The good news? This hotel is a bargain, no room costs more 25 euros per night. The bad news: You get what you pay for.
It may be the worst hotel in the world. The people who own the Hans Brinker Budget Hostel in Amsterdam even wrote a book about the place entitled "The Worst Hotel in the World."
The book warns guests in advance so they can't complain after they arrive. Some of the Hans Brinker's advertising slogans include: "It can't get any worse. But we'll do our best" or "Improve your immune system – stay at Hans Brinker!" And this "honest" humorous approach works, if you judge by the high percentage of the hotel's 511 beds in 127 rooms that are occupied these days.
The hotel's target clientele are mostly students and backpackers, who can appreciate the sarcastic humor and the price. The Hans Brinker ads make extremely modest claims: "Now with beds in every room" or "Now more rooms without a window," to go with the modest rate.
And cheapness isn't the only virtue on display at the Hans Brinker Budget Hostel, there's also so-called ecological correctness. So the hotel's broken elevators becomes an "eco-friendly elevator"-- the stairs. No hot water in the shower? It keeps water consumption environmentally sound. No towels? Drying yourself off with the curtains saves on washing and helps save the planet.
"It's an experience," says Tijmen Receveur, a manager at Hans Brinker. "Most of our guests are pleasantly surprised when they arrive at the hotel. They love our humor and sarcasm and they have diminished their expectations to less than nothing."
A "legal note" posted on the hotel's website states that guests book there "at their own risk and will not hold the hotel liable for food poisoning, mental breakdowns, terminal illness, lost limbs, radiation poisoning, certain diseases associated with the 18th century, plague, etcetera."
"I've stayed in a lot of crummy places, but I like to think the Hans Brinker is the best of the worst," says Eleonor, a Belgian student, who stayed there recently. "It's the perfect place for teenage travelers or people in their twenties, who are likely to fall asleep in one of the bars around the corner anyway." Still, wacky humor can only take you so far, and recent comments on TripAdvisor indicate some guests may have forgotten the basis of their bargain: you get what you pay for, even or especially, at "The Worst Hotel in the World."
Recent comments range from "For the reputation of the world's worst hotel it wasn't as bad as I thought. Pretty scabby still, very basic. The bathroom was atrocious! The winner for it was the location though. I wouldn't say don't stay there, but I would never stay there ever again" to the more flattering "Hans Brinker is a fun filled hostel with great facilities, friendly staff and great location. You will not be disappointed!"
Either way, you've been warned.