They break the formula. They’re built to be different.
This is Volkshotel: A masterstroke in creative boutique hospitality…and they’re inviting you to enjoy the spirit of new Amsterdam!
Amsterdam is a European city with a reputation as storied as the Canal houses they’re famed for. Bohemian-spirited and welcoming of outliers and free-thinkers for decades, this destination has called to travellers seeking everything from au natural relaxation to historical luxury, and even contemporary and uninhibited fun.
In recent years the city has done its very best to shift further from its infamy as a sex-crazed, cheap backpacking, and narcotic-toting haven for all though – most emphatically due to the locals (already haggard from being priced out of residential homes around the city centre) who wish for far more healthy peace & pace on their home turf.
What does this mean for travellers?
Don’t worry! Travel fun as you expect it, is being repackaged into even better or streamlined offerings around Amsterdam, from cafes that remain institutions of their neighbourhoods, to Beyonce-playing clubs in safer spaces, and Cannabis Stores designed with aesthetics, safety, and even allergies in mind. Amsterdam delivers; as do their hotels.
Volkshotel is the kind of hotel find you wish you could keep to yourself…but can’t help gushing about to the nearest ear…
- It’s within your price range
- It’s not too cool
- It’s fit for Digital Nomads
- It sits in a hip area, making other hot spots 2 – 25 minutes away
- It makes the Best Hotels lists of the world, and it’s my new favourite.
“Lovers, fighters, cowboys and dreamers, we’ve got room for you.”Volkshotel. 2023.
At home in Dutch daily De Volkskrant newspaper’s former offices in Amstel since July 2014, the renovated 172-roomed Volkshotel brings heaps of locals and a steady stream of international travellers into the southeast of Amsterdam’s canal belt.
I, myself, checked in behind a band, an Exec, and a sweet couple – which gave me ample enough time to get the lay of the land.
People-watching showed a vibrant shared working space at ground level (born into this social hub, at the design hands of Steven Steenbruggen and Bas van Tol), as well as a bar and lobby with a handful of people chatting & soaking in the sun streaming in from floor-to-ceiling windows.
Volkshotel’s first impression is truly new Amsterdam – welcoming, creative, vibey, and a little bit crazy!
Walk me through its Design & Style
The building’s exterior is as unremarkable as the bustling street it sits on…except for its size.
It’s a big cemented monolith so in keeping with 60s East European style architecture, and was even nicknamed “The White Swan”.
What it lacks in outside beauty, is more than made up for inside – spaces embracing subcultures in true Amsterdam tradition.
From the wallpaper and cutouts, to the room Feng-Shui and the furniture, the hotel has chosen to embrace and position Amsterdam’s counterculture reputation as integral to its design ethos. Dated photographs from past rebels of Amsterdam, stores in converted caravans in the lobby, as well as newsprint and the hotel’s latest eclectic activities offering, mark the walls of Volkshotel.
Here, colour is less used for harmony and more for jolts of visual excitement that invite the eye of the beholder to explore more, and sometimes even make their own mark. Maroon and even jet make their way into the majority of the standard rooms, which tempers the bright light streaming in through the windows, and also creates an enclave to enjoy.
There are various room types available at Volkshotel depending on:
- Room size / Guest Numbers
- Price Point
- View wanted
See, Volkshotel commissioned a handful of people (a genuine club bathroom attendant, interior designers, and an architect too) to conceptualize a room each, suited to their own established signature. From the fantastical (tree house?) to the restrained (cycling), each Dutch designer offered Volkshotel another brick to build their palace of non-conformity.
I’ll be back for the special “cinema boudoir” room, for sure!
My own chosen suite – The Bathing Bikou designed by Hanna Maring – while wholly unique with its Japanese Ofuro cedar wood bathtub, is a testament to the consistent interior design of the hotel overall, complete with glossy concrete and raw artisanal carpentry furnishings (timber-framed screens) that together, charm!
Beyond these 9 “special” rooms, Volkshotel tapped into the well-known vagabond community with a far superior version of the backpacker lodge – but no less reasonable!
The cabins were a boon for my own Eurotrip budget, and I didn’t feel cheated moving from my spacious suite to the cabin, because I was comfortable either way (and dead tired after a daytime spent exploring).
Other, more standard rooms available in the hotel, keep to the newspaper style thematic – though with silkscreen wall art – and some come with city views, while others have far less supreme vista sights.
Facilities and Services for my Needs & Pleasures?
