Amsterdam is a quirky and non-conventional city and well “When in Rome do as the Romans do’ right?”. This is the exact sentiment my friend and I adopted, when choosing where to stay, on our first trip to one of the most talked about cities in the world. Ladies and gents I introduce to you … Hotel Not Hotel.
– The Hotel –
Situated in a cutesy neighbourhood nearby to Amsterdam Central, this quirky and art-filled designer pad is bound to satisfy any adventurers taste. This ‘Hotel Not Hotel’ is not your average city stay, thus embodying everything Amsterdam is renowned for. In fact, every square of this spot has been curated to surprise, amuse and amplify your experience, a quality you could not find anywhere else.
“I felt as if I was walking into a work of Art.”
– The Rooms –
There are 15 rooms varying in size, with a maximum stay of 4 people for the biggest room if selected. Each room also having a unique name to add to the ambience of the already unorthodox hotel.
As we booked on Booking.Com, it was not known what room we would be given until arrival. However, we were given the ‘Printed House‘. As the may name suggest, this room was covered with a mesh sheet, with a red and blue brick house printed on the front. As we pulled back the sheet, we found the room door which led to a surprisingly small and minimalist room . Indeed true to quirky and modernist art form, but suitable for two nonetheless. With two adjoined single beds and wall to wall walking room, the cosy ‘Printed house’ room gave us a reasonable amount of room to feel comfortable and not claustrophobic, as well as providing ample space to place our luggage and everyday necessities.
There were many striking things about the room for the sheer fact that certain features were even there. There was a small window to the right as we entered the room, onlooking the hotel reception desk and the rooms below. It was strange to say the least, to have a window from which you did not receive air. However, the room was well ventilated so this omission was surprisingly unnoticeable for the duration of our stay. Behind our beds was a shelf, which had a large floral painting perched on top. To the right of this, was a strange wall mounted cd player. Did we dare to pull the drawstring and hear a click? Yep. Within a few moments, the room became a rainforest of some sort. No those bird shrieks that have suddenly flooded the room are not a figment of the imagination, but the preloaded CD. Odd to say the least … isn’t quite the description.
Although this is the literal definition of a ‘no thrills’ room, it is perfect for a city like Amsterdam, as we barely stayed in the hotel for long with so much of the city to explore. The essentials inclusive of a solid Wi-Fi connection, a mirror, a bed and power outlets are all you really need. The on-hand staff were very happy to attend to all additional needs, so this was of course a plus.
– Food & Drink –
One of the key features that caught our eye when deciding on the perfect Amsterdam stay, was the Kevin Bacon Bar, which is pretty famous in its own right. As an actress myself, where better to stay than a place laced with actor inspiration? In the pictures online it looked chic and expressive, and upon arrival it certainly did not disappoint.
There’s nothing worse than a hotel who’s bar is never open or accessible but the bar had plenty of room to lounge inside and just outside the bar by the ‘Aquarium’. As quoted on their website, “during non-official opening hours we still more than happy to receive you for meetings, studying, coffee breaks, tea parties or pillow fights.. We always cater to the thirsty!”
The Kevin Bacon Bar specialises in Thai Food and Cocktails for dinner, which is perfect for an avid rice eater like myself. Feeling abit ravenous? With a cocktail list to rival all cocktails, having names like ‘Bounty Hunter’, ‘Flowerpower’ and of course my favourite ‘Champagne on the Brain’, there’s definitely a drink for however you’re feeling!
They also offer a lush breakfast option served between 8am – 12pm, served in baskets and cute jars. Instagram worthy? I think so.
– Final Verdict –
Overall score: 8/10
When choosing Hotel not Hotel, we wanted the artistic experience, and Hotel not Hotel certainly gave that to us. The ‘hotel’ is a 30 second walk to the bus and tram stop which is very local to the main town of Amsterdam Central. This journey takes approximately 6 minutes to get to the hustling and bustling town, with loads of activities from canal rides, to cycling, to museums and more; you really are spoilt for choice. To conclude, the location is fab, the food is fab and the ambience is also very fab. However, I must say that because we did not expect the communal toilets and showers, (probably an oversight in research on our part) this unfortunately brings down my overall score. That being said, although we would have preferred our own bathroom, the shared toilets and showers were extremely clean and the cleaners were in there almost every hour on the hour to ensure exceptionally high standards. I would definitely recommend this as one of the best places to stay in Amsterdam. If you are artsy, always looking for inspiration and somewhat creative, you must stay here at least once – you definitely will not regret it.
Hotel not Hotel you were good to us. Perhaps we shall see you again soon.