Hotel Ben is aimed at young travellers/ revellers (mainly groups of lads) for the red light district who want basic, cheap, secure and private accommodation, something more than a hostel but at a similar price and are going to use the hotel as a base during the late hours, not staying there for anything in particular but a nap. If you’re not in Amsterdam for this then you’ll be hugely disappointed.
Externally the hotel looks very commercial and I’m sorry to say this cheap so it does fit into the red light district area. The reception area is simple with just the desk, Red Bull drink machines, a pamphlet stand and a few chairs. The resident cat that’s always milling around the reception must be the owners and adds an element of quirkiness you don’t get from other hotels in such a built up area.
Rooms are accessible over several floors from the main steep stairs you get in many traditional narrow Amsterdam properties (if you cannot climb many steep stairs this hotel is not for you). Smaller corridors lead off from the main stairs to rooms. The rooms at Hotel Ben are without a doubt the most basic of rooms I’ve ever stayed in (almost prison cell like); they are small, narrow but long and feature cheap beds (thin mattresses), blankets (no duvets!), plain décor, an open wardrobe (well it’s a box really), 14” box colour television, small round table, stools and an en-suite with very hot water. The floors are uneven and in the middle of summer very very very hot and sweaty (no air conditioning), after the first night we had to buy fans to cool ourselves off, even then it didn’t do the trick. The location of the hotel right in the heart of the red light district (and I mean right in the heart with bars and sex shops outside the bedroom window bellow) this means that between 6pm – 3am sound levels of drunken people outside on the street bellow resonate throughout the hotel and unless you’re drunk or very tired, it does take a while to get some sleep.
In general the hotel caters especially for the budget traveller and people on a red light district trip. It is not suitable for any other age or type of guest, especially children based upon its location. The location is right in the middle of the centre so at no distance to bars, clubs, restaurants and museums, whilst guests are required to hand their key in exchange for a card saying they are staying at the hotel when you leave for the day (so guests don’t lose keys). I won’t be staying here again as I would pay more for a hotel with better facilities that is a little quieter.
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- Also Known As:
- Ben Hotel Amsterdam