Volkshotel proves it can measure up with the best of them, with the likes of:
- Luggage storage (like it’s so safe, you guys!)
- Lift (which I’ve discovered can be an anomaly in Amsterdam)
- In-house dining
- EV Charging Station
- Wheelchair accessible
- Cable TV
- Designated smoking area, and more available.
Beyond the rooms, people are able to book one of the differently-sized (medium and large) meeting and function rooms – whether for workshops or schmoozing. The Michelin Guide praises Volkshotel for drawing in “travelers, artists, nightclubbers, entrepreneurs, and dedicated foodies” through their facilities.
Nederlanders, and the Nordics too, have a deep & abiding love (and culture) for saunas and hot tubs, and so Volkshotel offers a wood-panelled, regularly cleaned and strictly regulated open-air spa on its rooftop.
This is one of the most magical experiences one can have to introduce themselves to Amsterdam city and quietly greet the mornings here.
With a group, the hot tubs are a fun and relaxing way to network and bond with others beyond the bustle on the streets.
Eat, Drink, and be Merry?
Werkplaats is the lobby bar you can be seen at during the day.
Serving reasonably light meals (the salads deserve to be dished on) and sensational local soft drinks and harder alcohols, this is a good place where many start their meetings, light day drinking, and all-nighters.
Choose beer whenever you can!
Canvas restaurant isn’t quite the place to write home about, but it’s decent when you don’t wish to venture far for a meal. There’s a hearty breakfast you can enjoy here, for just €12 though, and I recommend it whether you’re a guest or walking in.
Definitely visit this 7th-floor brasserie on Fridays and Saturdays, when a DJ takes over and the restaurant becomes a club around 11 pm.
The reason Volkshotel has a loyal following come day or night, is because they have something for everyone. Pop into their basement and visit Doka – which doesn’t open until 1 am, but it’s a must-go regardless!
Volkshotel guests are spoiled with live entertainment in-house, cocktails ready to be ordered, and all of these stops noises not making their way to any room!
Service, Safety & Atmosphere
With an egalitarian Front Desk that likely, collectively knows at least 12 languages, Volkshotel’s team is one of the most helpful and hardworking bunches I’ve ever come across.
From hydrating me when I poured myself through their doors after a harrowing airport experience, to checking me in seamlessly, and even aiding me with luggage and in getting my devices charged when the charger wouldn’t work, I don’t have a single complaint.
The team I dealt with was also knowledgeable, to a high degree, on in-house amenities, sites beyond the hotel, and where to shop remote working essentials.
Additionally: whether I was in my large, private suite complete with unique card access for the floor as well as the room, to my cosy cabin outfitted with similarly secure key systems, I felt very comfortable leaving all my gear to traverse the city.
Considering Amsterdam’s notoriety as an international travel and working destination, you’re unlikely to encounter any discrimination issues at Volkshotel at least.
Visitors and in-house team alike, are super chill!
- Make use of the hotel’s Things To Do rack in the lobby. It’s super helpful!
- Make use of the Metro and Trams to get around the city.
- The IAMsterdam Card is a convenient necessity to unlock the city!
- Cycle while stone-cold sober, people! (yes, there’s a story there!)
- Pack an umbrella. I’m almost certain it can rain even in the summer here.
- While the rest of the neighbourhood may not have much going for it, by way of sites, there is one thing to walk (or cycle) to that is only one block away: the Amstel River.
It’s a lovely activity to avoid the post-food coma.
- You need only travel (by Metro, bicycle, walk etc.) about 8-15 minutes to reach the trendy De Pijp quarter, from the hotel.
Head here for more nightlife the Amsterdam way. This is for those who want to live like a local and NOT like a tourist!
- Time of season matters – for weather AND price!
This is one of the coolest hotels for varied price points thanks to the different accommodation types here. However, during the low season, some rooms can go for between €69 – €197.
During high season, expect to book between €99 – €220, so definitely secure your booking at an optimal time for your budget.
It’s unique, comfortable, overwhelmingly chic, and such a travel treasure – as awesome a stay as the adventure beyond its walls.
The banks of the Amstel are made better for having it there.
This is the inclusive pick to make, where you are prioritizing the pinnacle of Amsterdam hospitality at an accessible price point.
In the face of a Eurotrip that may have so many other uncertain variables, choose the amazing hotel only 50 metres from metro station Wibautstraat.
By my recommendation: VOLKSHOTEL
Wibautstraat 150, Amsterdam, 1091 GR, Netherlands