Friday, July 19, 2024
Michael Stone Online

Berlin Hostel Review: Amstel House Is a Sleep-Deprived Soiree

Amstel House, located slightly northwest of the heart of Berlin, offers a variety of room types, from dorms with several bunk beds and shared bathrooms to single bedrooms with a private bathroom.

This being Hannah and I’s first true hostel experience and not really caring about the sleeping privacy, I figured the lower price for the dorms was the obvious choice.

And it turned out to be a bad one.

The first night, I was awoken first by someone flipping the light on at 3:30 a.m. and then a little while later by the same two, er, I’ll go with making the bunk bed squeak. That came to a full end only after several cease-and-desist orders from me and the rest of the room.

Among the disturbed were a Coloradan brother and sister also on a Eurotrip. They had stayed in several other European hostels and made the night sound like a fluke. But the second night turned out to be worse.

Though the happy-but-rude couple left, a group of maybe five guys stumbled in at 4 a.m. and proceeded to playfully shout for a good hour.

A place to sleep is all I wanted, and not getting that carried me to a private room for the other two nights I stayed at Amstel. These nights turned out to be very peaceful.

The actions of guests certainly isn’t Amstel’s fault, but just be aware that this is a party hostel, meaning the fun—and noise—never stops, especially if you’re in a dorm.

To its credit, Amstel is an ideal spot for meeting folks. It has a large community room with a bar and pool table, and most everyone coming through while we were there seemed friendly. Speaking of friendly, the staff is especially so.

So for those qualities, I give Amstel House three out of five stars.

Here’s a summary of what to expect:

Prices (based on the room types we booked):
Dorm w/ shared bathroom: €19 per person (price fluxuates)
Private room w/ twin beds and shared bathrooms: €28 per person (price fluxuates)

Large lobby, with several long tables and cushy chairs and couches.
Festive at night, with lights turned low and a disco ball in full turn.
Very international, so you’ll likely run into someone from home or close to it.
Varying age groups, but lots of teenagers, so the lobby—and obviously dorms—do sometimes clamor. 

Helpful, kind and fluent in English.
Someone is at the front desk 24/7, which is great for late arrivals. 

Free, but only in lobby.
Very spotty, especially when lobby is crowded at night.
Also, very few electric plug-ins in lobby.

Breakfast: served daily at €5 for all-you-can-eat, which is probably not worth it in one sitting, but maybe if you dine in and get some to go.
Dinner: a €7 barbecue is held on Fridays, with all-you-can-eat burgers and vegetarian options.

Lockers in dorm rooms: bring your own lock.
Storage room in basement: staff tags your luggage and makes sure you take only your bag out; can use before and after check-in. 

They’ll do a load for you for €6.
Or you can do it for yourself for slightly more than €5 at nearby Freddy Leck seiner Welt, including 20 minutes of drying and free Wi-Fi.

Public transport:
A couple blocks from Turmstr. U-bahn station, which is next to several bus stops.

Other amenities:
1. Free pool: I’ve learned that, unless you go to a pool hall, the table will be felt-less and the cues tip-less.
2. Free ping pong: downstairs, below lobby.
3. Full bar: happy hour from 6 to 8 p.m. means €1.50 beer.
4. Free kitchen with fridge.

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