Having spent over seven-and-a-half years continuously on the road in rented accommodation from hotels to apartments to hostels and much in between, we have a good idea of what we look for in reserving a bed for the night.
Unless otherwise stated, assume the reviewed accommodation to have the following facilities: in-room internet connection for personal laptop, air conditioning, TV with English speaking channels, fridge and a safe.
We arrived by bus and got lost trying to find our way to the “hotel”*. It isn’t too far away from the food takeaway joint (untried) close by the bus stop if you get lucky, but we didn’t, and ended up walking around in circles for quite some time. We found it eventually and got checked in without fuss and climbed the stairs to get to room 18.
I’ve seen bigger rabbit hutches.
The small, double bed took up the entire room leaving a scant 6” to get by to the far (window) side and we had one slim wardrobe wedged into the gap on the other side. A couple of makeshift bedside cabinets (read stools/boxes) that couldn’t fit next to the bed and so were just left wherever they would be least in the way (objective not achieved) and a dustbin were the only other items of furniture.
A pitiful bedside lamp winked mournfully into oblivion and we had a mini flatscreen TV hoisted up the wall at the foot of the bed, mercifully above head height so one could almost pass the bed through the aforementioned 6” gap without having to duck and contort further.
But it wasn’t so much the Lilliputian scale of the room that was first noticeable, rather the heat. Almost sauna-esque, even with the windows flung wide open you could cook a chicken to perfection inside fifteen minutes.
The bed was OK, but with only one measly pillow available the stretched duvet looked lonely, so to occupy our minds while unpacking, we looked for the remote to switch on the TV. It was missing and remarkably enough, closer examination of the screen revealed it was rendered unusable without the little box with buttons. Who installs a television that cannot be manually operated?
The bathroom seemed disproportionately large, but even that had a few niggles. You knocked the tap when using the shower so the flow rate dropped or went overly hot or cold, and the electrical power point was not working , hence the hair drier was just collecting dust.
On a positive note, the wi-fi was excellent.
No fridge, in room safe, air con, or much else bar the basics mentioned above. There was a kettle but without any cups, so how is that useful?
We went back to Reception to ask for an additional pillow and the missing TV remote and were advised that neither could be supplied until the following morning. That wasn’t quite the response we were hoping for and so we politely suggested we were not impressed and ended up with the promise of an upgrade to a bigger room (what, the broom cupboard?) the next day with breakfast thrown in for free.
It was very late and so we agreed to their compromise and went up for the night, to encounter the biggest problem of all. The noise.
Clearly the concept of soundproofing has escaped the architects of this rambling building. Not only can you hear every fart, sneeze, burp and other bodily eruptions with such clarity, you’ll be amazed those responsible were not in the room with you- an impossibility of course, unless you’re related to a certain Mr Houdini.
The central courtyard is the oft chosen venue for all manner of travelling hippies who wax lyrical on their global exploits throughout the night (smoking is permitted outside hence the popularity) so you are unwillingly subjected to their tortuous dialogue at varying times throughout the wee hours of the morning. Do not be fooled that closing the window will help, it doesn’t, and only aids to quicken the chicken cooking times.
Doors slam like starter pistols, peoples’ footsteps sound like dead men walking, floorboards creak and naturally you’ll be reminded of all the road traffic noise, including an alarming number of emergency sirens. I suppose we should be grateful all the TV remotes were missing, we didn’t hear one television throughout our stay…
The next day improved no end with a good (free) breakfast, a three bed room with much more space (we even had a desk for the laptop) and a working TV. However, the supplied remote control unit was disintegrating and useless, but we could at least manually change channels and volume. It was barely worth it as aside from a few local channels we had just one English and one German for viewing.
Another bonus was that on enquiring about laundry the guy said he would do it free of charge for us. We assumed he was feeling guilty at the shambles of the first night, bit we happily accepted his kind offer, giving him our clothes at around 15:00. We asked when they would be ready and he replied “in the evening”. Again, this was fine as we were off early the next morning but when we got back at 21:00, the new receptionist said our things hadn’t even been dried yet and that they would be ready by 23:00. Excuse me? It takes two hours to dry some T-shirts and a pair of jeans?
Once more we made our feelings of disappointment known and despite a sullen face, we were repatriated with our freshly washed and dried bits inside forty-five minutes.
Finally, our second room (#15) although far better and one less flight of stairs to manage was equally hot and extremely noisy.
As ever, please feel free to contact us via a personal message or check out our Blog for more details and pictures. Just Google “ktelontour” or see our profile.
*It’s not a hotel, the “s” must have dropped out- we’ve been to far classier hostels and this would barely make the grade. At 65€/night (we stayed just the two) it is overly priced and not worth the money but prices are high in Amsterdam, even though this is quite a trek out from the centre.
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- Also Known As:
- Flipper Hotel Amsterdam