We entered the hostel via a freshly laid red carpet, after collecting our name stickers, we were presented with a bag of drink. Yes, you read that right a bag, this wasn’t any old drink either, this was green absinthe with a strawberry sweetener attached in a syringe. I should also probably mention the guys serving these drinks were dressed in lab coats and goggles. It was at that moment I knew the ClinkNOORD launch party was going to be like nothing I had ever attended before.
The making of ClinkNOORD
I was in Amsterdam to check out the newest addition to the Clink hostels chain, I’d visited their 261 branch in London back in April and had loved the fresh design and signage. I was keen to see how their first hostel outside of London would fair and it is safe to say I was blown away. The ClinkNOORD was built from the heart of what Clink stands for, this means that 20% of the hostel is social space encouraging people out of their rooms and to interact with other travellers. The interior design is inspired by the city itself and the local area of Amsterdam NOORD. The idea is for guests to be inspired by the quirks of the city inside the hostel that it will make them want to get out and explore.
All the work on ClinkNOORD was done by Dutch people, that is still visible today with local artists work decorating those all important social spaces. The aim of this huge hostel was to provide efficient rooms which are part of the ‘new generation’ style of hostel. Each bed has a plug, USB port and light above it, some rooms also having a toilet and shower within where as others only have shared facilities. They have a range of room types from 16 bed dorms (female and mixed) to private doubles and the price reflects this.
They don’t aim to be a 5* hotel but there were certainly moments during my stay where I forgot I wasn’t in a 2 or 3* hotel. ClinkNOORD is located a short ferry ride from the central station, the surrounding area is a very up and coming artsy district within an old port area. This was very apparent from our tour of the NOORD area of Amsterdam. The guys at Clink have great relationships with their neighbours too and can recommend a wealth of businesses locally.
ClinkNOORD has all of the facilities you would expect from a hostel: self catering kitchen, laundry room, easy reach from public transport, friendly staff, free wifi (which is VERY good), clean toilets and showers, lockers in each room, key card operated doors and more. There is also an onsite bar and cafe which does great food at reasonable prices. They offer a buffet breakfast with hot and cold options (including drinks) for €6.90 which is certainly worth the money. And we cannot forget those all important social spaces including an auditorium and library.
Lastly the design of this hostel goes beyond your typical backpackers budget accommodation, the effort put into making this place speak Amsterdam is truly impressive. From the stained glass windows to bikes in the lobby, ClinkNOORD has it all. Furthermore I was please to see the funky signage I loved so much in London 261 was present here.
Rates start from €17 a night for the cheapest dorm with shared bathroom to €100 per a night for a private double with ensuite.
This chain of hostels are not only about providing beds to people but about building a platform on which creatives such as bands and artists can be supported. Their idea for the future is to be able to offer bands free accommodation in exchange for them receiving a gig space to play in. Or to house artists in residence who will provide art work for the walls of the hostel in a gallery. There is so much they can offer with the space inside ClinkNOORD and these guys certainly do not need any more ideas. One such idea is the c-lab where creatives can send in proposals on interesting ways the space could be used, this would add yet another dimension to the hostel. The first exhibition in this space is of local artists work from XYZ Studios.
The Launch Party
I cannot present to you the ClinkNOORD without telling you about the incredible party these guys threw for the opening. From a GIF booth to live music from local bands to incredible cocktails and out of this world food experiences. I could talk to you all day about the painting I did during the opening party or the frozen popcorn I ate but instead I’ll tell you through the below series of pictures.
The evening began with absinthe cocktails and nibbles all served by men and women in lab coats.
After a little warm up drink and speech from the mayor we began tucking in to expertly made cocktails at a very toxic looking bar.
To finish off the night there was music from local bands: Gallow Street – an incredible brass band and CUT_ a much more electric affair. Both bands preformed in the ‘box’ space which is a totally sound proof room and could even be used as a nightclub which would not disturb other guests.
I cannot thank ClinkNOORD enough for inviting me to their opening and giving us the low down on their venture into the world of hostels. While I was travelling in Australia and New Zealand I became fond of several chains run over there but am still yet to find a European chain which live up to the same standard, I think Clink might just be it. Watch our for them in the future.