actually starts in the preliminary phase: it is important that you examine whether a potential employee has not only the right capacities, but also whether he or she fits the company. This increases the chance that they continue to work with you.

  1. Assistance on arrival

Assistance on arrival in the Netherlands is also important, for example in the area of residence and work permits, insurance and taxes. By assisting international employees, they are deprived of tension, allowing them to fully focus on their work.

  1. The right housing solution

Serviced Apartments are a good solution for a short or extended stay or as a temporary home for international employees when waiting for their new home to be available. For Htel Serviced Apartments it started out in 2003 when our first client noticed that his employees were getting less productive as they were staying in small hotel rooms with Western meals for weeks at a time. The situation was working on the nerves of the employees as well. By offering fully furnished apartments with more space and the ability to cook, Htel offers international employees a home away from home.

  1. Living environment

For a large proportion of international employees, their choice is determined by an interesting living environment. This varies from entertainment venues to international schools, and from childcare to healthcare facilities. Facilitating education and childcare by employers is very much appreciated. They often also prefer to stay in an environment where many like-minded people live.

  1. Introduction

If several international employees start at your company on the same day, it’s a good idea to organize a joint introduction in which more is told about the history, culture, structure, the various departments and the working methods of the company. In this way you make them feel they are involved with the company from day one. It also gives them a chance to meet some of their new colleagues in advance.

  1. New collegues

Expats moving abroad have to adapt to the culture of their new country of residence. As a company you can also make some small contributions that will make them feel more welcome. For example, encourage staff to speak English at the coffee machine. This will make it a lot easier for international employees to get in touch with their new colleagues.

  1. Canteen

The canteen is a perfect place to celebrate the diversity of cultures within a company. For example, establish an Asian corner or create a changing weekly menu that allows you to take into account different eating habits. It can also be simpler: place microwave ovens so that people can heat their own dishes.

  1. Their story

Organize an event where international employees can tell their story. For example, the Dutch high-tech company ASML annually organizes Diversity in the Park. People are proud of their culture and are happy to tell about it. Such an event can increase mutual understanding between employees.

  1. Cultural differences

Spread knowledge about cultural differences within the organization – and of course embrace these differences – to ensure a pleasant cooperation and mutual understanding. For example, in many cultures people are less likely to say what is on their minds, but that does not mean that they do not communicate. We sometimes do not recognize the information they give.

  1. Vivad expat communities

Vivid expat communities exist in large cities such as Amsterdam and Eindhoven. Inform international employees of their existence so that they can come into contact with like-minded people in their free time. Practice shows that these contacts are also very valuable for partners of international employees.

  1. Language barrier

Listen carefully and remember that the language that international workers speak can be their second or even third language. So think about what they really mean and think about how you formulate something before you say it. Accept that they have their opinion, just as you have yours. Cultural differences play a major role in this.

  1. Sports

Thousands of international employees have already merged into Dutch society and have also created their own communities. Do you, for example, welcome new Indian employees in your company shortly? Give them tips about good restaurants or Indian stores near their homes. Or maybe there is a popular cricket club in the neighbourhood? By being part of a sports team they can feel at home more quickly.

  1. Partners

It is very important that the partner of your international employee also feels at home. Support your employees by discussing the possibilities for finding work for their partner. If the family can’t ground in the Netherlands, for example due to a lack of support, they will be more inclined to leave our country.

  1. Places of worship

It is important that there is space for the profession of faith. Inform international employees upon arrival about the possibilities within the company itself and places of worship in the neighbourhood. In Amsterdam you can find Protestant churches, Christian churches, mosques and synagogues.

  1. Healthcare

Many international employees experience a lack of information provision in the field of healthcare. Health issues are unpleasant at the best of times, and the experience can be even worse when living abroad and dealing with unfamiliar procedures. In Amsterdam The Amstelland Hospital has developed dedicated support for the Indian, Japanese and Jewish communities.

Like to know more about Htel Serviced Apartments? You can find our story here

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Amsterdam is a vibrant and diverse city. It is a shopping Walhalla, has countless terraces and great parks to escape the crowds now and then. You can admire stately mansions, practice your photography skills along the canals or visit one of the numerous theatres or museums. To celebrate 15 years of expertise – Htel Serviced Apartments celebrates its 15th birthday this year – we’ve listed 15 must do’s during your stay in our capital.

  1. Canal Cruise

Did you know Amsterdam has 165 canals? There is no better way to explore the city than by boat. Opposite Central Station you will find the departure docks of various shipping companies. Whether you are coming to Amsterdam for a city trip with your partner, friends or family, the canal cruises are just as diverse. There is a Pizza Cruise, a Kids Cruise and the 100 Highlights Cruise.

  1. Panoramic view from the A’DAM Lookout

On top of the 22nd floor of the A’DAM Tower, which is located right at the IJ, you will find the observation deck A’DAM Lookout. Expect a spectacular 360° panoramic view of the historic centre with its iconic canals, the harbour and the polder landscape. For the dare devils among us: you can also take place at a swing at a height of 100 meters!

  1. Comedy at Boom Chicago

The City Council of Amsterdam saw no potential in the idea of two young Americans to open an American comedy club. But Boom Chicago is an unprecedented success: the team is celebrating Boom Chicago’s 25th anniversary this year.

  1. Pub quiz

At Café Lust in the lively district ‘De Pijp’, an English pub quiz takes place every Tuesday night. Join to experience the Dutch culture first hand! And with a bit of luck you will take home the first prize: a bottle of champagne. Winners also get a spot on the cafes Wall of Fame. Café Thijssen (Monday) and Gollem’s Tasting Room (Monday and Tuesday) also organize pub quizzes in English.

