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The White Tulip Youth Hostel

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Hostelz.com's Review
The White Tulip is crammed right in the heart of the Red Light District in Amsterdam. It is only a three-minute walk from the train station and is very easy to find. The approach down the street leading to the T-Junction on Warmoesstraat is classic Red Light -- an excellent coffee shop on the right-hand corner, a giant sex boutique straight ahead, and a lot of people partying in the street. Immediately upon heading down this street, one realizes what is in store, staying in this part of town, and the experience will completely depend upon one's attitude and good fortune. The sign for the hostel is small and high off the ground, so keep your eyes peeled -- it appears sooner than expected.

Our reservations were solidly in place, and the staff seemed to have been waiting for us to arrive, so the welcome was extremely pleasant and professionally handled. Be aware that even in May, without reservations, bunks are not available.

The White Tulip provides guests with an ID card to gain entry to the rooms upstairs. This is a good security precaution, but one might expect the staff to remember a face after a few times through the door -- this never seems to happen. Of course, this is Amsterdam -- no one has any short-term memory here. Even we often forgot which one of our seventeen possible pockets the ID cards were stashed in, so getting in the door usually took a while. The "lobby" is no more than a stuffy broom closet filled with tourism brochures.

The stairs are steep, small, and sometimes difficult, but the rooms are quite spacious and have good natural lighting, a tribute to the fact that the windows do not close all the way. However, this is where the niceties end. Non-closing windows are great if you are a frequent coffee shop visitor, but the trade-off is that it gets very cold at night, and is ridiculously noisy -- there are dozens of people right outside partying into the wee hours. If you are one of them, it's no problem, but if you are in need of sleep, you'll have to wait for your next stop. Not all rooms have a table -- those that do have shoddy card tables. The lockers are mostly broken. Guests must stash their stuff under the bunks on the floor.

The bunks are horribly uncomfortable, to the point of being unusable -- simply a loose screen of mesh wire desperately trying to support an old, saggy mattress. These bunks are essentially hammocks, nothing more. If you have a bad back, or want to retain your good one, this is where it ends for you. Go somewhere else, period. These bunks are pure torture.

In addition, the sheets are never changed, and it is doubtful that they are washed between occupancies. You can use your own sheets here, as we chose to. A poisonous spider bit the eyelid of one member of our party during the night, and it ruined the rest of her trip due to extreme nausea, a blistering wound, facial paralysis, greying hair, and significant scarring. Given all that, she felt lucky to be alive a full month later when the bite finally healed. We also heard stories of people receiving numerous flea bites in this hostel.

The bathroom is co-ed, quite small, and the floor is always wet. Some of the rooms in the White Tulip can only be accessed by walking through the bathroom (yes, with luggage!) and out the back door by the last toilet stall. Who wants to walk directly though a co-ed bathroom every time they leave or return to the room? Obviously, shoes are a must at all times for those unfortunate enough to bunk in the back rooms. However, the showers do work decently enough, and the toilet stalls have solid, full ceiling-height doors to make up for all the foot traffic.

The Irish pub downstairs is never quite full of people, and seems to be more of a novelty selling point than anything else. It isn't very fun, as no one hangs out there, and the hostel offers no discounts on drinks. It is more worthwhile to leave the premises and go see the rest of the city where there are some fantastic places to hang out.

Overall, The White Tulip may serve as a great place to store one's travel belongings due to its immediate proximity to the Red Light District. However we recommend that guests stay elsewhere in the city, and walk to the Red Light if they wish to hang out there. It is not at all advised that guests spend any more time in this hostel than necessary, including sleep time. Try to catch up later in your trip and just focus on surviving until that check-out date. Think of this hostel as an expensive storage facility.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
August 2006

