Frederick Michael Lansky - I read many online reviews for different hostels before deciding to stay at the Flying Pig Hostel. After lots of research online I could tell this place had something special going for it.
My experience with the hostel starting when I called them up. Although their website said all their rooms are full for internet bookings, it also said that more then half the rooms are booked in person or via telephone. When I called them a very helpful woman picked up the phone and said they still have a 4 person room available for my 3 friends and I.
For the 31.90 euro a night a person we got: a private room with a private full-bathroom for the 4 of us, free wifi and internet terminals, free breakfast, and free personal lockers.
I should also mention that this hotel is in the dead center of Amsterdam. It is within a 3 minute walk to Central Station, most of the famous Coffee Shops, lots of interesting shops, and the Red Light District. If you are unfamiliar with Amsterdam like we were, being located off Centraal makes your life MUCH, MUCH EASIER. The airport shuttle drops you off at Central literally right at the hotel. Also being near Central makes getting back to the hostel after a night of reverely or sightseeing very easy. Nearly every inbound tram and subway train ends at Central (Centraal in Dutch) which is 2 blocks from The Flying Pig Downtown. This makes getting lost when returning to the hostel nearly impossible.
Instead of having a curfew to prevent strangers from coming in (like many hostels in Amsterdam), the entrance is blocked off with a turnstile that unlocks with your room keycard, giving the place a generally safe feel.
The rooms are nothing special, but we each got a bunkbed with clean sheets, a sanitary bathroom and enough room to put clothes/luggage away.
The lobby is a 24/7 party place, and the reception area doubles as a bar at night. However, the noise from the lobby was not loud enough where it would disturb anyone sleeping. At least I didn't hear anything and we were one floor up (room 103). The lobby is a great place to meet strangers, and the people staying there were generally freindly and eager to meet new people. The people who work at the front desk were always very busy and trying to do 10 things at once, but are always willing to help if you gave them a few minutes of patience. However, using the free internet terminals downstairs was generally the best bet to find where we needed to go, and really came in handy for directions and information.
Most of the people staying at the time we went (11/16-11/23/07) were generally American, but this may be biased because it was Thanksgiving Break and also the High-Times Cannabis Cup Festival was happening at the time. Nearly everybody I met there from the people who run the hostel to the guests were, like us, between 18-28 years old.
The bathrooms were clean and the water pressure in the shower was great.
Since it was my first time staying in Amsterdam I don't have any hostels to compare it to, but I still don't see how you can beat 32 euros a night for private room & bathroom, free-breakfast and no-strings-attached free wifi and internet that 100 euro a night hotels do not offer.
My ONLY complaint was the fact that the heater in the room did not always run, even turned up all the way, and the room sometimes got chilly (though still tolerable) some nights.