  1. Hollandsche Manege

An inconspicuous entrance gate at Vondelstraat 140 gives access to the most beautiful city centred riding school in Europe: the Hollandsche Manege. Settle down at the cafe – built in impressive 18th  century Baroque style – with a good cup of coffee or tea to admire the horses and their talented riders.

  1. Moco Museum

The Moco Museum is located at Museum Square, in a beautiful monumental building. The museum was founded by Lionel and Kim Logchies, who worked with the biggest names from the modern art industry for years. Thanks to their personal network you can now admire items from artists like Banksy and Andy Warhol.

  1. Hortus Botanicus

The Hortus Botanicus was founded in 1638 as a medicinal herb garden. It is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Europe, an oasis of peace amidst the bustle of Amsterdam. You will find an outdoor garden and five greenhouses with different climates and collections. On Sundays you can join a free tour at 14:00.

  1. Amsterdam markets

You will really get to know Amsterdam by strolling down one of the markets. To the Albert Cuyp you go especially for the fresh vegetables, flowers and beautiful fabrics. On the Sunday Market at city park Westergasfabriek designers, artists and craftsmen sell their goods and at the Noordermarkt you can nose around between antiques, curios, vintage clothing and oriental carpets.

  1. Local beers

The number of microbreweries in and around Amsterdam is growing. From dark brown bock beer to fresh wheat beer or something in between, you can try them all in one of the tasting rooms. It is of course even more fun to see how your favourite beer is brewed. Guided tours are given at Brouwerij ‘t IJ, Brouwerij De Prael, De 7 Deugden and Poesiat & De.

  1. Foodhallen

In Amsterdam you can find the first indoor food market of the Netherlands: the Foodhallen. This hotspot in Amsterdam West is inspired by the Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid and the Borough Market in London. Enjoy Vietnamese rolls, petit fours, sushi wraps with quinoa and the best grilled cheese sandwich in town in this former tram depot.

  1. Historic courtyard

Hidden behind an inconspicuous door at the Spui is a 14th-century courtyard. The historic courtyard used to be the site of a group of religious women, but today houses a chapel and an English Reformed church which is open to public during the day.

  1. Green oases

Amsterdam is blessed with many green spaces and quiet oases. So fill up your picnic basket and visit the Vondelpark, the Oosterpark, the Westerpark or the Rembrandtpark. Fact: Every year an average of 10 million people visit the Vondelpark, which is about 21 visitors per square meter. By comparison, Central Park in New York receives approximately 5 visitors per square meter every year!

  1. Free concerts

In Amsterdam you can attend free concerts almost daily. At the National Opera & Ballet there are free concerts every Tuesday at 12.30 pm and the Royal Concertgebouw organizes free lunch concerts on Wednesdays at 12.30. The Badcuyp organizes free Sunday Night Jazz sessions.

  1. Amsterdam North

Amsterdam North is a bit isolated on the other side of the river IJ, but it’s a bustling, hip district. You can take the ferry to the Buiksloterveerweg to visit the EYE Film Museum. At the NDSM shipyard you will find various art studios and creative companies, which make it a great area to drink a cup of coffee. For example at Noorderlicht Café.

  1. City of Diamonds

Amsterdam is known as the ‘City of Diamonds’ for four hundred years. The Amsterdam diamond company Gassan Diamonds is located at the Nieuwe Uilenburgerstraat. You can take a free tour through the diamond factory to get acquainted with all facets of diamond grinding and of course to get astonished by all the beauty.

 

Special offer: 15% discount on Tours & Tickets trips

This year Htel Serviced Apartments celebrates its 15th birthday. That is why we’ve created a special offer in collaboration with Tours & Tickets Amsterdam: a 15% discount on selected Tours & Tickets trips when staying at Htel Serviced Apartments in the period 20-08-2018 untill 31-10-2018! This promotion runs until October 31. Htel Serviced Apartments is the perfect residence for a vacation to Amsterdam, so you can experience the above tips yourself. More information about the terms and conditions and to book your apartment: click here


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What a beautiful summer we have had in Amsterdam. We hope that the late summer will be just as beautiful. During the so-called Indian Summer Amsterdam is at its finest: the temperature is pleasant for a city trip and the leaves turn orange. Your snapshots of the typical Dutch canal houses will be spectacular!


Tips for the perfect Indian Summer in Amsterdam

  1. At the waterfront

Enjoy the Indian Summer in Amsterdam on a terrace alongside the water, for example in Amsterdam-North at Hangar or Pllek. Or visit one of the roof top terraces in Amsterdam-East, for example ‘Hopp’.

  1. The Dutch way

Nowhere in the world people cycle as much as we do in Amsterdam. So rent one of our Htel bikes or book a bike tour led by a guide, to discover the city the ‘Dutch way’.

  1. Park picnic

Go picnic! Fill your bag with tasty snacks and refreshing drinks and pick a spot in the Vondelpark, Oosterpark, Westerpark or Rembrandtpark.

  1. Amsterdam Zoo

ARTIS is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands, located in the heart of the Amsterdam. Walk around, let the animal caretakers tell you everything about the gorillas and elephants or visit the sea lion training.

  1. Sail away…

Did you know that Amsterdam has 165 canals? No better way to explore the city than by boat. Opposite the Central Station you will find the departure docks of various shipping companies. Hop on the Pizza Cruise, a Kids Cruise or the 100 Highlights Cruise!


Special offer hotel accommodation citytrip Amsterdam

Come and experience the Indian Summer in our capital yourself! Because Htel Serviced Apartments celebrates its 15th birthday this year, we have a special offer to celebrate. When you place a booking now, you will get a 10% discount on your stay in our Amstelveen Apartments between 20-08-2018 and 31-10-2018! Click here to view the terms and conditions and to place your booking. 

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