A unique small hostel-style accommodation with some very unusual rooms
In my exploration of unusual places to stay, I was delighted to find, when scouring the hospitality websites, the Hotel Not Hotel. This is a very unique place with just a few rooms but they are all somewhat quirky, ranging from rooms hidden behind bookcases to a VW camper and tramcar – both of which are indoors. I was particularly attracted to the tramcar as it seemed to be a little larger than the VW camper …. but not by much.
When we arrived we were greeted by some friendly young people who were staffing the hotel. The youthfulness of the staff was typical of the whole place, which is more like a hostel than a hotel. We were probably the oldest guests by some distance.
The tramcar is very cosy! It essentially has just a bed in it – which was comfortable. There was, of course, no ensuite bathroom and no storage, but we were only there for a couple of nights so we were not bothered at living out of our suitcases. It was a bit like camping, but with a comfortable bed!
As only a couple of rooms have their own bathrooms the main bathrooms were communal. Being in Europe there was only one bathroom area, for both sexes, with individual cubicles with toilets and showers – some have both in the same cubical. If you are not a fan of mixed sexed facilities, this is not the place for you.
Attached to the Hotel Not Hotel is a bar-come-restaurant called Kevin Bacon – yes after the actor. They wanted the bar to be the Kevin Bacon of bars, with no pretensions and just getting the job done. I like it! Anyway, here they serve breakfast, which is not included in the room rate. In the evenings Kevin Bacon turns into a cocktail bar that serves Thai food. We didn’t actually eat breakfast or Thai food there, just drank the beer. So, we can’t comment on the food itself, but judging by how popular the place was, especially in the evenings it must have been good.
We were a little worried about our room being so close to Kevin Bacon and the noise travelling, especially with such a young clientele, but it never proved to be a problem.
We reached the Hotel Not Hotel by taking the train from the airport to Amsterdam and then catching a tram. It took us about 30 minutes in total. The public transport system in Amsterdam is fantastic and there was a tram stop about 2 minutes away from the hotel entrance.
The hotel itself is in a quiet residential area but there are plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars only a few minutes walk away. Getting to the central area of Amsterdam was also easy peasy – you could simply hop on a bus or as we did walk the mile and a half (two and bit kilometres) to get there.
Overall, we really enjoyed our stay at the Hotel Not Hotel. It was fun and had a youthful energy about the place. If you are looking for luxury, your own personal space and unisex bathroom facilities you will need to look somewhere else. I would definitely recommend staying there.