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The small rooms are said to be filthy and the beer watered down. Such complaints are just a sample of those levelled at Amsterdam's Hans Brinker Budget Hotel, a contender for the world's worst.
Guests brave enough to take a rusty bed here are warned about dubious standards of hygiene and bed bugs, but check in at their own risk. The hotel's saving grace is that its honest marketing policy leaves travellers looking for cheap digs in no doubt of the no-star experience on offer.
On its website, potential customers are enticed with descriptions of "a concrete courtyard" that barely sees the sun, graffiti "witticisms" on sexual preferences and "doors that lock".
But in a difficult economy, when hotel owners fear a negative review on a site such as TripAdvisor can make or break them, business for the Hans Brinker is booming.
In recent years, self-deprecating adverts produced by the agency KesselsKramer have struck a chord with the hotel's market - backpackers who can see the funny side of spending €25 ($A30) on a room that, if they party hard enough, they may never have to sleep in.
Posters show images of microscopic beasts, dirty linen and carpets charred with cigarette ash, while the hotel website boasts levels of comfort "comparable to a minimum-security prison".
Environmentally-friendly features include sinks serving as showers (the "suite" is the only room with a bath), stairs in lieu of a lift and curtains that double as not-so-fresh towels.
Reviews left on hotel booking websites tend to be mixed. One from October described the hotel as having a "fantastic location", while another likened the accommodation to "prison quarters" and stated, "unfortunately most of the reviews were completely true."
- The Telegraph, London
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