The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam has a long interesting, and slightly dodgy past: guests leaving looking worse than they when they arrived, notoriously rude staff, and then there was that marketing campaign with little tiny flags ending up you-don’t-want-to-know-where…
But, what kind of hostel and budget hotel reviewer would I be if I didn’t sacrifice my own comfort for you guys?
Plus, it’s 2016. Any hotel that is really as bad as they claim to be would be shut down by the authorities? Right?
Right. Because they were actually quite good. Which in fact makes them the worst at being ‘The Worst Hotel in The World’…
Hans Brinker Budget Hotel, Amsterdam
You’d think with their advertising that the hostel couldn’t care less about providing a fun atmosphere for their guests.
Well actually, you would be wrong to think this. Hans Brinker Amsterdam is a party hostel and they care so much about showing you a good time in Amsterdam that not only did they renovate their stunning bar last year, they also have a late night club downstairs in the basement!
The Brinker Bar
Posted by The Hostel Girl on Friday, 4 March 2016
With a happy-hour running every day in the Hans Brinker bar from 5-6pm, Heineken beer on tap and more shots than is socially acceptable, I hope you’ll understand why I spent a fair bit of time testing the alcohol and chilling on the bar stools.
— Katie Dawes (@the_hostelgirl) March 4, 2016
As I mentioned, they renovated the bar last year so that it offers full 360 degree service around it. But as it’ll probably be too busy (or you won’t be all that sober) to appreciate how fancy it is, here’s a peak…
How did I get this photo of an empty bar? During the day I was quite often the only one hanging about because I had work to do at the laptop. Mostly this is because Hans Brinker is so well located (more about this later) that guests are exploring the city with new roommates.
And when everyone comes back from their day out in Amsterdam? Well the bar looks like this…
Of course, if you’re up for more than either drinking or eating, then you can always ask the bar for the beer pong cups.
Because really, even the worst party hostel knows how important beer pong is!
During my stay, the basement club opened on Friday and Saturday and not only are poles provided on stage for those nights when tequila makes you think you can pole dance, but there was also a banging DJ!
Hands up for the London Grime he was playing on Friday night!
Whether it be spinning on the poles, dancing to the sounds of the DJ, throwing back your final Jäger shots of the night or trying desperately not to pass out on a bar stool, the the basement club at Hans Brinker is the craziest way to end a night out in Amsterdam!
Imagine, a dark loud room filled with people who have already enjoyed the Hans Brinker happy-hour and probably followed a pub crawl to Leidseplein before wandering back to finish the night in the club. It’s madness down there.
Of course, with all this going on you’re going to need to line your stomach and the Hans Brinker menu was my favourite way to do this!
And I want to point out how much I enjoyed the food, because every time I mentioned how much I enjoyed my dinner to a staff member they seemed quite surprised! Perhaps they’ve changed the menu recently because this was good stuff…
To be truly honest with you guys, my mid-week nights at the Hans Brinker bar were a little quiet as I stayed during low season. Saying that, they were quiet until I met the staff…
Just look at those friendly smiling faces!
Travelling solo like me and still looking for a drinking buddy? Chances are the only thing you’ll remember is pulling up a bar stool and doing a shot of tequila with the staff before waking up the next morning wondering what on earth happened.
Even on their nights off I would meet a group of them around the bar and in the club downstairs, hanging together but also willing to include those sat alone at the bar (ahem… me!).
But it’s not just at the bar that they are so friendly. On the night I checked in one of the girls at reception was being so kind to a more elderly gentleman who was enquiring about a room, as she tried to explain the concept of a hostel and shared rooms with bunk-beds.
And at night, when I’m sure the night receptionists have put up with their fair amount of annoying drunken guests, the guy on the desk was kind enough to ask us very politely to move away from the main entrance when we were chatting a bit too loudly outside. I couldn’t believe his patience!
What did I expect when I checked in to Hans Brinker?
Certainly not an en-suite shower and toilet, art on the walls and a clean towel every day. They seriously exceeded expectations! And… everything was clean!
— Katie Dawes (@the_hostelgirl) March 3, 2016
I stayed in a two-bed twin room with an en-suite shower. But get this. Every room (including dorm rooms) have an en-suite at the Hans Brinker Hotel!
Also included in the room were two long school-style lockers, which could be a bit noisy as they were metal but were the perfect size for hanging clothes and storing my valuables.
So why am I so pleased with the room? Well I’ve already mentioned the party atmosphere, so having a comfortable bed to crash on at 4am (or later if you really are a party animal!) is heaven!
Another thing that makes Hans Brinker such an epic location for a party hostel is the fact thats it’s a two-minute walk from Amsterdam’s biggest party district – Leidseplein!
You’ll find this out if you take one of the Ultimate Party pub crawls that leaves every night from their bar and takes you to places like this:
At night, Leidseplein becomes a hot bed for coffee shops, bars and clubs – but during the day it’s also the beautiful centre of some of Amsterdam’s gorgeous canals and is just a short walking distance from the famous Rijksmuseum.
Being located in such a popular district of Amsterdam, getting to Hans Brinker from the main Centraal Station couldn’t be any easier by public transport.
All you have to do is jump on either Tram 1, 2 or 5 from the front of the Centraal Station and get off at Keizersgracht.
And the length of the trip from Schipol Airport to Hans Brinker is less than an hour.
Google maps suggests getting the train from Schipol to a couple of other train stations in the city, before jumping on a tram. But in my opinion the route to Centraal and then to Hans Brinker is the simplest.
A twin-bed en-suite like the one I stayed in costs 73 EUR a night (so just 36.50 EUR each when shared with a friend) whilst a bed in a dorm room starts from as little as 22.50 EUR – making it one of the more budget hostels in Amsterdam!
The price also includes breakfast, which is a continental spread like the one below and the perfect free way to start your day in the city!
My advice is to book directly from the Hans Brinker Amsterdam website to get the best prices and see everything that’s on offer.
As you can see, there is a range of rooms sizes and prices to suit all – but you can also see that I’m not the only one who loves Hans Brinker as so many beds are already sold out for April! So book quick!
*Prices for April 2016.
So what do you think? Could the Hans Brinker be too much of a party for you, or are you ready to be Amsterdam’s main attraction?
I would like to thank the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam for sponsoring my stay with them, but as always opinions are honest and entirely my own.
Lots of love,