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Map
Location/Contact
How is The White Tulip Youth Hostel rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
69%
59%
74%
92%
62%
75%
Hostels.com  
68%
57%
74%
90%
61%
74%
HostelBookers  
70%
58%
77%
92%
63%
79%
HostelsClub  
70%
57%
72%
92%
63%
Average  
69%
58%
74%
92%
62%
76%
The White Tulip Youth Hostel Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
1   NONSENSE RUBBISH PLACE!!! this place is a real waste! DO NOT GO THERE! we went in winter and it was like -0'C in the room as their damn windows don't close all the way and there is a CONSTANT FLOW OF COLD AIR into the room. it is also very noisy and very unhygienic. we stayed there for 4days and our rubbish pile in the room wasn't cleaned out even once! and the staffs are REALLY REALLY RUDE!!! we once left our towels hanging on our bedsides (to dry them after using) and when we got back to the room after a day of outing, we found them all missing! and we went down to the small broom closet reception and inquired about our towels, but we were told that the cleaners must have took them mistakenly (they provide white towels but our towels were bright colored ones) and we demanded that they bring them back as its unhygienic to use that DIRTY HOSTEL's towels. but that RUDE RECEPTIONIST asked us back "are ur towels from Louis Vuitton? if not, then just take one of our towels." man how DAMN RUDE of him. and the bathrooms, they are all common bathrooms and all are small sized. with NO PRIVACY at all!! PLEASE DO NOT EVER CONSIDER GOING TO WHITE TULIP. its a total rubbish place with BAD SERVICE!!! i wouldn't even give them 1 star. 0 star for a sh*tty place and even shittier service! BULLSH*T!!  , Malaysian ()
3   Not too bad. ok i'm planning on goin back to the white tulip for a couple of nights in august. when i went there was a homeless guy sleepin on mattress and at first i was like what the f*** is he doin there but then i just got on with my holiday, locked my locker every time i left the hotel -- like anyone with a brain would do! im a believer in you get what you pay for and for the price i'm sure no one was expecting the ritz. no showers -- use hot water in a basin and a bit of soap! i'm goin to rebook a room for a night in the white tulip and see if it's half as bad.  , british ()
1   Not Recommended I would never stay in this hostel again. We stayed for two unfortunate nights, and decided to spend our third at another hostel down the street (much better, for an Amsterdam hostel). You had to walk through the bathroom to get to our room. It was dirty, and smelled like fish the entire time. The sheets were dirty, so luckily I had my sleep sack with me and only touched that. Had I not gotten so high during my stay and passed out, I don't think I would have slept well at all. I didn't want to touch anything in this hostel -- the showers and bathroom were so dirty. I spent as much time away from it as possible, and passed out there only when necessary. Hostels in Amsterdam seem to be overpriced and not of high quality, but do not stay at this one -- it is at the bottom end!  , USA ()
3   Ideal I have stayed at the white tulip three times now and have never had a problem, the rooms always been a decent size, clean, and nobody's ever been bitten by anything when we've been there. it is in the perfect position. 25% off the lovely full irish breakfast downstairs. the first time we got there our room hadnt been cleaned but we did arrive at 10 a.m. and the last people had just left. we dropped our bags off and came back a couple of hours later and all was good, basically you get what you pay for, this is cheap and does exactly what you want if your in dam on a large one! We are going back in feb., back to the tulip so i expect another great stay.  , England ()
1   Rubbish! Well, what a place this was. I have stayed in hundreds of hostels in various countries on various continents but never before have I laughed so much. To be fair this may have been mainly due to the dehydration and heat exhaustion, or possibly the poisons released into my body from the over friendly bed bugs that infested the mattresses, or the nervous exhaustion from the lack of sleep from the constant ringing of the bells or friendly banter from the Spanish whores who seemed to be in constant loud conversation throughout the night. There were three of us in our party (all girls) and as such we decided to book a private room. In that it had a door and walls around us it was technically a private room but the walls were paper thin and the location so noisy that it pretty much felt like we were sleeping on a street. Only that it would have been cooler sleeping on the street. It was so hot in our room that all three of us lost about a stone in body weight over the three nights that we stayed there! On arrival we were told that we were lucky and had been "upgraded" to a bigger room -- one for four people. Imagine our joy and feelings of good fortune! The fact it wasn't really big enough for three or even two didn't seem to have registered with the owners! You really couldn't have swung a small runt kitten in there, let alone a fully grown alley cat. The army style bunk beds have no ladders (well, there was no room for them) but thankfully we're all nimble so could scramble up as necessary. It was entirely questionable as to whether the sheets had been washed -- one of us reacted to them and had to find a chemist for anti allergens. We were all bitten by goodness knows what was living in the stained mattresses. The bells rang at fifteen-minute intervals which woke at least one of us each time, and the Spanish whores offering to "make dreams come true" for cheap all night outside the window filled in the gaps between the bells delightfully -- we knew we were staying in a lively part of town but the combination of the noise and the heat (not even a fan) made sleeping pretty much impossible! Of course, getting to our room in the first place proved to be a mission of military style proportions. The stairs are typical Amsterdam style -- so steep we could barely get our cases up the stairs -- highly amusing to be fair but the lack of assistance offered by the staff was palpable. And the bathrooms -- ah yes, the bathrooms. The absolutely best part of our delightful stay here. They claimed they were cleaned twice a day -- but the toilet on our floor had vomit stained paper on the floor for at least forty-eight hours. Of the four showers that were available over the three nights we were there two of them broke, we had hot water only once (to be fair the hot temperature of the rooms made cold showers preferable) and the floors so dirty that my feet didn't feel clean until I got home! The toilets were tiny and smelt of, well, use your imagination. We had a fabulous few days in Amsterdam and had loads of fun in this fantastic city -- but this hostel we really horrible. I have stayed in some dodgy places but this was the worst -- reports of homeless people staying in unused beds, rodent infestations, and poisonous spider bites did not surprise us!  , England ()
1   Untrustworthy This guy has contacted me on the eve of my trip asking for five times what i reserved the room for. The thing is, it's so late i have nowhere else to stay. I have contacted the manager and he has said it's all he can do -- offer me the room at a "discounted" five times what my guaranteed booking quoted me. I'd rather sleep rough than book here. At least i would know what i was in for.  , UK ()
4   Central location, friendly staff, clean, and cheap everything you could want from a hostel.  , irish ()
3  I was absolutely dreading the trip due to the reviews I had read. When I got there I was horrified at the look of the hostel, and the narrow stairs I had to carry my large suitcase up! But once in the room me and the other five in my party were pleasantly surprised. The room was very basic but clean. The beds were clean, but I used a sleeping bag anyway. It was quite cramped in the room, not big enough for six people. Fortunately we had a room to ourselves which I was glad of, as we were worried about sharing with randoms, especially as other reviews had said homeless people are sometimes allowed to stay. The bathroom isn't great and we had to go down a flight of stairs to get there. The shower had no hot water and there wasn't anywhere to get dressed other than the soaking wet shower cubicle or a cramped toilet which didn't smell very nice. We didn't use the lockers in our rooms as they looked rubbish anyway so we just locked away our valuables in our cases and hoped for the best, fortunately nothing was stolen. The location of the hotel is perfect, within walking distance to the train station, the red light district and the main square. There were no fleas, rats, or any other creatures, and we all had a fab time! If I went back would probably pay that bit extra for a hotel purely because of the shower/toilet situation.  , UK ()

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