Zoku (Japanese for “tribe”) offers a new way to work, stay and play. It was designed as a more humane alternative for “impersonal hotel rooms” and “lonely serviced short-stay apartments,” based on interviews with media-savvy mobile professionals who regularly visit the creative hub of Amsterdam for their work. This is why, in lieu of the typical reception and hotel restaurant, you’ll find a large, plant-filled “social space,” which does quadruple duty as reception, restaurant, bar and co-working room. A daily “fika” (afternoon coffee and cake) session for guests and members and a regular roster of events (from inspiring talks to yoga sessions) aim to foster connectivity in a “community of like-minded people.” Even the (super-friendly, local-savvy) staff are called “sidekicks.”
YOU SHOULD KNOW You won’t find typical hotel amenities like mini bars and room service at Zoku, and that’s kinda the point of becoming “part of the community.” Besides, the lofts come equipped with kitchenettes and the 24-hour “(Almost) Everything Store” should keep most of your needs met otherwise.
Intelligently designed loft-style rooms (from 258 sq. ft. to 323 sq. ft.), which can easily be converted for work or play, feature a small, fully equipped kitchen, large table and Muuto design furniture, as well as cacti, colorful art and a loft-style king-size bed with 100% organic linens up some retractable stairs. There are also two smaller room types without the kitchen.
While you’re welcome to stay for one night, rates get cheaper for lengthier stays.
Sleek black-tiled bathrooms feature simple walk-in showers with adjustable shower heads, heated shaving mirrors and luxurious Marie-Stella Maris amenities, with sliding doors to separate the wet area from the toilet.
Guests are welcomed with free cake and coffee or (iced) tea when they check in at the bar of the large, plant-filled 6th-floor “social space," but are also free to check in or out using Zoku’s very own app.
Massages can be booked in the downstairs Treatment Room.
Zoku partners with High Studios, a gym in the same building, which offers strength and high- intensity cardio fitness interval training classes with flexible pricing.
Fresh meals are cooked in the open-plan “Living Kitchen”--big Continental breakfasts, healthy buffet-style lunches and simple set three-course dinners--and enjoyed at communal tables or, weather permitting, on the outdoor terrace with riveting views of Rijksmuseum.
Coffee, tea, and (alcoholic) drinks are served from a blue-tiled central bar in the communal area on the 6th floor, where guests can nestle in front of a fireplace with a book or gather over a game of ping-pong.
Located on a busy street in the Weesper- and Plantagebuurt, a lively neighborhood bordering the Canal Ring, this hotel offers good access to Centrum, De Pijp and Oost on foot. Metro access is available at Weesperplein, which gets you to Centraal Station within three stops. There is a parking lot (from €30 per day) and you can rent trendy Van Moof bikes (from €10 per day), with reduced rates for longer stays.
Near the zoo, you’ll find De Pizzabakkers (5-minute walk), where crisp-crusted artisan pizza is baked in Italian-style wood ovens. Or why not try Indonesian rijsttafel (“rice table”) a feast of flavors from the Netherlands’ favorite adopted cuisine at Tempo Doeloe (8-minute walk). You won’t regret going to Graham’s Kitchen (15-minute walk), where a former Michelin-starred chef serves a delicious set menu in a casual setting (for a surprisingly accessible price!).
Killer cocktails are served at Hiding in Plain Sight (14-minute) walk, but they don’t come cheap. If it’s old world charm (and more affordable drinks) you’re after, Café de Sluyswacht (10-minute walk) has been around since 1695, when it was a lock keeper’s cottage. Today, it offers pretty views of Oude Schans canal, local beer, and bitterballen (a typical Amsterdam bar snack).
WHY WE LIKE IT
Zoku offers a whole new way to stay, work and play by combining clever design with excellent amenities and a laid-back vibe that draws in the locals too.