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Let me start off by saying that I love hostels. Last summer I hit the jackpot with my hostel in Barcelona. The communal feel, the new people I met, the drinking games that resulted in streaking (it wasn’t me streaking, mind you. I won that game); it was the best. The only downsides were the complete lack of privacy and waking up to the smelliest feet you can imagine. Even the cleaning lady came inside with a scarf tied around her face because she couldn’t stand the stench. So I thought ‘well, you have to take the bad with the good.’
No longer! A new concept popped up. Remember those sleeping cabins in Japan? Well, we have them too now, only bigger and better. CityHub, located in a huge industrial warehouse in the west part of town, has fifty individual cabins called ‘hubs’ (one cabin fits two people, easily!) and a communal room to sit, chat, drink and connect with your fellow travelers. I had the pleasure of staying there for a night and only hit my head twice, but that has more to do with my clumsiness than with the layout of the room, because my -much taller- companion slid into bed like he’d been sleeping there his entire life.
We could even change the lights according to the mood. For instance, ‘nature’ will turn the hub green and ‘romance’ changes between pink and red. There’s also an option to play your own music in the hub, with your phone. The bathrooms are communal but amazing. Great showers, wish I could have stayed there for hours. But that´s not all! Upon entering, you get a wristband with an RFID-chip, that let’s you get your own drinks and check in whenever you want.
WiFi? No, MiFi!
The concept is the brainchild of Sem Schuurkes and Pieter van Tilburg. They wanted a new hotel that fits the wants and needs of the modern traveler better (bet they stayed in a hostel with a smelly roommate once). That’s why they’ve incorporated an exclusive CityHub app that let’s you check in with your host to ask questions about good spots or public transportation. The app also includes a chat service between all the people that are staying in a ‘hub’, so you can meet up later or share your newfound hotspot right then and there. Data roaming costs you say? No, they thought of that too. That’s why you get a ‘Mifi’ hotspot, which is a small router that you can take with you when you explore beautiful Amsterdam.
All in all, CityHub is probably the best and most fun low-budget option for a stay in Amsterdam right now. I slept like a freaking baby there, so all that’s left for you to do is to book a ‘hub’ and start exploring!
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