Assumburg Castle was originally built in the 13th century. Located in Heemskerk in the North Holland province in the Netherlands.
Built strictly for appearances and not for defence, it was a residence for several noble families until it was abandoned in 1867.
Now the castle and it’s gardens have been restored and it is used as a hostel operated by Stayokay.
As we had a car, it was a perfect home base for our weekend in Amsterdam. It was about a half hour drive into the city. If you don’t have a car there are many trains running from Heemskerk to Amsterdam-Centraal each day for the cost of about 6€. You can out more about that here. It takes about 20 mins to walk from the hostel to the station and then the train ride into Amsterdam is about 40 mins.
We had a large group so we booked three private rooms which had private bathrooms which was a huge plus. The room I stayed in was small but perfect for two people with bunkbeds. There was a separate room for the toilet and shower and then the sink was out in the room which made getting ready in the morning convenient.
There was wifi available in the room, though I had some issues staying connected. However it was good enough quality for me to make some phone calls. One drawback was that there was only on power outlet for the whole room. So it took some planning to make sure all our devices were charged and we were able to use our hair tools as well.
The shower was not the warmest I’ve ever experienced but it was sufficient. I found I had to let the water drain a couple times so that I didn’t flood the bathroom, but I think that is mostly because as a Canadian I tend to take longer showers then most Europeans do.
Breakfast was served from 8 to 9:30 and was included in the cost. It was a delicious spread of breads, cheeses and vegetables as well there was the options of yogurt and cereals. I found on the weekend there was more options then the two weekday mornings we were there. There was a coffee machine that makes instant style espressos and lattes as well as hot water for teas.
The common areas had chairs for reading and games. There is also a courtyard in the middle of the castle with tables and chairs if the weather is nice. The castle itself is a beautiful building and it is surrounded with well landscaped grounds. There is plenty of parking if you have a car rental. There is a modest bar as well where we were able to get beer or hot chocolate.
Safety features: a moat! (What more do you need, really?) the front doors are locked after midnight. And the hallways up to the rooms need swipe access, so you don’t have to worry about random people wandering around your area. I think this it cut down on the noise outside my room that I have experienced in other hostels.
Like most hostels, bedding was provided. I found the bedding was nicer here as there was an actual duvet with a cover not just a sheet and blanket. I brought my own towel, but if you didn’t have one they could be rented. Our room had a nice large window with a view of the moat and the surrounding fields.
The front desk staff was always pleasant, and they spoken English well. My group consisted of German speakers and this was not a language they were fluent in.
There is a restaurant nearby called Steakhouse Bij de Buurvrouw that served amazing and copious amounts of food. Not a very large selection of beer though. Which I found common for the area. There was Heineken and Amstel and not much else.
In conclusion, I would definitely stay here again if I returned to the Amsterdam area. If you are looking for simple and cost effective accommodations I would recommend this hostel. Who doesn’t want to sleep in a castle?