This was a long time ago, about 1980. Our daughter was about 4 or 5 years old, and we had our mutt, Mr. McKeevor, with us. We drove from Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It was our first visit to the Netherlands, and we chose where we would begin sightseeing by picking out a name on the map which we recognized. We all loved Gouda cheese.
When we got to Gouda, there was the Keizerskroon Hotel in the middle of town. The hotel didn't have any parking space, but finding a parking place nearby was not difficult. Our hosts were wonderful! Warm, friendly, and eager to make us feel comfortable and welcome. The stairs to the second floor were VERY steep and narrow - we found out later that is common in the Netherlands where horizontal space is at a premium. Our dog had no problem climbing the stairs, but going down was a controlled fall. It was almost that way for us, too! The included breakfast was great; just what we expected and needed.
We did need to exchange more dollars to Guilders so we went to a bank. While I entertained our daughter, my wife went to the teller. The teller took her cash, her military ID card (since we didn't have our passports with us), told her to take a seat, and she would call us when our Guilders were ready. Eventually, the teller came over to us, and told my wife that our Guilders were ready. My wife went to the teller's window. The teller had filled out a form for us, and needed my wife's signature. She looked at the name on the form. It said, "Hazel Brown." That was my wife's eye color and hair color. What a great way to establish an alias!
Everyone in Gouda was SO VERY hospitable to us. But, then again, everyone in the Netherlands treated us like royalty. Nobody was ever too busy to help us or to talk to us. And everyone spoke at least enough English to summon someone who was fluent. We only picked up a few words and phrases in Dutch, but (I don't know how to spell it!) "Dank U Vell" will stick with us forever. Thank you, citizens of Gouda.
Unique Quality: Firstly, the people were absolutely wonderful. They were most hospitable, kind, considerate, patient, and helpful. The hospitality extended to everyone we met in the Netherlands, but these people were our first contact with the Dutch, and they earned goodwill for all the rest of their countrymen.
We had a wonderful view out the window across the canal. I took too many pictures, and we had to purchase more film. The front desk had some for sale.
Based on our hosts' suggestions, we toured a place where the workers were propogating cuttings from various plants. We just walked over there (on the other side of the canal from our hotel) and asked (in English) a worker about the place, and the worker summoned a supervisor who spoke wonderful English. We also went to a dairy which made cheese. They had regular tours set up, and we joined one. It was another great tour - fresh curds taste wonderful.
The beds and facilities were very clean and comfortable. I've paid more and been less impressed with other lodging around the world, including my own home territory.
The breakfast they served was exactly what we had come to expect from European (continental) breakfasts. Everything was fresh and tasty.
Prices were exactly as advertised. Not cheap, but not expensive either. I don't recall exactly how much we paid in 1980, but I suspect the rates have risen since then.
Directions: In the middle of the city. I wish I remembered exact directions, but I don't. The only reason I remember the address is that we still have the postcard, and we Google'd the name of the hotel.
Geuzenstraat 6, Gouda
Kampenringweg 39/41 Goudse Poort, Gouda
Keizerstraat 11-13, Gouda
Westhaven 46, Gouda