Internationaal Zeemanshuis

Falconrui 21, Antwerp, Antwerpen, 2000, Belgium
#45 of 131 hotels in Antwerp
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 4 reviews

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Nemorino's Profile Photo

Zeemanshuis is being demolished

by written on January 27, 2013

From 1954 to 2012 this was a low-budget hotel, originally intended for seamen but later opened to anyone who wanted inexpensive accommodation. The hotel consisted mainly of single rooms with en-suite facilities, i.e. their own shower and toilet.

At the end they were charging 25.50 Euros per night for seamen (a rate that was heavily subsidized by the City of Antwerp) and 47.50 Euros per night for tourists.

The hotel was still in operation when I took these photos in August 2012, but it closed on October 1, 2012. Now (as of 2013) the building is being demolished to make way for a new complex with shops, flats and offices as part of an urban renewal project to upgrade the historic shipping district.

Evidently the closing of the Zeemanshuis was somewhat controversial. A petition called Red het Zeemanshuis (Save the Seamen’s Hotel) got a lot of signatures, but it was finally rejected by the Council of State on the grounds that the building had little architectural or historical value and that it was now much too large for the small number of seamen who still were using it.

Though the Antwerp harbor is still booming, the problem is that modern container ships don’t need as many seamen as the older ships did.

I found it interesting that there used to be a free bus service to the harbor for seamen, leaving each night at 23:05 (second photo), and that there was even an adjoining theater (third photo). As far as I know the theater is still in operation.

Directions: The nearest Velo-Antwerpen bicycle station is 033 Hessenhuis.

steedappeal's Profile Photo

Join the fraternal order of Zeemans...

Great (4.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on January 27, 2008

This is a unqiue institution within Antwerp. It is close to the main port district ( as well as the least threatening 'Red Light' district I have ever seen!). It resembles a large Soviet-era, college-style dorm. The rooms are basic but neat and tidy and are equipped with en suite shower/toilet and basic plus TV's. There are nice gathering areas on individual floors and in the ample Lobby where you can re-hash the day with seamen and tourists alike. There's even a restaurant and bar: breakfast, lunch and dinner is served BUT prices are a little high for the items provided. Location is a bit off the Grote Markt path (10 mins away) but you're not in Siberia. Front Desk is able but very workmanlike: best to have done your tourist homework before visiting.

Unique Quality: Large Lobby, limited internet access (terminals need updating) and a full-scale restaurant & bar. You're very much aware here of the container ship atmosphere that defines Europe's 2nd largest port.

Directions: A little tricky to find. Just off the Falconplein which is close to the 'Red Light' district.
Safe at most hours.

filipdebont's Profile Photo

A good place to sleep

Great (4.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on February 8, 2004

Unfortunately the Zeemannshuis has been closed since October 1, 2012. The building is now being demolished to make way for a new complex with shops, flats and offices as part of an urban renewal project to upgrade the historic shipping district. (Remark given by Nemorino)

This is a good place to stay for a short visit.

Maybe if you want to stay longer you might need more luxury. But of course when you visit a city like Antwerpen, how much time do you spent in your room?

I just stayed in the room at night to sleep and to shower.

I also stayed here once as was coming to Antwerpen for a theatre performance, and the next morning I wanted to visit a travel fair in Holland, so instead of driving back home late evening I did sleep here and like this I gain lots of time.

Unique Quality: The room was just perfect for me, it was clean and there was plenty of space for one person.

If you are lucky to get a room on one of the top floors you get a splendid view over the city.

And after the theatre, which was near the Grote Markt, it was not so far to the hotel.

Directions: Near the Falcon Square

filipdebont's Profile Photo

It was Cheap and Good

Great (4.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on February 8, 2004

Unfortunately the Zeemannshuis has been closed since October 1, 2012. The building is now being demolished to make way for a new complex with shops, flats and offices as part of an urban renewal project to upgrade the historic shipping district. (Remark given by Nemorino)

I stayed in this hotel due to a reunion with people I did meet during the Ecuador trip last year.

It was a great stay. We did rent a conference room for the afternoon, like this we could chat and look at each others pictures; we could even look at slides on big screen.

In the morning we had breakfast and we ended our reunion with a city walk.

Unique Quality: The room was big enough for one person, it was clean.

In the room there was equiped with full facilities, like toilet shower and tv with 38 channels.

The hotel has its own free parking.

And it is very near the city centre (10 minutes walking distance)

And very cheap : 36 euro (breakfast included)

Directions: Near Falcon Square

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5 Photos of Internationaal Zeemanshuis

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