There’s nothing better than a STAYcation am I right?! Not long ago, some friends from Australia came to Amsterdam to visit us, so Dennis and I took the opportunity to spend two nights in the city at a hotel so we could hang out with them without having to drive home each day. We stayed at the really groovy Volkshotel and absolutely loved it, so today I’m going to tell you all about this cool hotel and why you might like to stay there too!
About the Volkshotel
The Volkshotel (which basically translate to ‘folks hotel’) is located on the edge of Amsterdam-Oost (east), just across the Amstel River from De Pijp. The building was once the headquarters of the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant (folks newspaper) and Wibaustreet (where it’s located) was once known as the newspaper street in Amsterdam since many had their offices there. There’s now only one newspaper based on Wibaustreet, and the area is becoming much more hip, as evidenced by the Volkshotel!
Rooms at the Volkshotel
There are now 172 hotel rooms in the Volkshotel building, ranging from very compact to incredible uniquely designed special rooms with big bathtubs and quirky features. We weren’t planning to spend much time in our room apart from sleeping, so we just opted for one of the medium rooms which has a small ensuite with toilet and shower while the sink is in the bedroom.
Activities and Public Spaces at the Volkshotel
Canvas: Before even becoming a hotel, the Volkshotel building was home to Canvas – a restaurant and bar on the seventh floor with an outdoor terrace offering gorgeous views of Amsterdam-Oost. You can come here for breakfast, lunch or dinner (even if you’re not staying in the hotel) plus there are music or movie nights on Fridays and Saturdays. We didn’t go there during the evening but on our way to the badplaats we could hear that it was very busy, so it’s obviously a popular spot for drinks. There’s also an underground club called Doka which has events on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, but we didn’t venture down there this time.
Badplaats: I’ll be honest, one of the major reasons I booked our stay at the Volkshotel (apart from the price, good location and available parking) was for the rooftop badplaats or bathing-place! On the hotel’s rooftop, there are multiple big hot tubs that look like giant wine-barrels, as well as the cutest little sauna I’ve ever seen.
We came up here one night and it was absolutely heavenly to soak in the hot water under the stars while looking out over the Amsterdam skyline. There are chairs and a small bar here as well, although it wasn’t open when we visited (on a Thursday night) I gather that sometimes you can have drinks in the tubs! There are toilets and showers in the room just before you go outside, and I noticed a small massage room as well. The only downside was that because we arrived late at night (the badplaats is open until 11pm) there weren’t any extra towels. We’d brought the ones from our rooms but would have liked another as we had to go back to our room dripping all over the place and getting some side-eye in the elevator from people who’d been at Canvas! The badplaats is only for hotel guests, apart from on Sundays when anyone can enjoy them from midday until 6pm. Apparently, this is also when there are drinks and tunes to enjoy while you soak or steam.
Werkplaats: The lobby/reception area of the Volkshotel is huge; with a cafe, flex-working spaces, meeting rooms and lots of quirky details. It has an industrial feel with cement and metals as well as bright colours, groovy art and lots of plants. There are two cool little caravans where you can see items for sale that have been created by people who work in the Broedplaats creative hub.
What to do in Amsterdam-Oost
Since the Volkshotel is just on the fringes of Amsterdam’s city centre, it’s very easy to use it as a base for exploring. There’s a metro station less than 100 metres away from the hotel entrance and you’re also close enough to walk to De Pijp neighbourhood across the river. We didn’t spend much time at the hotel or area because we only had a couple of days to show our friends around, but there are a few spots in Amsterdam-Oost that I’m looking forward to checking out next time we stay.
Have you ever stayed at the Volkshotel? What’s your favourite choice of accommodation in Amsterdam? Let me know about it in the comments or pin one of these if you’d like to stay at the Volkshotel yourself one day!