Part of the international chain of St Christopher's Inns hostels, the Winston is bang in the centre of town just off Dam square. It backs directly on to the alleyways of the Red Light District, and there are bars and coffeeshops in abundance on the doorstep.
There are dorms sleeping four, six and eight, and small but private, en-suite double and twin rooms. These private rooms, and the corridors, are coated in murals by lots of local artists. On my last visit, I saw a room with a wall covered in a painting of an innocent-looking naked couple in a wood, and a monastic single room, complete with coarse brown robe. Note that in some cases the art is pornographic. The standard of the accommodation throughout is no better than functional.
The heart of the place is Belushi's (open until 1am or 3am nightly) - a large, often buzzing, industrial-looking bar, with brown- and red-leather banquette seating, multiple TV screens, a glassed-in smoking room, and outdoor courtyard with picnic tables. Loud music plays much of the time.
Eating and drinking
A decent continental breakfast is laid out in the bar - in good weather, you can take it out in to the courtyard. Keenly priced bar snack and meals - toasties, wraps, salads, burgers - are on offer during the day and evening.
Next door, and under the same management, is the Winston Kingdom, an intimate, long-established nightclub with live music (anything from heavy metal to folk) most nights of the week; the cover charge is usually around 6-10 euros. Belushi's has a pool table.
Not at all bad for a hostel: I've found the multinational staff to be friendly and attentive. Bar staff are a pretty cool bunch, and fraternise with guests.
Who stays there
Those who want to experience Amsterdam's nightlife to the full, on a tight budget.
En-suite double rooms cost about 2 1/2 times more than a bed in a dorm. Rates include breakfast.
- High-Speed Internet
- Backpackers / Students
- No fuss
Pros & Cons
- Alternative art
- Lively bar
- On-site nightclub with live music
- Can be noisy
- Basic accommodation
- A bit grungy in places
- Amsterdam's wild side may be too close for some tastes