Founded by a Scottish entrepreneur who built student accommodation for the University of Edinburgh, The Student Hotel chain offers modern and stylish properties all across Europe, with Amsterdam City being its flagship.
I haven’t been a student for a long time, and Dave being three years my senior, has been out of university for even longer. But despite never staying in student halls when I was at university (briefly), I’m certain they’re nowhere near as nice as the Student Hotel Amsterdam City.
Choosing the right accommodation in Amsterdam was much more difficult than I’d expected – mainly, I never realised it’d be so expensive. Most of the suitable Airbnbs I’d found were either booked up or cost more than serviced hotels, and all of the available hotels in my budget seemed to have poor reviews or were in terrible locations.
I really don’t like to spend more than I need to on accommodation, especially during city breaks – I’d much rather pay for a nice meal instead – but that’s not to say I don’t also want somewhere nice to stay.
Luckily for me, the Student Hotel helps you to live that champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget.
Located slightly out from the centre, The Student Hotel Amsterdam City is four stops away from Amsterdam Central on the metro.
The closest station is Wibautstraat which is less than a minute’s walk away, and trains run regularly into the centre from here. It’s easy to get to from the airport too, but you’ll need to catch a train to Amsterdam RAI first and change onto a metro from there.
There are some bars and restaurants nearby, but the surrounding area is much quieter than the centre whilst still being a walkable distance away.
It might look pretty average on the outside, but you’ll find the hotel has an abundance of personality as soon as you step into reception.
Bright pastel colours, modern furniture, stylish lounges and a vibrant but relaxed atmosphere all combine to give the place a grown-up, hipster feel. Unsurprisingly, the hotel attracts a lot of ‘millennials’ and young professional guests, but that’s not to say it’s not suitable or welcoming of families and other travellers, too.
I booked a ‘Grand Suite’ which comes with a king size bed, en-suite bathroom, large TV and colourful chairs and decorations which continue from downstairs.
The desk and noticeboard are decorated with student-themed magazines and guides to the city, with bike route suggestions, notepads and more.
Other than the fact it was nighttime outside, the room was near identical to online pictures.
There’s no mini fridge, but you get your own Nespresso coffee machine and two bottles of complimentary water which is refilled each day. WiFi is also included for free and works pretty well.
The bathroom was just as clean as the room itself, and had a walk-in shower which provided instant hot water throughout our stay.
The bed was a little firm for me but still comfortable, which is unfortunately more than can be said for the four giant pillows. They were really soft, but somehow the filling always got pushed to the top when you rested your head on it – it’s a small area which could be improved, but far from a deal-breaker.
The other thing we struggled with briefly was how to turn on the thermostat. A quick call to reception later and it turns out you can’t use it if the window in your room is open, which the cleaner had done earlier in the day. What a great way to help conserve energy.
Note that your online booking may not include city tax, which is an extra 5% of the cost of your room per night. This needs to be paid when you check-in, but don’t worry about taking out currency because the Student Hotel is a cashless building. To quote the guy at reception, “money is so old school”.
One of the things I liked best about the Student Hotel Amsterdam City was the great facilities it offered, especially bike rental.
For €9 a day, you can hire one directly from reception whenever you need it, and head out to explore the city which is just a short cycle away.
There’s a play area downstairs too where you can have a game of pool, foosball or table tennis, as well as a quiet study area where you can work on your uni assignment four hours before it’s due.
There’s also a gym downstairs, as well as ‘the Pool’, the hotel’s restaurant.
Food and drink
After a full day of sightseeing, we decided to have some dinner in the Pool restaurant one evening. The menu had a good selection, with a few healthy ‘superfood’ options as well as some more classic choices, although somewhat surprisingly there wasn’t a burger in sight.
We shared three tapas dishes which weren’t bad, but could’ve been better. I probably wouldn’t make a point of eating there, but it’s fine for a quick bite.
Continental breakfast is also served here each morning, which costs €14 each or €12 if you book it at reception the day before.
A modern design hotel with cool decor, great facilities and a relaxed vibe just outside of central Amsterdam, all at budget-friendly prices.
I’ll certainly be back.
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