Two years ago I took a short trip to the city of Amsterdam with a couple of my friends, mostly to visit Mysteryland but we were also eager to visit the city itself. We stayed for a total of four nights while we were there and because we were only students at the time we didn’t have much money to put towards accommodation.
I got searching and came across the Hans Brinker hostel ‘proudly ignoring standards since 1970’. When you search through a website such as booking.com or hostel world the first thing you realise about this hostel is that it cheap, really cheap. Being a group of poor students this ticked our boxes so we said we would look no further and book it. We booked this hostel for two nights and a hostel across the city for two nights to join a group of friends travelling with us who had already booked their stay.
Fast forward to the day that we arrive in Amsterdam and after extensive searching and many stops for direction asking we finally found the worst hotel in the world. We arrived to find a brick building that blended perfectly into the street with a small sign above stating the name of the hostel, in not so impressive a fashion (coming from a marketing students perspective at least!)
We arrive to find droves of young adults in reception, bags absolutely everywhere. It was mayhem, but not in a bad way. We checked in, got everything sorted and headed to our room. All along the hallway towards our room the walls adorned fabulous framed photographs. Examples such as:
This set our expectations to level: confused. When we finally arrived at our room, tired and grumpy we were presented with probably one of the most basic rooms I have ever seen. Because there were four of us we booked a four bedroom room with a bathroom. The room consisted of two blue metal framed bunk beds dressed with the most thin bed clothes I have ever seen. The bathroom was small with the entire floor acting as the shower basin, making it a bit messy especially considering there were no complimentary towels.
So at this stage I know what you are thinking, this was an awful hotel. But funnily enough, I found it absolutely brilliant. The common area had simple picnic benches for you to sit and eat/drink at, there was an outdoor area with one or two house cats roaming around (not everybody’s cup of tea, but I spent at least half an hour trying to befriend them). We spent one of our nights drinking at the inhouse bar before heading out where we were served by a friendly and brilliant barman and to top it all off, the drink was cheap too. There is a nightclub downstairs and although it was empty when we went down to see it, I’m sure there are nights when it is great and if you were travelling with a larger party you could certainly make your on fun in the tiny little downstairs den.
We found this hostel so great, we cancelled our last night in the other hostel and we booked to stay there one more time. We even pushed the horrific bunk beds together and all stayed up telling stories and chatting together before passing out to sleep. Although the other hostel we stayed in was a lot nicer from outside appearance to interior design but the atmosphere just wasn’t there. They even took drink off us at reception that we had bought to have a few drinks before heading out showing it was definitely not young adult friendly. It just goes to show that appearance definitely isn’t everything and it made such a small impression on me I can’t remember the name of the hostel. I think the best part about Hans Brinker was the fact that what you saw was what you got.
I’m not overly high maintenance when it comes to travelling and I have almost always shared my bed with friends when staying abroad so I’m not fussy when it comes to hostels. This place definitely isn’t for everyone, but it was definitely for us!
Would you stay somewhere like this?