Our Qualities

When we consider the many questions Concierges are asked, the problems they are presented with, and the knowledge they should have in many different areas, the list of QUALITIES a Concierge should have seems quite long.

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Money:

The currency used in the Netherlands is the Euro expressed as EUR or €. There are 11 other countries apart from the Netherlands that form the Euro Zone: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Portugal, Spain. You can use the Euro in all these countries. Euros are divided into 100 cents. There are coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 euros.

There are notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros.

The Dutch Guilder is no longer usable. You have to exchange old coins and notes in a bank. There are many places to change money in town. Post offices usually give the best rates. The GWK at Central station is also good. There's an American Express on the Damrak, and a Thomas Cook on the Dam. Naturaly you can also change money at your hotel.

Credit cards are not as widely accepted in the Netherlands as in many other countries, but it's getting steadily better. Always enquire first if you intend to pay by credit card. If you have an ATM card it will most likely work in the Netherlands, so you don't need to take traveller's cheques. Check with your bank before leaving though. Such cards, certainly if they have a Maestro logo on them, can often also be used for direct debit payments in shops (shops that display the blue "PIN" sign, which is almost all shops).

Electricity:

Dutch Electricity was 220 volts, and then moved at a rate of 1 volt per year to the European standard 230 volts. You can buy voltage and plug converters in most hotel shops and, in Amsterdam, at Aurora, on the Vijzelstraat at the end of the Flower Market, near the Munt Tower.

Shopping:

Traditionally, shops and markets are closed all day Sunday and Monday mornings. Normal shopping hours are 09:00 or 10:00 to 18:00 (17:00 on Saturday) although some are now beginning to stay open later in the evenings and about half of the shops on the main shopping streets are even open on Sundays. There is late-night shopping on Thursdays

( Fridays in Eindhoven) until 21:00, when most shops on the main streets are open.

 Taxis:

Taxis are normally not hailed in the Netherlands, but taken from a taxi rank, of which there are many. In your hotel you can ask the concierge or porter to call you one. Taxis are good quality and cost around €2.00 per km regardless of day or time.