If you’re going to stay in a quirky, creative, unusual hotel, it might as well be in Amsterdam. For those of you looking for affordable and fun accommodation then Hotel Not Hotel is the place for you. As we were in Amsterdam to see the fantastic contemporary photographic fair and festival UNSEEN, it seemed an apt place for us to stay.
There’s a strong hint in the name in terms of what you may, or may not, expect from Hotel Not Hotel. This is a hotel, but it’s also a series of individual pieces of ‘art’ (in a loose sense of the word); where each room is different, no room is just a ‘room’. It also has a few hostel-esque features, namely the shared bathrooms (which are very clean and modern) for some of the cheaper rooms, and a relaxed, laid back vibe. But it’s far from a hostel. The interiors are in fact, rather beautifully done. I love the book cases doubling for doors to hidden rooms. And the Mr and Mrs front doors leading to two rooms (one of which was ours for the night). The crows nest and the tram cart are two other unique rooms. It’s all well thought through and, even though it may not be for everyone, it is at least a very original idea.
They have a bar called Kevin Bacon. While I’m not a massive fan of the actor, I thought the bar itself was rather beautiful. It also has a small roadside terrace from which you can enjoy a morning coffee, or an early evening cocktail.
Bicycles are for rent, for €12 a day (and they’ll reserve them for you in advance). We depended on this mode of transport throughout the weekend, and if you want to act like a local, then it’s key that you rent one too. Then the hotel’s location – slightly out of the city centre, in bustling Amsterdam West – is not a problem either. It takes 10 minutes max (depending on the calibre of the bikers you’re with) to cycle into the centre, or Amsterdam West has so many cosy neighbourhood cafes and bars (like Ted’s), as well as the brand new Cafe Panache, which seems to be the place to be for dinner on the weekend (blogs to follow on these).
Stay here for the experience, for a laugh. It’s full of surprises. Don’t take it too seriously, just enjoy it for what it is. Then like us you’ll giggle when you wake up in a room which is not much bigger than a cupboard, looks like a chapel and is labeled ‘Crisis Free Zone’. 100% worth considering for a weekend away with friends.
For other Amsterdam accommodation ideas, consider the Volkshotel. Plus sides is that it’s even more affordable than Hotel Not Hotel, has hot tubs on the roof, and a really fun bar. Negatives are that it’s even further out of town.
Piri Reisplein 34
1057 KH Amsterdam
Photos belong to Hotel Not Hotel