The A-Train hotel, 5-minute walk from the central station, just over the bridge, through the unmistakeable but not unbearable emblematic scent of Amsterdam, weed.
I want you to brace yourself for this one, it’s not going to be pretty. But what I’m about to tell you is not a reflection on the service or staff, whom I thought were nice enough.
This shitbox however costs €225 a night on bank holiday weekend, and quite frankly I found it more EH?-Train than A-Train. (Thank you, I should have closed with that one).
Reception – Bowl of sugary toffees, no drink or man beating a drum announcing our arrival. I will caveat that though, when I asked for the nearest Bond location, I was slipped Tiffany Case’s address on a piece of paper and they circled the Skinny Bridge where Mr Wint and Mr Kidd stood to get some pictures of the canals for the children. (See my video on this Bond location review here). Again, the service, can’t be faulted. What was to follow however, Jesus I can barely type the words.
Kettle: No fucking kettle. I mean not even a fridge. The room was ‘cosy’ and I had to remove surplus furniture into the hallway just to get around the bed. Which by the way, wasn’t a double, two singles pushed together. But we’ll get onto the bed in a minute.
The View: A courtyard that backed onto a karaoke bar, covered in scaffolding. There was a builder on the planks, he didn’t even have the decency to show his arse crack.
The Shower: I’ve often wondered what it must feel like to walk into a prison shower, now thanks to the A-Train hotel I’ve successfully squared that circle of curiosity. No protection mats on the floor, nearly stacked it on entry. No complimentary shampoo, not that I need that, one of those ‘one fits all’ body shower gels. That said, the pressure and heat were faultless.
Toilet: No bidet. Was looking forward to a bidet. The toilet paper wasn’t pointed. They had two rolls, neither pointed.
The Bed: Ever tried sleeping with two singles pushed together, you’re neither here nor there. Guaranteed that at some point during the night you’ll be sucked between the fuckers which will in turn give you vivid nightmares of fighting your way out of a venus fly trap.
The Pillows: Semi-shitty, 3/5, formed from plastic polyester clumps. But at least these clumps are distributed evenly. – The missus (hotel pillow aficionado).
Brekkie: The free brekkie consisted of coco pops and a couple of slithers of ham and cheese. Oh and a toaster. Put it this way, the free breakfast was so bad we had to go out and pay for one.
Summary: when Duke Ellington wrote about taking the A-Train, I doubt he was referring to this. If I were you, I’d wait for the next one.