I chose Acostar as it was listed on my company's booking service and several doors down from the hotel I planned to spend a long weekend in (the excellent Golden Bear), in Amsterdam. Additionally I think its good to stay in smaller hotels to support small businesses but in this case I regretted not going for the safe option of the Marriot nearby. The hotel is a relatively modern building in the 17th century street with decent sized stairs and looks good from the front. Looks are very definitely deceiving in this case. When booking in I asked about wireless and breakfast. I was encouraged to come down early for the delicious breakfast and told wireless was available. The latter didn't work in my room and when I did come down for breakfast I was shocked at how poor it was. Does Amsterdam Tourist Board do any checking on hotels? It was low quality own-brand second rate juice and plastic meat and micro-croissants (and cheese was another option, but it looked like easy-singles). Coffee was poor quality and in tiny cups - probably just as well. I was the only person there except for staff who whistled through quickly to check what room I was in and scarpered quickly when I asked if there was anything else for breakfast. Fortunately I was able to grab a snack in Centraal Station. The room had a small double bed which had no space on the far side and a maximum of a foot on the other. Fortunately I am not claustrophobic - although my colleagues in work were shocked when I showed them a photo of the room. The window was 1.5 foot X 3 and not direct into the room. Even when I was checking out at 11am on my last day I needed to have the light on to see what was going on. The overhead light was maximum 30W and cast a dim dreary glow which was useless. I cheered up when I saw the bathroom until I realised it had no bath. Instead it had an impressive double shower head hanging from each wall. Unfortunately when I tried them that evening and afterwards the water barely reached lukewarm. Horrible. When I went to ask at reception about the wireless and the water the staff suddenly could not speak English. The Marriot and all its corporate lack of soul seemed to taunt me in the distance. The final coup de grace was my keycard breaking in the door. After waiting 10 minutes the staff sent up some sort of manager/owners son. I apologised for annoying him and asked if keycards were not more trouble than they were worth, really just to make conversation, and he explained that no - guests just steal the keys. So that sums up the kip - guests in the views of their own management are apt to criminal behaviour and not to be trusted. This place should be avoided - if you haven't booked anywhere in Amsterdam I would suggest sleeping in the train station where at least you would get to eat something decent.
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