When I was first looking for where to stay in Rotterdam, I ended up Couchsurfing. Then I found Hostel ROOM. After nearly four years on the road traveling the world, I have very few reservations about staying in a hostel. Others aren’t always as open to the idea of these shared accommodations. For those, Hostel ROOM is the perfect place to change their opinion.
The History of Hostel ROOM
Monique and Mirjam, two international travelers, founded Hostel ROOM in Rotterdam back in 2006. At the time, the city barely knew what a hostel was, so much so that city officials didn’t even know what they were asking for when they tried to get a permit.
The art-deco building they found dates back to 1923. They built up everything from scratch, and now have a world-class hostel in a world-class city. Yep, I think Rotterdam is even better than Amsterdam, but that’s the subject of another article.
Seventeen different private and dorm rooms are available with a different motif, each connected to Rotterdam in some way.
Private Rooms at Hostel ROOM
While I might have a ton of experience staying in dorm rooms in hostels around the world, I’ve only been in a small handful of private rooms. As I was with another traveler who had never stayed in a hostel before, I figured I’d ease them into hostel life with a private room. As it turned out, the last room available was the Love Suite, tastefully decorated with pink walls and photos from Gone With the Wind. The room was clean and a teapot was available with delicious ginger and orange tea.
The room was up on the third floor with a handful of other private rooms. At the end of the hallway were two private bathrooms, one for just women and the other was unisex for one person where you had the whole bathroom to yourself. I never had to wait for the shower, which is certainly not always the case at hostels.
However, the best part of the hostel was definitely the common room. It was huge. You could sit at the tables, on the couches or on stools at the counters. Books and board games are available for the guests, as is the fully-stocked bar. The internet is really good, making it the perfect place for digital nomads to work…like me!
No story about Hostel ROOM would be complete without talking about their pizza. Theirs is stone-oven baked and really good. You can’t go wrong with a large ham pizza for only €7 ($8). The free breakfast in the morning was also a real treat. I was raised with a lot of Dutch influence by my grandparents, and seeing the familiar chocolate sprinkles and morning cakes in the morning was wonderful. There’s also coffee, tea and other drinks available, and a few other options you can purchase for a few cents.
Hostel ROOM’s Street Art Tour
Hostel ROOM is built around fun and activities. There’s something new every night and walking tours during the day. I had the time to take their street art tour.
I had no idea how much street art was around in Rotterdam. In contrast to a city like Los Angeles which is full of graffiti, Rotterdam has beautiful murals everywhere. What’s even more amazing is that it’s always changing. New prices are always going up, while other pieces disappear when their buildings are torn down. There are several famous artists, including Dood Konijn, KBTR, Ox-alien, June, Eelco Virus, Same, Lastplak, Telmo & Miel, and many more.
One of the pieces I particularly liked was the giant mural of a kid with his head in a box, symbolizing our current society where kids spend all their time playing video games or on their phone instead of observing the world around them. It quickly became clear that many of the street art pieces around Rotterdam were made for a purpose with clear messages.
Another great example of this was created by the artist MeLikePaintng. It depicts a magpie with an engagement ring in his beak, holding it out to a flock of wild birds. Above the picture are the words “Sam will you marry me?” It was his proposal to his girlfriend, and she said yes!
As mentioned, some of the pieces are transitory. These two were at a construction site while I was on the tour. The black and white piece was created by famous street artist Bier & Brood, who have some of the larger pieces around town. When I came back a couple months later, a building had gone up in the empty lot, completely blocking the two walls that had been covered in art. I wonder if perhaps that new building will come down in a few decades, revealing the artwork. That would be cool!
In 2014, a campaign called Rotterdam – Make it Happen was formed to build up the city and really put it on the map as a tourist destination. One of the murals created for the campaign shows people climbing up the side of a multi-story building. At the bottom of the human ladder, there’s a person missing, and a series of bars and platforms are built into the wall, allowing you to climb up and fill in the gap!
Finally, there’s this magnum opus. Contributed to by several of the biggest artists, it depicts all the landmarks around Rotterdam. I think it was mentioned that the piece is still being added to as new structures are built.
Barista Masterclass at Hostel ROOM
While attending the Traverse Convention in May, I had the opportunity to attend a Barista Masterclass by Steven Tacq of Ketelbinkie Coffee Roasters in Rotterdam. The class was hosted in the common room of Hostel ROOM with over a dozen bloggers and vloggers in attendance. Only a couple of us had prior experience as a barista, but the class was perfect for all levels, taking us through every single step to make the perfect espresso, latte or cappuccino.
After an hour of instruction and discussion, we were each invited to make our own cups. I had no idea that a latte and a cappuccino were both made from the same cup of steamed milk. I had a lot of fun making mine, and now I’m looking forward to getting more experience working in a cafe somewhere around the world. I also need a lot more practice pouring the milk to make those great designs in the foam.
To check prices for Hostel ROOM and book your stay, please use my link for Agoda.com.
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Have you already made it to The Netherlands or are you headed there soon? Here are some more articles for things to do in and around Rotterdam.
- Getting Back to My Family Roots in Rotterdam, Netherlands
- Is Dutch Chocolate Better Than Belgian Chocolate?
- Exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site Kinderdijk
- Bringing Out My Inner Child At the Efteling Amusement Park
Here’s some extra reading to save hundreds on your next vacation or stage of your journey.