A Botel, as the name implies, is a boat that is used as a hotel. In a place like Maastricht, which has a shortage of inexpensive hotel rooms, a Botel is a good way to provide additional accommodation on quite short notice and without any huge investment.
Of course the cabins are small, very small. Not all of them have en suite facilities, but some do. In 2012, I paid 35 Euros per night (during the week) for a cabin which did, in fact, have its own shower, toilet and wash basin. This was exactly half of what I would have paid for the least expensive hotel room on land. (As of 2019, prices for this category of cabin are unchanged: 35 Euros on weeknights and 63 Euros on weekends.)
Breakfast was not included, but was available for an extra 7 Euros and was well worth the price. (This price is also unchanged as of 2019.)
At the entrance was a sign in English saying that smoking and drug use were prohibited on board, and that there were smoke detectors throughout the boat. Anyone who did smoke and set off a fire alarm would be charged 300 Euros if the fire department came unnecessarily.
I had expected that the Botel would be crowded and loud, but this turned out not to be true. I don’t even think it was fully booked when I was there, which might have to do with the fact that foreigners can no longer legally buy cannabis or other soft drugs in the three southern provinces of the Netherlands, including Maastricht.
In any case, I found the Botel very pleasant. The staff and the other guests were all friendly, polite and quiet.
Another advantage was that the Botel was docked in a very convenient location (where it still is today), just 90 meters upstream from The High Bridge and only a short walk or bicycle ride to the historic center of the city.
Address: Maasboulevard 95, 6211 JW Maastricht
My photos in this post are from 2012. I revised the text in 2019.
See more posts on Maastricht, the southernmost city in the Netherlands.