In A Nutshell
If you’re looking for a cheap place to stay while you’re in Amsterdam, the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel is for you. For around €28 ($40) a night, you can get a place to stay . . . and that’s about it. The hotel markets itself as the worst hotel in the world, and it’s probably true. You might not get any towels, your sheets might not be clean, there’s probably going to be some excrement or vomit (or both!) on your shoes at some point . . . but it certainly is cheap!
The Whole Bushel
Laziness or epic marketing? Whichever it is, the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel is at least honest about the quality (or lack thereof) of their service and their rooms. A series of videos spotlight the high points of a stay at the Hans Brinker, and it’s about what you would expect from the self-proclaimed Worst Hotel in the World.
Booking a room in the Hans Brinker gets you exactly what you pay for. The hotel prides itself on being accidentally eco-friendly, as there’s no wasted energy on such luxuries like television, mini-bars, phones, or, in some cases, lighting. Even the heating and cooling system is eco-friendly and easy to operate—open the window. Staff don’t negatively impact the environment, either, as they don’t actually do much.
Showers may or may not work. (Those that don’t? You guessed it. Eco-friendly.) Towels and bedsheets may or may not be washed, either. An eco-courtyard is solar heated . . . when there’s sunlight. And there certainly aren’t any little bottles of shampoo and conditioner or any soap, but if you’re lucky, there will still be some toilet paper left on the roll.
There’s usually more than one guest to a room (seven or eight is more typical), and guests are allowed the use of battered metal lockers to keep valuables safe.
But, the doors might actually lock (you’ll be sharing with strangers, anyway) so who’s to say you’d even need a locker?
The Hans Brinker web site advertises that there’s no room service, no bellboy, and certainly nothing nice like a swimming pool or gym. (We’re guessing those wouldn’t be eco-friendly additions.) But there is a restaurant and bar, and, that’s right, they say they serve eco-friendly food and drink. (Leftovers.) Need parking? Out of luck on that, too.
Staying there will allow you to experience one of the few services that they do offer. Sadly, that’s improving your immune system.
And just in case you’re not sure whether or not it’s the place for you to stay, they’re thoughtful enough to recommend better places . . . places that probably won’t have dog excrement in the lobby and a feeling that can be described as “old abandoned insane asylum.” On their list, they put themselves right between an abandoned mine shaft and an unmarked grave in terms of comfort, service and quality. Among their other, better options? A sleeping bag on the side of the road.
Their tongue-in-cheek marketing seems to work, though, as they often have a steady flow of, um . . . for a lack of a better word, we’ll still keep calling them guests. The hotel is centrally located, cheap, and, by all accounts, every bit as bad as they say it will be.
And it looks like they are making an effort to improve their hotel. Short videos show upgrades in progress—mostly, putting “Out of Order” signs on things that don’t work, putting empty candy wrappers on pillows, and improving the presentation of their chips and ketchup plate.
At least there’s still honesty in marketing somewhere.
Reviews on the hotel are sketchy, and if you’re trying to book a hotel room from afar, they can’t be relied upon. Clean but plain, or the cesspool of filth and low-budget accommodations? We guess you’ll have to stay to really find out.
We think we’ll pass.
Show Me The Proof
Official web site of The Hans Brinker (Make sure you watch the videos in ‘Stuff’!)
BBC Travel: Amsterdam hotel proud to be the world’s worst
Reserve a room at the hotel