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“sketchy location but fine hostel”

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Shelter City Hostel Amsterdam
Reviewed 9 August 2009

Be careful how you get to this hostel--take a wrong turn and you'll end up right in the middle of the Red Light District. Because of this, we had a bad impression when we arrived at the hotel. It seemed to be down a side street with a massage parlor and who knows what else. The lobby looked kind of scary at first glance.

But once we got inside, everything was very nice. The hostel felt like a peaceful refuge right in the heart of the city. There's a nice courtyard, and people were friendly. The 16-bed girls' dorm had windows open onto the courtyard, making it a little loud when I was trying to get to sleep. But mostly people were very considerate. I got a good night's rest.

And we discovered that if you go out of the hostel the other way, things are much better. The area actually is just fine. So...I had a bad first impression, but ended up feeling totally comfortable staying there. I would recommend it to anyone, and would stay again. Good place!

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank carrie62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 March 2009

We stayed at City Shelter for two nights and some of the things that actually drew us to this hostel was the fact that there was a curfew and that drugs and alcohol weren't allowed. We figured people staying there wouldn't be too wild and therefore we would get some sleep. This proved true.

Rooms and bathrooms were clean, bathrooms got cleaned daily, maybe even twice a day. Locker fit my 55x40x20cm suitcase. You must bring your own lock, otherwise you can rent one from reception. You can also rent a towel for 1 euro.

Staff was very, very nice, I don't know where others got they were slow. They were young and friendly. On one night there was a mix-up with me and this other girl, apparently we had been assigned the same bed, and the fourth bed in the room was vacant but hadn't been made in a few days. Ok, so I could have gotten angry and all, but I just addressed the problem nicely and they happily fixed everything, changed the fourth bed pronto and that was it.

Some people complained about outside noise, and I guess it could get noisy (the hostel is right in the red-light district, so there's people outside at all hours of the night). I for one ALWAYS bring earplugs whenever I travel so these kinds of things won't bother me.

Breakfast (which was included) was simple, but good. I had pancakes on one day and bread with ham and cheese on the other, both days with apple juice. Nice enough. They have different options everyday, such as french toast or eggs, and other kinds of drinks, including hot ones.

No one tried to push Christianity on us, aside from harmless signs that said "Jesus loves you" and such. They sell maps and discounted boat rides at reception, among other useful things, and you can't get in unless you show your voucher, so it's safe.

I would recommend this hostel to anyone, unless they are specifically looking to get high/drunk where they are staying, or are planning on coming in after 2 AM (although apparently there is no curfew during summer). Also, if stairs are a problem, let them know, as there are quite a few, especially if you stay in the attic rooms.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank isablue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2008

great central location, helpful staff, good reception with fab info on city attractions. hostel rooms single sex, very clean & spacious enough for price we paid for 2 nights. bathrooms clean & tidy, bedding immaculate. nice area for socialising. breakfast small choice but enough to keep you going! for the price you pay it's very decent though!

  • Stayed: February 2005, travelled with friends
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2  Thank fafpants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2008

It's a christian hostel... no drugs and no alcohol, curefew... It didn't mention that when I booked online.

The hostel is located in the Red Light District. Strange people ! Veeeeery slow checking in. No drugs, you're sure ?

Room (two persons) was clean. Everything was "ok". Smoke detector, so don't even think about it. Bathroom is on the same floor. Nice chicks ! I'm joking.

Good place to stay for girls, safe hostel (big brother is watching you go poo).


http://www.shelter.nl/content/view/20/50/

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with friends
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6  Thank mjrp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2007

The hostel/hotel in Amsterdam are extremely expensive. Nearly all of the hostel would only have mixed dorm which I really could not stand. I also heard a lot of story about smoking pot in the hostels, which really draws me away from the hostel.
When I came across this hostel, I felt that would be the perfect one since it is drug and alcohol free, provided same sex dorm and with curfew ( I know most of you hate this), which can provide me more safety as a solo traveler.

When I contacted the property, I found out that they offer two-bed dorm as well which is only two euro more than the four-bed dorm. The hostel was centrally located. It only takes me a few minutes to walk from the Central Station to there. The staff were very friendly and helpful, even though it really takes them a while to check in/check out. The room was extremely clean (really extremely). I used the shower very early in the morning and I don't think it is dirty. The breakfast is quite impressive with the price that I paid. There is hot breakfast every day.

