High-tech concept hostel with RFID wristbands for access and purchases
In a residential area near bars and restaurants
Pod-like rooms allow for privacy in shared spaces
Free towels and toiletries
Customizable Bluetooth lighting and streaming music
Stylish, self-serve lounge bar
Luggage storage room and vending machine
Free Wi-Fi city-wide and throughout the property
Location is outside the main tourist area
High-tech concept not for everyone
Breakfast not included
No private bathrooms
The two-and-a-half-pearl CityHub is a high-tech concept hostel with 50 private beds (called Hubs) stacked atop each other in a shared, futuristic space. Hubs are essentially closet-sized pods with double beds, a tiny patch of standing room, and not much else, and all units have shared bathrooms. App-controlled, customizable mood lighting and streaming music is a favorite perk among guests, but technophobes need not apply. Along with the necessary apps, there's free Wi-Fi in the building and throughout the city, arranged through a local carrier. There's also a swank self-serve bar, but breakfast costs extra. Travelers looking for a more traditional hostel experience and free breakfast, check out the private rooms at the Flying Pig Uptown.
Industrial-chic hostel with high-tech features for couples and other leisure travelers
CityHub is a futuristic hostel with pods-like sleeping quarters straight out of a sci-fi movie -- but they're set in an old industrial warehouse. Conceived by a duo of young entrepreneurs, it caters squarely to techno-minded youth -- particularly couples -- who don't mind cramped spaces as long as they can control the atmosphere. It also appeals to guests who want a small measure of privacy over the shared dorms in a traditional hostel. Hallways resemble spaceships more than a hotel, with narrow doors set in sleek, white walls that open to small private pods. Windows are only in common spaces, like the reception area and lounge bar, where travelers can mingle and serve themselves drinks paid for with RFID wristbands.
In a residential district near cafes and eateries, but not within walking distance of sights
The hostel is located in Oud-West, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Amsterdam's city center, but close to lots of cafes, bars, and restaurants. It's next to the large De Hallen complex, which includes a popular food market as well as a movie theater and a library. The rest of the surrounding buildings are typical Dutch residential terraced apartment blocks. Though far from most tourist sights (the Museum Quarter and Anne Frank's House are about a 20-minute walk), many of these areas are easily reached by bike in five to 10 minutes, or within 15 minutes via public transportation. There are tram and bus stops around the block from the hotel, and Dam Square can be accessed in about 15 minutes. It's about 30 minutes via public transportation to reach Schiphol Airport.
Pod-style rooms with Bluetooth lighting and music, but cramped and no windows
The only difference between the hostel's pod-style guest rooms (or Hubs) is whether getting into them requires climbing up or kneeling down. Each has a tiny standing room entry with shelves, hangers, and a mirror next to double beds (at floor-height or head-height) in a white-on-white space. The Hubs are equipped with Bluetooth speakers, mood lighting, and music streaming systems that are designed to be customized with an included app. There are no windows, but shutters open (or close) to the common hall. All have shared bathrooms with private toilet stalls, and shared shower rooms with individual rainfall showers. The hostel provides towels and toiletries free of charge.
Self-serve lounge bar, luggage storage, and free Wi-Fi, but fee for breakfast
The hostel's main common space is a stylish lounge bar with couches and communal tables. Guests pour their own drinks, and purchase snacks from the vending machine. Breakfast is offered for a fee, and includes eggs, yogurt, muesli, and fresh fruit, along with coffee or tea at a cafe across the street. There's also a smoking room and a luggage storage room. Guests are also issued the CityHub app, used to control room features, plus it has an interactive travel guide and provides free Wi-Fi city-wide and throughout the property. Travelers with children should be aware that kids under 12 are not allowed.