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“Poor and disgustingly overpriced” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Shelter City

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The Shelter City
Barndesteeg 21, 1012 BV Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Red Light District)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #71 of 175 Specialty Lodging in Amsterdam
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Poor and disgustingly overpriced”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013 via mobile

Of our entire trip, Shelter City was by far our most expensive hostel. Given that we'd had some fantastic experiences we fairly assumed that this would be up at the top. It was so far from it.

Ironically for a particularly religious hostel it is situated on a small street with four or five brothels. Whilst the breakfast was fantastic, that was it. The staff were decent but the hostel was not especially clean, the rooms were of an unfairly poor quality and the bathroom was far too small for the quantity it serviced and offered next to no privacy. Considering the price, this was unacceptable. I would recommend all seven of our other hostels in which we have stayed however I would urge you to find somewhere else - if you're determined to go somewhere of such poor quality then go somewhere where you don't have to pay an exorbitant sum for it.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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197 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

My friend and I spent a night here, and we thought it was great. The location is amazing, walking distance to/from Amsterdam Centraal and downtown hub. We stayed in the shared dorm, and that night, they were fully booked. Even though we had a shared accommodation, it was quiet enough at night to get a good sleep. The room, bed, blanket etc. were all very clean.

The bathroom was clean as well, with a couple shower stalls and bathroom stalls. Water pressure wasn't that great, but still manageable.

The hostel, despite its proximity to red light district, still felt very safe and secure. The employees there are nice and knowledgeable about city attractions. There's also a lounge area and eateries area in the hostel if you're looking for food or a place to chill. Overall, great stay and very affordable!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

The hostel is located in the middle of the Red Light district so very convenient!

People are very nice, rooms are clean and breakfast is GOOD (pancakes!!).

It is a christian hostel so maybe they will offer you to attend bible discussions or other but don't worry they don't force you to do anything and there is no curfew. Still, boys and girls are in different rooms and you'd better avoid to drink alcohol inside.

I stayed there in 2010 and 2011 and both times it was really satisfying!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

I was happy that me and my 3 other friends are located in the same room (ensuite girl) as I requested. The room is huge and clean. The toilet is clean as well. We slept really well for the 4 nights there.
I also love the breakfast there although the breakfast is quite simple but its just nice for the start of the day.
The receptionists are nice and helpful!
I also bought some postcards and stamps in the hostel to send to my friends! There is a postbox in the hostel too! very convenient! To be honest, the postcards are not very nice but much cheaper. So if need to buy postcards last minute, you can get it there!
You can store your luggage there after you check out too! really convenient!
We felt very safe too staying there!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

On my recent visit I was looking for a good value, quiet place to stay and after some searching came across Shelter City which as a Christian Hostel, does not allow alcohol and has single sex rooms only. Perhaps not what everyone looks for but it suited me perfectly as I was there to see the sites and needed somewhere to sleep. The added bonus was that I was able to book into a four bed dormitory with en suite.

As essentially a non Christian, I was a little concerned that, though inclusivity was stressed on the website, I may feel a little out of place but this was far from the case, and while it would have been possible to join in a Bible discussion and Prayer Meeting, this was really the only thing that marked out the hostel’s ethos as far as I was concerned.

The room was quite spacious and the bed comfortable. I was also impressed that the hostel responded quickly to an e mail requesting a lower bunk and was given this with no problems. The ensuite was tiny but functional and fairly new. In addition, I visited during an unseasonably hot June week and it was really lovely to sit in the evening in the hostel’s peaceful courtyard which has a large pond and fountain, and even a cat with a Facebook page!

As for location, I think I could have done my research better. The hostel is around a 10-15 minute walk from Centraal Station down a street crammed with cafes, bars and restaurants (many of them Thai, if that’s what you’re looking for), which opens into a pleasant square (Nieuwmarkt) with more cafes. It’s also not too far from Dam Square but I was surprised at how sprawling the City is and the hostel is quite a distance from the Museumplein, although I think public transport would have been possible. I was also quite amused to find that by diverting onto a parallel street I found myself in the heart of the Red Light District!

Finally, one key point to note is that, while in the main costs can be kept down when hostelling by self catering, this really isn’t an option here. There is a fairly small fridge and a microwave but otherwise food can only be bought from the hostel’s own café (which is open late and cheaper than outside) or elsewhere in the city.

Room Tip: I think it's worth booking the smaller ensuite rooms as they're not much more expensive.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Seville, Spain
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

I am not overly religious so normally I wouldn't have picked it, but considering I wasn't in Amsterdam to do any of the ''interesting'' activities Amsterdam offers I wanted to be somewhere safe and clean. I am happy to say the wifi was great, the rooms were nice size and the staff was AMAZING. They could answer every question you had, and whats more THE FOOD WAS GREAT. Truly breakfast was amazing and well worth getting up early to be able to get it while it is hot. The beds were sturdy and the lockers were nice - although not terribly spacious. The hostel is secure - which I loved, although wasn't a big fan of having one of the ''ladies'' soliciting not 10 meters from the hostels entrance. However, overall I LOVED IT.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013 via mobile

I cant say enough about this place. I came in on a saturday and they offered us a free tour of the city!!! It was so much fun. Then we came back to the hostel and talked over free hot chocolate and coffee! The staff is extremely helpful and kind. I was travelling alone and they made all the difference. They let me keep my keep at the hostel so i didnt have to deag it around all day!!they offer a free breakfast in the morning and the dinner prices are reasonable for amsterdam.
I would def come back and stay here and would recommend it to anyone looking for a decent place with a clean bed with a friendly and helpful and POLITE staff!

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Additional Information about The Shelter City

Address: Barndesteeg 21, 1012 BV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Location: The Netherlands > North Holland Province > Amsterdam > Red Light District
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #71 of 175 Specialty Lodging in Amsterdam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 158
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Friendly, clean hostel in the centre of Amsterdam. Single-sex dormitories and rooms with 4-8 beds, some with en-suite bathrooms. 24 hour reception, cafe with cheap food and drinks, free use of lockers, great garden to hang out in with giant fish-pond! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Shelter City Hotel Amsterdam

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