Bragging about your luxurious stay in a six-star hotel won’t make people jealous; they’ll think you’re crass, unimaginative and richer than you deserve to be.
Brag about your worst hotel experiences and you establish yourself as an intrepid traveller, a courageous citizen of the world.
Amsterdam’s Hans Brinker Budget Hotel is playing up its credentials as the world’s worst accommodation, hoping to attract the brave, the curious and those looking for an impressive traveller’s tale.
Could it really be as bad as the website suggests?
Fairfax Travel (disclosure: they’re sometimes a client for my scribblings) ran this article from the London Telegraph and brought the place to my attention.
As part-time Amsterdam residents we’re often asked for advice about where to stay in the grand old town. I’ll be adding Hans Brinker to the list of establishments to try, at least for novelty value.
The introduction on the website sets the tone:
“The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel has been proudly disappointing travellers 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.”
Hans Brinker (not the proprietor; it’s the name of the boy who stuck his legendary finger in the Dutch dyke) spruiks its eco-friendly credentials – a staircase is an ‘eco-elevator’. A curtain doubles as an ‘eco-towel’.
Every room now has a door.
A stay there will ‘improve your immune system’ by exposing you to a wide variety of bacteria.
Guests’ testimonials give it rave reviews:
“What a fantastic experience. So cheap! So friendly! No, wait, that was that other place in Belgium.”
– Mr and Mrs Vandenberg, New Mexico.
“The best cheap youth hostel I’ve stayed in since my sentence was suspended.”
– Michael, New York.
If you’re looking for affordable, fresh, airy accommodation in Amsterdam, sleep on a park bench. If they’re all taken, try Hans Brinker. If you can’t afford to stay there (and a rusty bed will cost you at least EUR22.50) the website is good for a laugh.
In its nobly honest efforts to reach the bottom of the market, Hans Brinker Hotel is seriously handicapped by its location. It’s in the Kerkstraat, right off the Nieuwe Spiegelstraat, which I was forced to include in my personal list of Amsterdam’s top 10 streets.
Where should we go to find a worse hotel than Hans Brinker? Go on, tell us! Establish some street cred.