My weekend away in Amsterdam was simply brilliant. There is so much to do and so many areas of the beautiful city to explore. When my friend and I were looking for a place to stay I came across Hotel Not Hotel and was intrigued. This place looked like a brilliant combination of dens, art and pure cosiness. At just €235 for 4 nights, we decided to go for it. And with a name like Hotel Not Hotel we had to check out what the hell it was going on about!
Hotel Not Hotel sits on a quiet road around a mile from Centrum, but DO NOT think you lightyears away from all the tourist attractions. I walked a lot during my time there and it’s a easy 20 minute walk to the Anne Frank House. But, if you don’t want to walk there is a tram stop (number 17) at the top of the road that takes you straight to Central Station. Along the way there are a number of restaurants, cafes and bars as well as supermarkets. You really are close by to everything you need. As well as this, Schiphol Airport is only about 40 minutes away by tram and then train. We had no problem finding it using the directions on the website which is always a relief. Perfect!
Without meaning to sound corny, as soon as I stepped through the door, I was so glad to be staying here. You can see all the quirkiness right from the start. There are funky photos hanging on the wall, colourful seats and bikes for hire. The decor is crazy with a mishmash of patterns and materials but in a completely good way; it feels so comfy and cosy and is very peaceful.
All the staff I spoke to could not have been more welcoming and friendly. It has a young vibe but there was a brilliant mixture of guests staying, ranging from backpackers to couples to families. There is nothing awkward or intimidating here. We had arrived from the airport in the early morning but there was no problem leaving our bags. When we did check in, we were shown to our room and answered all the questions we were thinking of before we even had a chance to ask. I definitely felt at home and properly settled in!
AND THEN THERE’S THE ROOMS…
Well the rooms here are like nothing I had ever seen before. They are SO different. Like, seriously different-they are described on the Hotel not Hotel website to be pieces of art. My friend and I were staying in the smallest (and therefore cheapest) room called the ‘Secret Bookcase S’. And guess what? Yep, It was hidden behind a bookcase! In fact, the whole of the upstairs is wall-to-wall bookcases with rooms hidden behind. Thankfully, ours was the first at the top of the stairs otherwise I would probably never find it again! The room was small with the 2 single (but very comfy) beds right next to each other and taking up the width of the room. The space is compact but it works. There’s storage under the bed for cases, shelves, clothes hooks and a number of sockets. There is only a small window that looks out to the landing so it’s nice and private.
But then there are all the other rooms. I have to admit that I would love to stay in the Amsterdam Tram Cart. I mean, where else can you do that! From the beautiful wood carvings on the ‘Crisis Free Zone’ to the chair on top of the ‘Crow’s Nest’ (that yes, you can sit in), to the summery colours and patterns on the ‘Printed Houses’, the whole hotel is just amazing to be in. It’s not a huge building so I could enjoy aspects of the rooms even though I wasn’t staying in them.
I was so pleased to hear that Hotel Not Hotel has FREE WIFI! Yes, those magic word’s many of us love to hear when we’re abroad. And it worked absolutely fine. None of the rooms have en suites but the mixed communal bathroom is large, clean and has lots of fully enclosed cubicles. Clean towels were provided every day in our room which is one less thing to have to pack (but pretty unnecessary- save the planet people!). Breakfast is available at an additional cost of €9 per day and you get a lovely continental breakfast style basket to your room. The lounge is super comfy with plenty of sofas and tables and there is also the very chilled Kevin Bacon Bar just to the side which BTW makes delicious cocktails and specialises in Thai food. I also found some interesting reads on the bookcases to take home with me!
I Loved My Stay at Hotel Not Hotel!
This hotel is a right little gem. It ticked all of our boxes- great location, shops, bars and restaurants nearby, transport a short walk away, and of course, excellent price. Now I have stayed here, I completely get the name. Hotel Not Hotel is the perfect combination of the hospitality, privacy and comfort of a hotel, but is as sociable, casual and welcoming as a hostel. Oh, and of course lets not forget that it’s also a giant living art gallery!
I would absolutely stay here again and would recommend it to anyone who doesn’t want to just stay anywhere. It is the perfect place to stay to meet people and feel completely at home. Next time I visit, the Amsterdam Tram Cart is mine!