I was immediately impressed by the hugely organised, friendly and professional welcome upon checking in, whilst at the same time vaguely bemused by fact that Shelter City is an overtly Christian hostel (not advertised!). To be fair, this wasn't a bad thing - the staff were great and always willing to help out however they could - no mean feat, given that this was one of the busiest times of the year.
I stayed in a six bed room (paying a premium for the privilege) and was comfortable and slept well both nights. The included breakfast was basic (no toast, just bread with ham and cheese) and I thought it was odd that if you wanted more than one small cup of coffee you had to pay for it ... I presume this was because there was no self-catering and the in-house cafe was there to make a profit, not to benefit the backpackers.
The location is great (if you don't mind staying in a street full of brothels) and this was certainly my motivation to book in the first place (the location, not the brothels!!).
There are four publicly accessible computers plus free wifi, but it's very, VERY slow - be warned! No air con, so my room and the bathroom were both stifling at times ... it WAS unusually hot, however, and I suspect that for perhaps eleven months of the year this would not be an issue, though ventilation or exhaust fans in the shared bathroom would be a vast improvement.
There is no smoking or drinking allowed on the premises, but they do have a pleasant courtyard outside the cafe (where the wifi is no worse than anywhere else in the building).
Pros: Location / Staff / Security
Cons: Expensive / No self-catering
- 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