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HI - Stayokay Heemskerk Hostel

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Description


Hostelz.com's Review
HI - Stayokay Heemskerk Hostel has a moat, turrets, and sculptured gardens -– what more could you ask for in a castle? Assumburg is a lovely little stronghold dating back to the thirteenth century; passed from one affluent family to another through the centuries, the castle retains much of its historic appeal, including its quaint chapel, knight’s hall, and paintings of the early inhabitants. Dorms are spacious if spartan, and the free breakfast offers greater variety than the standard hostel fare. The castle also plays host to all kinds of social events, from birthday parties to weddings, and can be a very unique and affordable setting if you’re looking for a venue for such a gathering.

The Location

Centrally located within the village of Heemskerk, Assumburg Castle is a pleasant, twenty-minute walk from the local rail station and can also be reached directly by bus #74 from neighboring Beverwijk Station. Heemskerk has plenty to offer, including local farmers’ markets and extensive hiking and biking trails. A mere thirty minutes by direct rail from Amsterdam and fifteen minutes from the quaint village of Haarlem, Castle Assumburg is a nice, quiet base from which to explore the vibrant “Venice of the North” and surrounding Randstad towns. Unfortunately, the tenement-style apartment complex across the street from the castle detracts from the its regal appearance, but the surrounding gardens and parklands do much to compensate.

Rooms and Bathrooms

Rooms are spacious, if institutional. Most of the dorms are in the castle, though a further six rooms are in the building next door (the Oranjerie). Dorms (at least in the Oranjerie) come equipped with wheelchair-accessible, ensuite bathrooms; sturdy wooden bunks; and easy-to-operate heaters. There are no security lockers, but access to rooms requires a keycard.

Common Spaces

A common problem with castle hostels is that they tend to be occupied by families and others traveling in groups, so social interactions among unacquainted guests are limited. However, with thirty thousand visitors annually, the castle is probably busy enough for some fun during the summer months. There is a full-service hostel bar serving an assortment of cheap beers and wines, so the place is not completely dead. The castle also provides a restaurant; free Wi-Fi and internet on a hostel computer; plenty of common space; and a free breakfast consisting of assorted breads, hardboiled eggs, cold meats, sliced cheese, yogurt, and cereal. Please note that the Wi-Fi does not reach rooms in the Oranjerie.

Summary

The rooms and staff are too institutional for a truly inspiring experience, but Castle Assumburg is still a beautiful place to visit and an affordable base for visiting Amsterdam and the rest of the Randstad. If hoping for a room in the castle, be sure to call ahead to ensure they haven't already been booked for an event; otherwise, you run the risk of being lodged in the Oranjerie.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
by "Wheels"
June 2012

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
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How is HI - Stayokay Heemskerk Hostel rated on other websites?
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Hostelworld  
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HI Hostels  
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Hostels.com  
No reviews yet.
HostelBookers  
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HostelsClub  
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Average  
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HI - Stayokay Heemskerk Hostel Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
2   Nice building squandered by inept staff and managers Upon arriving at the hostel I was excited for a nice stay. But, I was soon rewarded with a very unrelaxing atmosphere, sterile decorations, and rooms packed with noisy kids. There is no kitchen to cook in (I thought kitchens were standard in hostels), no comfortable places to relax, and not a whole lot to do. Somehow, stayokay managed to take a beautiful building with a lot of potential for a unique hosteling experience and turn it into an institutionalized, uncomfortable, merely functional stay.  , USA ()

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