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The World’s Best Worst Hotel

by Amsterdam.com
 Although Amsterdam is the home of some of the finest hotels in the world, the Hans Brinker Hotel has become famous for its perverse approach to comfort and lack of amenities.

Although Amsterdam is a picturesque city known for many different attractions and is filled with hundreds of top-rated, first class hotels that meet or exceed the expectations of visitors from all over the globe, there is one hotel in the city that has become world-renown for a very different reason. The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam has made a mark for itself as one of the worst hotels anywhere in the world, a very unusual distinction in a city known for its historic charm and beauty.

Despite its disparaging reputation for terrible accommodations, the Hans Brinker is proving itself to be quite popular nonetheless. Even with very questionable hotel hygiene levels and non-features like rampant bed bugs, walls scribbled with graffiti and a cold, gray concrete courtyard that never gets any sunlight, the Hans Brinker still sees many visitors checking in each year. The attraction may have something to do with the hotel’s price point, as a night’s stay will only cost between $32 and $69. Those prices are obviously far below the rates for “normal” hotels in Amsterdam that can often cost six times as much.

When the Hans Brinker was visited by the UK’s popular Daily Telegraph newspaper, the room photos showed images of bed bugs and other insects, dirty linen and carpets charred with cigarette ash, and apparently the guest room sinks serve as showers as there is only one room available with a bath. Potential guests can forget about amenities like working elevators about and clean towels, as uneven stairs and towels crusted with dirt are the norm at the Hans Brinker. The fact that the Hans Brinker exists and continues to draw visitors in a city filled with much better lodging opportunities is nearly unexplainable. One excuse to stay there could just be the ability to boast that you have survived the experience, or perhaps there is a certain class of traveler who revels in the hotel’s absurd upside-down approach to guest hosting. Regardless of the reasons people might stay there, the Hans Brinker has successfully established itself as something of a tourist attraction in it own right, even if for all the wrong reasons.

Although it may be a bit hard to explain the perverse mindset, the hotel openly promotes its sad condition and lack of basic amenities on its website:

Welcome to the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel, Amsterdam.

The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel has been proudly disappointing travelers for forty years. Boasting levels of comfort comparable to a minimum-security prison, the Hans Brinker also offers some plumbing and an intermittently open canteen serving a wide range of dishes based on runny eggs.

Other Hans Brinker Budget Hotel, Amsterdam services and amenities include:
- A basement bar with limited light and no fresh air.
- A concrete courtyard where you can relax and enjoy whatever sunshine is able to pass the high buildings on either side on the extremely infrequent days when it’s actually sunny.
- An elevator that almost never breaks down between floors.
- A bar serving slightly watered down beer.
- Amusing witticisms and speculations about former guests’ sexual preferences scrawled on most surfaces.
- The Amsterdam Luxury Ambassadorial Suite featuring the Hans Brinker’s one and only bath-tub.
- Doors that lock.
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