It’s no secret for fans of my Facebook page that I have been a little overexcited over the last week as I flew to Amsterdam to witness the opening of the new ClinkNOORD.
So imagine if you can the explosion of excitement that tingled all my senses when the official opening took place and I got to be there!
Where do I start? Stylish, modern, artistic, local, funky, essence of hipster here and there, a soundproof nightclub (a.k.a. The Box)… all of which contribute to the laid back community feel of the new ClinkNOORD hostel.
One of the most innovative uses of space I have seen in a hostel, ClinkNOORD have managed to create distinct areas within the common room without destroying the open and flowing atmosphere between these spaces.
Which of course adds to the social interaction between guests, even if they are in the common area for different needs.
Take the library for example. With the bookcase of my dreams, the library has been stacked with books and trinkets found in the local warehouse market that takes place in the NDSM Wharf once a month.
There is also a long table, with plenty of plug sockets, for guests who need to work or use their laptops to plan the next part of their trip.
P.s. the guy in the right of the picture below is Erik, a Clink guest who got caught up in all the opening activities and even ended up attending the party with the rest of the ‘VIPs’! You can read his story here!
I ended up working in the Atrium more than in the library, because it’s just such a beautifully bright space! Long cushioned benches have been lined up under the green wall, and the wooden picnic tables were hand painted by the Clink Team to give a local and fun vibe to the room.
If you’re looking for a small corner in which to tuck yourself away with a coffee and a book, well would you believe that you can do this on the staircase!
With all different levels ClinkNOORD have even managed to turn the staircase into a social area, with sofas, cushions, and an excellent view of the bar below!
You had to know this was coming! One of my all time favourite hostel bars is the Clash Bar at Clink78 but, surrounded by local artwork and lined with bar stools the Zinc Bar at ClinkNOORD may now have taken top spot!
Pulling up a bar stool as I usually do, I finally got the chance to meet Neil of Backpacks and Bunkbeds whilst waiting for a few other bloggers to arrive. As our work obviously entails testing every aspect of hostel life, we trialled the beers and the menu and (whilst I can’t speak for Neil) both get a huge thumbs up from me!
Soon we were joined by Little Travel Bee, The Little Backpacker, Indiana Jo and the Clink Team which meant the beer testing continued far later than I would have planned and I had to haul myself for an early-ish night in order to be fresh for my first full day at ClinkNOORD!
I have to point our here how lucky I was that beer pong wasn’t running that night as I would never have torn myself away from the table. Usually run on a Friday and Saturday night, the beer pong table is (cunningly) close to the bar and in my opinion is one of the best ways to meet other guests and have a great laugh before exploring Amsterdam at night!
If beer and Clink’s menu aren’t tingling your tastebuds (although seriously – you have to try the Clink Burger) then downstairs also hosts the guest kitchen.
A sparkling new facility with more than enough enough pots and pans to go around, the kitchen is long and narrow and therefore the perfect environment to meet other guests and mingle over the dishes!
With each staff member easily identifiable from their blue Clink t-shirt or hoodie (I’m still trying to get my hands on one of these!), guests at ClinkNOORD know exactly where to go with questions, queries, or even for a chat.
You can just about see the blue hood of Bas’ hoodie underneath his jacket on the left in the picture below!
One such staff member I looked for behind the coffee counter most mornings was Sandra. With more energy than most of the 18-35 year olds on a weekend break in Amsterdam, Sandra not only killed any chance of my early morning hangover with coffee and a smile, but I just couldn’t seem to be around her without wanting to bounce around to whatever music was playing in the common area.
But whilst it was only Sandra who had the unique talent of making me want to bust a move at nine in the morning, I found that no matter what the time of day or the staff member the whole Clink Team worked 200% to provide customer service that Clink Hostels would be proud of.
My favourite memory of my room comes from reading the Amazon reviews of sugarless Haribo gummy bears at one in the morning with my hilarious Brit roomies Frank, Dan and Ash… and falling asleep in tears of laughter.
I stayed in two 6-bed dorms which both had an ensuite shower and toilet, plus lockers allocated to each bunk. Both times I managed to get the bottom bunk (winning!) and each bed comes with a reading light, electric socket and USB plugs – which are a lifesaver for those of us who struggle to remember plug adapters (Jo I’m looking at you!).
All the showers at ClinkNOORD (including the extra shower rooms in the hallway) seemed to be wet-rooms, but there was an abundance of hooks and toiletry shelves to hang your clothing so it wouldn’t get wet with you.
The bathrooms were all really spacious, which is often overlooked in hostels trying to provide for guests with little space. As you might have guessed already, space is not an issue at ClinkNOORD!
I also want to point out the security in the room and in the common areas. As I mentioned, each bunk has an assigned locker which you will need a padlock for. If you don’t have your own then you can buy one at reception (it’s always useful to keep a padlock with you when travelling so it’s worth the investment!).
However, as I worked on my laptop in the common area a lot, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the hostel also has padlock lockers of different sizes in reception. So if I wanted to pop out for a cycle around the park I didn’t have to go all the way back upstairs to lock away my valuables.
Even better – the common area lockers are free! As is luggage storage in the basement if you want to arrive before check-in or leave a few hours after check-out.
Situated in a lesser known district of Amsterdam, I really can’t stress enough how easy it is to get to ClinkNOORD and how ridiculously close it is to the centre of the city!
From Amsterdam Centraal station, simply follow the signs for the ferry at the back of the station and take the one called ‘Buiksloterwegveer’ to Noord. From there the hostel is a five minute walk.
Can you imagine that the hostel is actually closer to the central station than the Dam Square? And if you’re concerned that you need to get a ferry, don’t be – it runs 24/7 and is completely free!
Mixed-dorm prices at ClinkNOORD begin at as little as €17, whilst a bed in the 6-bed dorm that I stayed in will begin at €24. Whilst these are average prices for Amsterdam, you’re not paying for an average hostel.
What Clink Hostels have managed to do with ClinkNOORD is to build a boutique and social environment whilst still keeping the family feel of their London hostels. And in my opinion, being part of the Clink family in a clean and modern hostel is well worth the cost.
As always I would suggest booking directly with the hostel through their website to make sure you receive the best prices and accurate availability.
Leaving ClinkNOORD was incredibly tough, not just because of the fabulous staff and facilities, but because the hostel helped me fall even more in love with a city I thought I knew like the back of my hand.
The Noord district of Amsterdam is an area I had never explored, and since my time there I can’t wait to return and explore more of such an upcoming and artistic area! I will write more about this soon, but you can get a sneak peek in the video at the top of this article!
I also gave newsletter subscribers an insight into the local art collectives that are working in conjunction with ClinkNOORD. If you are interested, you can read the newsletter here!
Noord… see you soon!
Lots of love,
P.s. I wasn’t the only blogger at ClinkNOORD for the opening! Click below for more…
- Presenting the ClinkNOORD Hostel Amsterdam – That Little Backpacker
- How Erik the Viking Found Valhalla in ClinkNOORD – Erik Rolf Møller
- ClinkNOORD – A new kind of social travel experience – Backpacks and Bunkbeds