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Hotel Not Hotel 2.0

Old West, Amsterdam, North Holland Province

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Located in the up-and-coming Old West neighborhood
  • Multiple tram stops within a block or two on foot
  • Artistic and quirky hotel with focus on funky themes
  • Large, trendy communal space where guests can hang out
  • Breakfast, available for a fee, can be delivered to guest rooms
  • Kevin Bacon Bar open 24/7, serving great Thai food most nights
  • Bikes for rent
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Old West neighborhood is a 15-minute tram ride from center of town
  • Tiny rooms -- some lack windows and some share communal bathrooms
  • No air-conditioning

Bottom Line

The 23-room Hotel Not Hotel is a funky budget property located in the up-and-coming Old West neighborhood of Amsterdam. It's far from the main attractions, but public transportation is within a block or two and the area is home to plenty of hipster-friendly haunts like De Hallen. The hotel's distinguishing factor is its quirky design in which its tiny rooms are given irreverent themes and have eye-catching design elements. However, some rooms lack windows and others share bathrooms  The communal spaces are large and funky, and the Kevin Bacon Bar is open around-the-clock (and serves excellent Thai food). Travelers looking for a budget property closer to the sights could check out the easyHotel Amsterdam, but it lacks the character at Hotel Not Hotel.

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Scene

Quirky hotel with a cool, cozy, and youthful vibe

Housed in a large brick building with a central courtyard, this hotel is made up of a collection of completely different rooms with funky themes and unusual decor. The rooms are all set around a large open-plan communal area with several different seating areas where guests can hang out. The vibe is cozy and cool, with a quirky style and layout. The main communal space in the center has something of a cafe atmosphere, with music playing, and staffers and guests both using the large work space. Some rooms may pick up noise from this area, since it's right outside the rooms. Kevin Bacon Bar, the hotel's restaurant and 24/7 watering hole, also draws a mix of locals and hotel guests. The hotel attracts mostly young couples and groups of friends who are looking for the chance to bed down in the hipster-happy Old West. Its friendly vibe and large communal space also draws solo travelers looking to mix it up a bit.

Location

Located in up-and-coming Old West neighborhood, a 15-minute ride to city center

Located in Amsterdam's up-and-coming Old West neighborhood, Hotel Not Hotel is situated in a larger residential building that comprises mostly apartments and forms Piri Reisplein Square, which is still under construction in some areas. Local shops and cafes are within a couple of minutes' walk of the hotel, and there's plenty of trendy establishments in the area. This includes De Hallen -- a repurposed tram depot that's home to cafes, food stalls, shops, and a cinema -- which is a 10-minute walk from the hotel. The location is nice for tourists wanting to explore Amsterdam in a more local-feeling neighborhood, without being right in the middle of the tourist district. It's a 10- to 15-minute walk of the Canal District, and there are several trams stops within a block or two of the hotel. The Ann Frank House can be reached in 15 minutes by public transportation, and the must-see Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum in about 20 minutes. Schiphol Airport is a 15-minute drive from the hotel, or about 30 minutes away on public transportation. 

Rooms

Tiny rooms with irreverant themes, some with private bathrooms, some with no windows

The 23 rooms Hotel Not Hotel are all different, and each has its own design theme with quirky names like Crisis Free Zone, Fading Colors, Casa No Casa, and Secret Bookcase XL, which is entered through a secret bookcase. Designers were mostly from Collaboration-O, and trained at the Eindhoven Design Academy. Despite the wild names and themes, rooms are small and minimalist, although interesting. The Crisis Free Zone, for example, is a tiny wooden room housed in a giant church-like structure that towers over the hotel lobby. Wood carvings outside are designed to keep away evil, so that creatures such as vampires, ghosts, and bankers can't enter. The interior is designed to be romantic and warm, with pink walls, elaborate wallpaper, and church-y artwork. Two twin beds are tucked into an alcove. There's not much else in the room, and the bathroom is shared. Some rooms, such as Casa No Casa and Secret Bookcase XL, do have small private bathrooms. Fading Colors is a room with no color, just white walls and bed coverings, with a black bed frame that hides storage underneath. Its exterior, however, does have colors that flow into one another like in a watercolor painting. Unusual as they are, rooms don't have the same "wow" factor as the extravagant public spaces -- some even lack windows, so guests should choose carefully when selecting a room. 

Features

Daily breakfast, 24/7 bar with Thai food most evenings, and a terrace

Given the hotel's tiny stature, it's no surprise that there are limited features here. Breakfast, which is not included, is served daily in the Kevin Bacon Bar & Terrace, or guests can opt to have it delivered to their rooms. Options include pastries, meats, cheeses, coffee, and juice. The bar is a hip, funky industrial-style space that serves Thai food for dinner on certain week and weekend nights. Drinks can generally be ordered around the clock. In nice weather, guests can dine out on the sidewalk in front of the hotel. Otherwise, there's not much here besides bicycle rentals and free Wi-Fi. 

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Things You Should Know About Hotel Not Hotel

Address

Piri Reisplein 34, Amsterdam, North Holland Province 1057 KH, The Netherlands

Phone

31 (0) 20 820 45 38

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