Ah Amsterdam. A city everyone should experience even just once. The stories the city one could tell. But I digress this is a hotel review and not of the great city.
Well then where to start.
Booking the hotel on the site is fairly limited. You can only book up to 7 days and you cannot select any art rooms. For this and more it would be best to book by phone.
Ive stayed in the Winston now four or five times. And in whole I agree with almost all the reviewers on here. Both positive and negative. The hotel can indeed be terrible but it too can be a very enjoyable experience. It seems many of the rooms vary wildly.
I've stayed in many hotels in Amsterdam, a few 5* and a few 1* many much worse and many better than the Winston but why do I still stay here you ask? Well its the ambiance of the place, its location and the uniqueness of the place. You don't come here for luxury you come for the experience. If you want luxury you'd be hard pressed to find a good hotel in the old center.
The Winston hotel is situated in the old Amsterdam center and only a short stroll from the Train station ( Amsterdam station centraal). I usually arrive there in the morning and this is the perfect opportunity to take in the waking locals scurrying about their duties. As a First-timer you'll be aware you really don't have enough eyes on your head to avoid trams, cyclists on their silent and deadly bicycles (fiets) and cars all gunning to run over you, so stay very aware at all times.
Finding the hotel is relatively easy. When you first walk into the hotel you head to the bar/reception area. You fill out a few forms and go through the usual (and much loved) Dutch ID procedure of photocopying your ID/passport etc. Though the Winston's ID procedure is not as painful as most other Dutch hotels who sometimes insist on keeping ID until your departure.
If you have arrived early, you're allowed to put your luggage in a storage room until your room is ready (usually about 1400hrs)
You get a flimsy square of Winston cardboard with your room number, and your key. You leave the key at reception every time you leave and pick it up (using your card) when you return. If indeed you have arrived when your room is ready, you can head straight to the room via the lift or the stairs (Trap) You'll find the Winston's Stairway a unique and enjoyable experience in "the lowlands" compared to most other Dutch staircases which require you to use all legs and hands to actually climb up.
Once at your room, your reaction will vary greatly depending on which room you get, as many of the Winston's rooms are art rooms and many of the rooms are very nice, whilst many more of them are horrendous. (I advise you book by phone for an art room they're usually better quality)
The rooms themselves are reasonable (usually) for a 1* hotel. The beds are sufficient quality. Most double beds are two beds conjoined which can be uncomfortable. The linens are clean and fresh. The styling, outside the art, is bare, simple and borderline comfortable. The rooms are usually fairly clean but could be better. The bathrooms vary on size. Most are a good size. The shower is usually large and always has hot water and good high pressure.
You'll find the doors to the room don't completely seal tight so some sound from the hallways can leak in (and out). Though the connecting rooms are well sound-proofed in my experience so other than the street below sound from inside won't be the problem. On the matter of sound you'll have to get used to the VERY active/loud street life of Warmoestraat and connecting streets. The noise WILL continue from about 8pm until 5am. Add to that the nearby cathedral (Oude Kerk lit. Old church) Rings it's bell every 15 minutes all hours of every day.
There is a tiny TV in the room with basic channels, local news and such. There aren't any English channels but you will find some American TV programmes in English. For those who have grasped the Dutch language, the local Amsterdam channel can be informative.
The rooms in Summer can be very hot. The only air conditioning provided is a fan (usually but not always in rooms). Opening the windows helps but if your staying in a balcony room I wouldn't leave my balcony door open as all adjoining rooms share the same balcony.
After you've had a nights sleep (or not) Breakfast is ready in the Bar downstairs. This is a buffet compiled of the Dutch style breakfast. Bread, cheese, milk, jam, cereals (brood, kaas, melk, jam, granen) and of course coffee and orange juice (with bits but I'm sure its from a carton)
Once you've had your fill of Amsterdam and the Winston and ready to depart you simply vacate your room by midday (they're very strict about this) and leave your key at reception.
So overall how is it staying here?
The hotel was just about sufficient for our needs. I don't spend a lot of time in hotel rooms I prefer to be out and about seeing all there is. When I did spend time in the rooms it was mostly reading, relaxing or sleeping. I don't mind the noise or the state of the rooms so much but I wouldn't stay here for a luxury holiday or a romantic get away.
The location is perfect for surveying the center of Amsterdam. Also if your into the drinking, smoking and late night activities (none of which I am ) you'll certainly enjoy your stay. If your here to capture the culture and ambiance of the old Amsterdam center then you'll enjoy your stay.
However if your coming to see the luxurious or "touristy" side to Amsterdam you wont like it here. The hotel can be uncomfortable and un-luxurious. The location is certainly NOT for families and people looking for a quiet glamorous get away.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- If you're looking to have a great time in Amsterdam, St Christopher's at the Winston has to be your place to be. When you stay at the St Christopher’s not only are you in the most central location, next to all of the best attractions, you also have access to our very own private beer garden, attached to the Belushi’s bar. Add to that a built-in nightclub at the famous Winston Kingdom next door and you can’t go wrong. This is the perfect place to meet other travelers, save money, and party like a rock star. Of course there is also FREE Wi-Fi throughout the entire building. Why not come by and say "hi" to our awesome, multi-lingual team, consisting of friendly expats and locals of all ages? We are always happy to help, or just to hang out. We’re sure you’re going to love your time here in Amsterdam, and in our hostel, as much as we do! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel St Christophers At Winston
- Hotel Winston
- Winston Hotel Amsterdam
- Winston Amsterdam