I doubted whether I should write this review, mainly because I stayed at TSH for some 7 months (you can get a long-term contract) and I don't know whether the service the short-term guests received is identical to what we, the rentees got. But who can this hurt? So here's what I think:
Student Hotel tried to create some friendly student community of people and make some good money, we can't blame them for that. I am not gonna trash the hotel now, because I have a lot of wonderful memories of people and staff over there, but some points need to be discussed.
I lived in a standard room which costs about $900 per month. That's not exactly terrible for Amsterdam, but later when I moved in I found lots of wonderful places way cheaper than this one.
All of the rooms are very basic and pretty small (mine was 14-15 m). Usually when you get something which is so much overpriced you expect to get something in return, such as housekeeping (at least once a week) or a comfy bed (not my case) or at least a proper floor cleaning.
Another thing worth mentioning is the laundry service which was overpriced (for the service we received). Doing laundry by ourselves was no problem at all, but paying $6 and getting your laundry smelling like something has died in the washing machine? Really?
Each floor has a shared kitchen and by TSH regulations it has to be maintained in adequate order so that the cleaning person can come over and just wipe the dust. The floor was never cleaned, the carpets in the corridors were never vacuumed, very often we found that there were no trash bags. These are minor problems, but they are really making the whole picture not very attractive.
Finally, it was one huge and very unpleasant surprise when 4 days before I had to relocate back to Bangkok I found out that I (!!!) need to find someone to take up my rent. Not TSH, me! It was already a lot of stress with all the packing and work permit stuff, and the room issue didn't make my life easier. The problem is: no one told me that I will have to find someone to move into my room or I will have to pay 75% of the remaining rent (which was about $2.5K). I was stressed and pissed, but luckily lots of people need an apartment in Amsterdam, so I managed to find a guy to take up my rent the very next day).
All these problems are minor and can be dealt with efficiently, but due to the cost it involved to tackle them all, TSH preferred throwing barroom parties and pub quizes, throwing us a free beer a couple of times instead of dealing with this kind of stuff.
It wasn't all bad, though. On the contrary, I have a lot of good memories too:
I absolutely loved the staff at the TSH, always helpful, always there. Pretty quick reaction for any problems (except the ones I mentioned above).
Loved the free bike service. These bikes are really good.
The design of the Tower House is amazing! Table tennis, sofas, big TV, library. You guys did an awesome job creating that.
Very good cuisine. A bit expensive like everything here, but always fresh and tasty.
A decent fitness room with some group classes.
And most importantly, all the amazing people you meet on your way. It's a great place for meeting new people, having a friendly drink and just feeling like you are young.
Would I choose TSH again? I really don't know. Depends on what you're looking for. But if I was again a stranger in a new unknown country where I knew no one - my answer would be 'yes'. I felt like home at TSH most of the time. And home is not just walls and facilities. Home is people.
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