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“Basic is the word”

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Hans Brinker Hostel Amsterdam
Reviewed 6 January 2013

Stayed here for 2 nights as part of an organised tour in December 2012.

As we were part of an organised tour, we didn't have any choice about where we stayed in Amsterdam. A few others on the tour had read up on this place and our tour guide briefed us about how basic it was going to be so I think this lowered our expectations. There's a notice on the way in (see my photos) and the hostel did have the reputation of being the worst in Europe (which it was apparently proud of).

We were dropped off on Vijzelstraat as buses can't get near to the hostel - with cases it probably took us about 5 minutes to walk to the hostel (as always in Amsterdam, watch out for bikes!). Check-in was quick - we were all given a room key (an old skool metal one!) and another key for a corresponding locker in the room. You need to flash your keys to whoever's on duty to let you into the building.

There're two lifts in the building, which are okay speed-wise, not too bad a size but one did stink of weed when we got there. The communal corridors aren't huge and as you'd expect, there isn't a lot of decoration, just painted walls.

We were given a 6-bed dorm for 5 of us - this had three bunk beds and a corresponding locker in one of the storage units. To be honest, the storage lockers were unusable (see my photos of them) as you definitely couldn't fit a hard case in them and would have difficulties squeezing a rucksack in - best bet, would be to take everything valuable out and put it in the locker, then leave your case under the bed or somewhere. It was easier for the 5 of us as we knew each other by this stage of our tour. The room was a fairly good size for 5 or 6 people with bags.

There were a few double power sockets spread around the room and although there was only one main light in the room, there was a light switch by the door and another by one of the beds. For those on the top bunks, beware - there were no ladders on any of the bunks to climb up, nor were there any rails surrounding the beds, so one roll too far, and you'll be on the floor! I slept relatively well, and didn't hear too much noise from adjacent rooms. The mattress was okay (more hard than soft) and the bed linen was all clean if a little dated - we were supplied with a towel too.

The bathroom was relatively small, with no window and fairly dated fixtures, i.e. sink, shelf, mirror, toilet and shower. There weren't any hooks to hang things on, so I just used the door handle and a coat hanger I'd brought myself. The shower is just separated with a curtain, so the bathroom does get fairly wet during a shower - there was enough hot water but the shower pressure wasn't great.

Downstairs, there's a bar with a large seating area. A few of us ordered food, which did take a while to come (although the staff did apologise for the wait) - for €5, I had a mountain for spaghetti, with veggie bolognese and a side salad with some bread, was tasty and couldn't fault the value for money this represented. Breakfast wasn't as good - just a few breads, jams or butter plus tea, coffee or hot milk - they do have juices and fruits but you have to pay extra for these. There are vending machines in the lobby area and the free Wifi works on the downstairs floor - there was good signal strength and the connection was good speed too. There's also a nightclub downstairs (apparently just for hostel guests) - I didn't venture down there though.

Location-wise, the hostel's ideal for exploring Amsterdam; it's about 5-7 mins walk to Keizersgracht for the tram if you want to use it, or it's probably about a 20 minute walk to Dam Square. We also walked from the hostel to the Anne Frank Museum, which again probably took about 20 minutes.

I guess whether you want to stay here will ultimately depend on your budget and how close you want to be to things as I've heard other hostels are further out. I'd probably consider using this place again due to its location and would recommend it if you want somewhere close, on a budget that you'll use for a couple of nights, just for sleeping.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank TheLush101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 January 2013 via mobile

Nice place, it's not an hotel so you won't have the best cleaned room ever nor the finest services, but for its price it's the cheapest solution with a good position (quite central and near some interesting must-see points)
CONS: the toilet in the room is so small and without windows..so it's easy to imagine the discomfort .-. ; If you go for the new year's eve you have to pay mandatory 50? extra for the buffet (quite good food and free beer, wine and analcholic, but always mandatory and not avoidable)
PRO: position; price/quality ratio; nice and kind stuff; breakfast included (even if a little poor); really a lot of young people and a big place available (in the disco and in the canteen) to meet new people.
I really want to focus on the toilet because the sewer-smell was like bleeeeeah!

1  Thank nalosk8r
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed 28 December 2012

Always stay in the Brinker when we visit Amsterdam, get what you pay for and lots more. Very basic but great value, more a hostel than a hotel but great breakfast (included in price) and Happy Hour in the bar is 2 for 1 and they have cider too.

Safe area of the city, near everything you could want.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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4  Thank jimcumming
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 December 2012

All I can really do is list the bad things... The showers were horrible, the bunks were so not sturdy (did not feel safe going to sleep), the WiFi was only accessible in the reception. I went to the reception to inquire about laundry services said "excuse me" multiple times in a reasonable volume and the man at the desk was busy reading something like a book or newspaper... After the 5th time trying to get his attention he finally looked up.
It did the job of a bed to sleep on but do be warned, when it says budget, it means budget...

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Abigail S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2012

'the hotel is dirty and we are proud of this - do not complain' is what greets you in the hotel lobby. It is not a joke. Sadly no - its just a dirty place, with terrible food to rub salt in the wound.

Go to amsterdam. Its beautiful. But don't stay here...it is not.

Room Tip: All of them are awful
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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6  Thank dsw_review
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2012

Great location (I walked or biked to everything!) - Amazing staff, who were friendly and helpful with both suggestions around the city and partying. The bar downstairs was really fun and stayed open late! Overall I highly recommend this hostel.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled solo
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3  Thank Evan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2012

First off: The reviews that harp on this place are probably made by uptight losers.

Second off: We booked this place because we had heard it was an 'experience' and that it wasn't as bad as it sounded. They were right.

The beds were basic but generally clean. The walls were old but the drinks were cheap. The bar downstairs was a great lounge area to meet other diverse young travelers. The location of this place was extremely safe and very convenient! We could walk to the main area of shops, Anne Frank's house, coffeeshops, the "I AMSTERDAM" sign, and even the train station if we wanted to. Just a very short tram ride to the Red Light District, and train station. The cheeky posters made this place what it is, an edgy budget hotel for people with a sense of humor.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Danee C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hans Brinker Hostel Amsterdam

Address: Kerkstraat 136 /138, 1017 GR Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Region: The Netherlands > North Holland Province > Amsterdam > Canal Ring (Grachtengordel)
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #43 of 242 Speciality Lodging in Amsterdam
Price Range: £23 - £67 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hans Brinker Hostel Amsterdam 2.5*
Number of rooms: 500
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Hans Brinker, the cheapest, the worst, the best..No swimming pool, no roomservice, no pick-up service, no bridal-suite, no gym, no spa,no bellboy but cheap rooms, a restaurant, a nice bar, a club, 24 hour reception and 500 beds. The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel is the famous budget hotel in the city centre Amsterdam. It's located between the canals with a 2 minute walk to the famous entertainment area Leidseplein and a 5 minute walk to the museums at Museumplein. Public transport is nearby the hotel: you can take the tram to every direction in Amsterdam within a 2 minute walk. From Amsterdam Central Station take tramline 1, 2 or 5 to the hotel (in approximately 10 minutes at stop Keizersgracht). This budget hotel can accommodate individuals, backpackers and groups (students, scholars etc.). The hotel has single, double and triple rooms and dorms up to 8 persons. Each room has a private bathroom and lockers for personal belongings. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at the spacious common area. There is a bar and an underground club, which is open every night till late. Free WIFI-access is available in the common areas. For the best stay in Amsterdam Hans Brinker provides tickets for many activities, bike rental, boat tours and other great deals. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hans Brinker Hotel

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