Please remember this is still the hostel, therefore, they are not fancy or anything. But it would provide everything you need in basic. Also, if you really want to have a wild life, you would not like this hostel.

I only stayed there for one night and I love this hostel. I will come back to this hostel if I travel to Amsterdam again.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled solo
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6  Thank dordor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2007

The Good

• 8 minute walk from centraal station.
• Cheap Rooms
• Free or/included hot breakfast, i.e. French toast with preserves, egg and toast, nothing big.
• Snack bar was cheap and gave good serving, 5 Euros for a burger, chips and a drink and other meals.
• Staff did not push their religious beliefs on me.
• Cheap amenities, i.e. ear plugs (had to buy them coz my mate snores like a series of jackhammers), razors, shower gel.
• Plenty of discounts i.e. tours and for renting bikes (We saved a good amount of money because of them).
• You checkout around 10am but they will hold yer bags in a secured area till 6pm. Very handy.
• Cheap internet access.
• Friendly staff however they were annoyingly aloof.

The Neutral:

• It is a Christian hostel and they will happily talk about god and various aspects of religion.
• They have plenty of religious reading material
• Have group outings for religious things i.e. church or discussion.
• Religious stuff everywhere, slogans such as Jesus Loves you are painted on the wall as with imagery of Jesus and other religious characters and figureheads.
In regards to cleaning it was satisfactory, could do much better.

The Bad:

• No alcohol or drugs allowed (We were smoking hash whilst in Amsterdam)
• 2am curfew, they will lock you out and not let you in. I recommend finding a bulldog hostel which are open 24/7 with rooms at 20 Euros- Naturally, if you get locked out.
• Showers- There was no changing area thus I had to stand around and get changed in the shower.
• Two of my mates complained about the noise as some rooms look onto a courtyard and the hotel is located in the middle of the red light district.
• No sockets/plugs to charge phones etc in the dorms. You had to literally sit outside the dorm and wait with yer stuff.
• Check in and especially check out was terrible. All the staff are so very slow and aloof. We honestly thought they were stoned.

• Locker system (generally good) however the following happened: It took 25 minutes for the staff to find a key and open my locker. I left some items in my locker and my key was left with staff for me to collect my items later when I came to collect my bags at 4pm. Between 10am and 4pm, they gave out my locker key to another lodger who then proceeded to store their items in my locker. Naturally, after waiting a disparaging 25 minutes, my locker was open and my contents were gone. Note that included my house keys, Euros, toiletries and digital camera. We were meant to leave at 4pm, ended up leaving after 5.20pm and literally made our flight check in with 5 minutes to spare. I should note the staff have attempted to sort this out, they have my contact details and will speak with the people who were given my locker key and hopefully I’ll have my items returned.

I also would have added photos of the hostel on my review but naturally I can't do this anymore.

I would not recommend this hotel for people who have come to Amsterdam to take part in red light district action or who wish to party late.

However, it is perfect for Christians and folk who wish to go on tours, go to galleries and museums etc.

  • Stayed: December 2007
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8  Thank dooley888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2006

I chose this hostel only because they don't allow smoking or drinking on the premises. I had never stayed at a hostel before, so I wanted to be as specific as possible. Shelter City was clean and right in the city center. Everything is close by.

It is what it is. On the plus side, you get a free hot breakfast.

My only grudge was that the women's section was up several flights of stairs. One set of stairs are winding twisting stairs, which made it difficult to carry my luggage up. It didn't bother me too much as I'm fit, but it doesn't mention this on the website.

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Gramercy97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shelter City Hostel Amsterdam

Address: Barndesteeg 21, 1012 BV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Region: The Netherlands > North Holland Province > Amsterdam > Red Light District (De Wallen)
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #29 of 242 Speciality Lodging in Amsterdam
Price Range: £16 - £49 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 158
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Friendly, clean hostel in the centre of Amsterdam. Single-sex dormitories and rooms with 4-8 beds, some with en-suite bathrooms. 24 hour reception, cafe with cheap food and drinks, free use of lockers, great garden to hang out in with giant fish-pond! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Shelter City Hotel Amsterdam

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