I needed to spend 3 days in Amsterdam last week. Due to my business there I thought it convenient for me to stay at a hotel located in the city centre. At the same time, knowing that Amsterdam is a city where flagrant prostitution is regarded as a major tourist attraction, I was prepared for safety reasons to select a hotel a little 'up the scale'. I didn't want to risk catching some hideous disease or bring home a host of bedbugs just by having to stay in a hotel for a few nights in Europe's sex & drugs capitol. My choice fell on 'The Hoxton', marked as a 4-star place.
When I first entered the hotel, it looked promising. The ground floor holds a spacious two-story lounge with an adjacent bar and a restaurant opposite the reception area. So far, so good. The young girl at the reception desk received me kindly and professionally. Next, I entered the room assigned to me at the first floor.
At first, I thought there must have been some misunderstanding. A narrow bed, a desk - small enough for the telephone, radio and water boiler placed there to occupy most of it, a tv-set on the wall, a tiny table with a chair, everything well-used and hence - rustic. That was it. And still the room seemed over-stuffed. It was the smallest hotel room I had ever seen, not counting sleeping compartments in trains or ferry cabins, the latter being what it actually resembled. It measured approximately 2x6 meters.
For this 4-star glory, I had paid close to 200 Euro a night.