Dear: Bob’s Hostel

9 Jun

I was supposed to be pointing to the sign.  Maybe I was “disco-ing.” 

Dear Bob’s Hostel:

You seemed inciting. The picture on your website showed crisp, clean, white sheets in a modest bunk setting.  You were located near Central Station. You didn’t seem as careless and disgusting as The Flying Pig nor as uppity as the HI Hostel, requiring some membership fee and advance notice.  Plus, you had breakfast! I was sold.  Arriving at midnight in Amsterdam probably wasn’t the best idea.  As soon as I stepped out of Central Station I was dizzy from the ringing bells on the bicycles. I  was blindsided by a tram, but finally made my way for a pleasant stay.  I was greeted by the sleepy array of pot smokers who were excited by a female presence (excited enough that they opened their eyes). Later, I was led around a corner to another building and up four flights of stairs  Surprisingly, everyone was asleep.  The sheets were clean enough. There were two Canadian girls and an Israeli (who was apparently in the army).  “Did you see anyone die?” we asked.  “Yes,” he said solemnly. “Yes.”   The next night, he screeched like a seven year old girl when we saw five blind mice scurrying across the cement floor. Five blind mice. We screeched as we saw how they ran.  So much for being our “protector.” We decided to skip the rotten eggs in a room filled of pot smoke, as lovely as it might have been. After our stay,  I realized I had some major “mosquito” bites.   A week later, as identified in Paris, these turned out to be bed bug bites (and thankfully, not AIDS…you never know! Thank you Google). The scars are gone. The memories are forever.  So much for booking a hostel based on the name of my father.

What hell holes have you stayed in? Pray tell. 

I will not endorse Bob’s Hostel and do not know if they have changed their sanitation since my stay. That said, they have added graffiti in the dorms.  Banksy may have made it “cool,” but Bob’s version is not pretty.

And who has heard of the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam? They make their living off marketing it as the Worst Hotel in The World. They even made the advertisements into a book!

Here’s a sample of their advertising.:


5 Responses to “Dear: Bob’s Hostel”

  1. Sebastian June 9, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    Great Article. I hate these places which are so messy that they have bed bugs. I had bed bugs on a cruise on the Whitsunday’s… We all slept on the deck for 3 nights because you couldn’t sleep in the cabins without being eaten alive! I wonder that you only realized it when you were in Paris. It’s a very nasty feeling to see these bugs jumping around the mattresses….

    • nearafar June 16, 2011 at 4:16 am #

      Having never experienced bed bugs before, I thought they were mosquito bites. Then they profilerated all over my body but it started happening more and more after a week when I was in Paris. The security guard of my hostel in Paris told me that it was bed bugs. Then there’s the story of trying to find a doctor in Paris…not a fun experience. Thanks again for the comment. Need to get to the Whitsundays!

  2. Tammy June 14, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    Montreal. An apartment-style hotel room with a rusted fridge we were terrified to open and a mysterious stain in the middle of the living room floor that looked a little too much like blood for my liking. We had booked a suite thinking we could save money by making meals instead of eating out all the time. Needless to say, we never once cooked anything in there.

  3. Leslie (Downtown Traveler) June 16, 2011 at 3:15 am #

    I don’t think a hotel advertising as the “worst in the world” will get my business! Strange campaign. Sorry you had such a bad experience. My worst was a run-down family hotel in Nadi, Fiji with pee stains (hardened) all over the toilet seat. Needless to say I slept in my sleep sack on top of the covers during my brief stay there!

    • nearafar June 16, 2011 at 4:23 am #

      Ewww. Thanks guys for the comments! It’s interesting to hear the experiences. I think the “Worst Hotel In The World” is getting business solely based on their marketing. At least they’re honest that their place is bare bones as opposed to Bob’s.

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