This was my first hostel stay but it was nothing out of the ordinary because I've spent lots of time in dorms. There's a lot to like about Stayokay Stadsdoelen, particularly:
1) The location. When all the hotels around you are charging upwards of 200 euros a night, you know you've found a good place. In fact, the hotel is somewhere between all the districts and just far enough from the Red Light district that you don't have to pass through it if you don't want to. It's very close to the train station (15 minute walk), the Museumsplein (20 minute walk), Rembrandplein (5 minute walk), the Dam (10 minute walk), etc. Some rooms have great views over the canal also.
2) The staff were always friendly and dealt with the most mind-numbing questions from guests. Their patience cannot be overestimated.
3) Security/safety are very good. There are lockers next to the rooms and also lockers downstairs that are paid. You don't have to bring your own lock (I didn't), in which case you can use the upstairs lockers. But in general, I didn't get the feeling that things would get stolen here.
4) It was mostly clean, though I imagine that if the hostel was completely full, the bathrooms would need a lot more frequent cleaning than they get (only once per day.)
And the lows,
1) What you book isn't what you get. A 10+ person dorm room is really a 20+ person dorm room, and if you request mixed, you might get it or you might not. The hotel doesn't care. It finds you a bed and that's where you're going to go. In that case, the website is definitely misleading.
2) No power outlets, almost anywhere. No personal lamps by the beds. If you want to charge something, either wait to do it in the lobby or find another place. I found this extremely frustrating and silly when there's free wifi.
3) The breakfast is terrible. I would rather they supplied a decent coffee machine and some juice, instead of the disgusting pieces of meat and old, decaying fruit. I know, free breakfast is great value in a hostel, but it's worth spending a few euros to eat a balanced, decent meal.
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