When I originally set out looking for a unique Amsterdam accommodation I had a houseboat in mind. Staying in a floating hotel is different and definitely has a charming appeal to it. Being gently rocked to sleep while soft waves lap the sides of the hull, seabirds fighting over garbage outside your porthole. You know, that old chestnut. Turns out this dreamy scenario is a well-known one as the more I searched the more floating hotels I found. This made me think,
is staying in a houseboat in Amsterdam all that unique?
After all Amsterdam’s canals are littered with them. Literally. There is sinking and sunken boats scattered throughout the city’s waterways. This made me reconsider my approach, and thankfully so because this how I stumbled on the Hotel de Windketel, the oddest, littlest, boutique hotel I have ever seen – let alone the most unique Amsterdam accommodation.
This interesting structure was once apart of the Municipal Water Company complex and in the early 1900′s it was one of the most impressive works of architecture of the new century. Five buildings have been declared as monuments and have been restored or converted to apartments, homes, cafes, art galleries, and even a gym. The Windketel house, the smallest of the five buildings, sits alone in the center of them all.
Once a water tower, this cute little octagon was left sitting empty for years. Seeing the neglected building waste away in the center of the neighborhood they love, a small group of locals took it upon themselves to make one cute and unique Amsterdam accommodation. They saw the potential, rolled up their sleeves, and went to work. The outcome, a truly special hotel unlike anything else in Amsterdam and beyond.
I was lucky enough to chat with one of the Windketel saviors during my stay. Liesbeth came by to say hi and change out the fresh tulips. Nice touch. She explained the building, area, and the love her and her neighbors have for them. And why not. Situated in Amsterdam’s hip west end, the Hotel de Windketel is close to funky cafés, restaurants, and art galleries. It is also located steps away from a tram-line that can take you to many of Amsterdam’s tourist sites within minutes.
The Little Hotel That Could
Don’t let the size fool you, there is a lot packed into this little 3 story hotel. The main floor houses a cute kitchen that is more than capable for those looking to cook at home. The pantry and cupboards are stocked with the essential pots and pans and there are a few small appliances to help you make a great meal in your home away from home. Surprisingly there is a kitchen table that can seat a small family. Bonus, there’s also small water closet tucked away underneath the stairs.
One flight up the cool winding staircase you will find a cozy living room, perfect for relaxing after a long day of seeing the sights. Like the rest of the Hotel de Windketel, the living room has been recently redecorated and includes many charming touches like fun furniture and bookshelves made of books.
The top floor is reserved for the bedroom. As space is a premium the bathroom and shower have been cleverly incorporated to maximize size and comfort. Also to make sure you have a comfortable stay there is plenty of built-in cabinets for you to store luggage and clothing, making you feel right at home. Possibly my favorite feature are the ceiling windows which flood the room with natural light.
Overall we had a fun, relaxing, and comfortable stay in this unique Amsterdam accommodation. It was easy to get to and easy to get away from when we wanted to see Amsterdam’s attractions. For those looking for a cute and different stay while in Amsterdam consider this little hotel. Aside from it being in a great location and having all the comforts of home, this building was saved and renovated with love from people who want you to enjoy their neighborhood as much as they do.
That alone is the unique part in this unique Amsterdam accommodation.