If you've always wanted to stay in a hidden room behind a library bookcase or sleep inside an old tram car, this quirky budget hotel, inside a large brick complex in the up-and-coming De Baarsjes area, is for you.
YOU SHOULD KNOW You’re a good 20-minute walk from the Jordaan (a few minutes more gets you to the canals) so if you want to be in the center of it all, you might want to stay somewhere else. That said, the hotel rents out bikes. Besides, you’re in an up-and-coming area where hash bars sit shoulder-to-shoulder with mosques and Amsterdam’s cool young crowd are now buying their first homes, and you’ll find that reflected in the mix of shops, restaurants, and bars here.
Artists from the Eindhoven Design Academy have built out concepts including the Casa No Casa (in the style of a Spanish villa) and the Printed House Room (where much of the décor, including the comforter cover, has literally been printed) to create 23 unique places to sleep—though that's pretty much all they are, since all are only big enough for a comfy bed or two, are very spare and (most) share a large communal bathroom reminiscent of a hostel.
YOU SHOULD KNOW There’s no air-conditioning and some rooms don’t have windows.
Most hotel rooms share a large grey-and-white tiled communal bathroom with cabins that offer an adjustable shower, sink and toilet (and some privacy). But do bring toiletries, because save for some soap and a towel, you’re on your own. Also keep in mind that to reach the communal bathroom you have to walk through the lounge area, where other guests (and locals) are relaxing, dining and drinking.
Larger rooms offer en-suite showers and sinks and (some have) private toilets too.
Instead of an anonymous lobby, the whole hotel is designed like an art-filled living room with plenty of comfy couches and reading nooks under the arches of what was once a market arcade.
Breakfast (not included) is served daily from 8:15 am to noon at the nattily named Kevin Bacon Bar where you can also enjoy Thai food (and cocktails) in the evenings.
The sleek, industrial Kevin Bacon Bar offers reasonably priced cocktails and bar bites.
Located in a hip up-and-coming neighborhood near Oud-West, this hotel also offers good access to the Jordaan and the Western Canal District on foot. Tram access is available at nearby Posjesweg.
Head to Casa Sabatelli (8-minute walk) for affordable plates of Puglian pasta or splurge on a Med-led meal at the excellent Meneer de Wit Heeft Honger (4-courses for €42,50), which is only a 1-minute walk away. Alternatively, Foodhallen (11-minute walk), Amsterdam’s lively indoor food court, offers plenty of choice for even the pickiest of eaters with over 20 food stands.
Lokaal Edel (3-minute walk) describes itself as the “living room of the neighborhood”, and indeed, it’s a good place to stop by for a coffee, an affordable bite or a bit of boozing. The waterside terrace is pretty terrific too. Trendy West locals love buzzy Bar Spek (10-minute walk) for its regional beers, G&Ts and stone oven flatbread, and avo toast or pancakes to nurse their hangovers.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Where it comes to hotel rooms, the word “unique” is often overused but let’s be honest, have you ever slept in an Amsterdam tram cart before?