Advertisements for the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam.
While another hotel might brag about its comfortable beds, spectacular views and excellent customer service, the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam promises a lift that rarely breaks down, a door that locks and comfort comparable to a minimum security prison.
Proclaiming itself as “The Worst Hotel in the World”, the Hans Brinker goes so far as to recommend a list of nicer places to stay in the Dutch capital, including the Hotel de L’Europe, Hotel Krasnapolsky and the Intercontinental Hotel — all luxury spots with the finest amenities. In fact, of the hotel’s 16 recommendations, the Hans Brinker clocks in at 15, just below an abandoned mine shaft and just above an unmarked grave.
The amenities are stark; the hostel-style rooms sleep up to eight in metal bunk beds with blue metal lockers to store valuables, and the ensuite bathrooms offer little more than simple white tile decor, no free shampoo or soap in sight.
Still, with beds available for only 22.50 to 53.50 euros per person per night (with private twin or three bed rooms available for the higher price), the 127-room hotel near the Keizersgracht tram stop manages to remain almost fully booked most of the year with students and backpackers looking for no-fuss accommodation within walking distance of the red light district and many of the city’s museums.
Those that take the plunge report back with mixed reviews, with the hotel ranking at 59th out of 130 similar lodgings in Amsterdam on the user review site TripAdvisor. “You get what you pay for,” said one reviewer. “It wins by its proximity. I was pretty happy we didn’t stay at the hotel all the time though.” Other reviewers found the hotel’s self-description on point “The rooms were like prison cells, with rickety old beds and metal lockers that didn’t close properly. Walking down the hallways was like walking through an abandoned old hospital… this is quite simply the worst hotel on Earth.”
As the Hans Brinker suggests (at number 11 on its list), a sleeping bag on the side of the motorway might be a better option.