If you're traveling through Amsterdam and have the time and the inclination to see something a little different, you should try a stay at the Flying Pig Beach Hostel in Noordwijk.
The Flying Pig runs a shuttle service from either of the Flying Pig's two Amsterdam locations directly to their hostel location in the quaint beach town of Noordwijk. After you've made your hostel reservation, you should call the hostel directly to reserve your seats on the shuttle. Call early, as the shuttle can fill up quickly. When departing from the Uptown or Downtown Amsterdam Flying Pig locations, make sure to tell the hostel staff inside that you're waiting for the shuttle, so they can tell you where to wait. If you do all that, you should have no problem. The ride itself is about an hour, depending on traffic and the location from which you are departing.
Noordwijk is a nice beach town with a variety of restaurants and shops. The hostel is in a prime location -- to get to the beach, it's a simple matter of crossing the road. Restaurants, shops, and a grocery store are within close walking distance. The hostel offers information on surfing lessons; kitesurfing is also popular, as the beach is very windy.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The twenty-two-bed mixed dorm is a large room at the bottom of a thin, steep staircase. It almost goes without saying, but there is no elevator access. It can be a struggle to lug your luggage up and down the stairs. The walls in the room are brightly painted, and the room is relatively clean. The beds are standard, metal bunk beds, though they also have queen-size bunk beds allowing two people to a bed. There are no ladders to the beds. Small lockers are provided for storage in the dorm room. Linens are included in the cost, though you do have to strip them off the bed yourself and stow them in a hamper when you leave.
Within the room there are two showers, and a separated sink and toilet. There are two extra toilets in the hallway, but the limited facilities can cause a backup. The light and noise from the bathroom is not well contained, so it can be hard not to be woken up repeatedly.
There is a common area near the check-out desk, with a pool table and a bar that's open to the public in the evening. There is a smoking area near the back. The hostel is very smoker friendly, for both cigarettes and pot. There is a clear beach-goer attitude. The common room features music -- it's very loud -- starting in the evening. Maybe too loud, especially if you are trying to go to sleep. At the very least, make sure you pick up the complimentary earplugs at the front desk, because the music in the common room is extremely loud even in the dorm rooms. The common area closes during the night, so you'll have to retire to your room and wait there until it opens again for breakfast.
Breakfast is complimentary, and is serviceable if not extravagant -- a choice of two cereals, white bread with cheese, jam, or butter with access to a toaster, and tea and coffee. There is a computer you can use to access the internet, but it's an ancient device, crusted over with filth on every surface and very slow. There's lots of information about things to do nearby in town.
Flying Pig is a great place to stay if you're looking for a great beach hostel, somewhere laid back, loud, and fun. If you're planning on a quiet stay in a nice fancy room, and to go to bed early for a good night's sleep, this may not be the place for you. The hostel is somewhat shabby and short on frills. It fits a beach-bum aesthetic and attitude.