Amsterdam is full of amazing hotels, but if you’re looking for something a little bit different, with tons of heart and a great vibe, you should definitely check out Hotel Casa.
Located just to the south of Amsterdam city centre but with great transport links into the centre, Hotel Casa lives up to its name.
I stayed at Hotel Casa in Amsterdam for two nights at the beginning of December 2023. My stay was part of a press trip with amsterdam&partners, but as always, my opinions are 100% mine.
As well as being a very comfortable and stylish 3 star hotel all year round, Hotel Casa is also home to 360 students for 8 months of the year. During the summer break, the students move out and the cleverly-designed and spacious rooms convert back to hotel accommodation.
I was a tiny bit dubious about the concept before I stayed there, but with its cool co-working space, coffee bar, great restaurant and rooftop bar, Hotel Casa is a world away from the bleak and run-down halls of residence that I lived in at while I was at university! I really enjoyed my stay there and I think it’s a great choice for a trip to Amsterdam.
About Hotel Casa
The story of Hotel Casa begins in the late 1950s. It was difficult for students in Amsterdam to find affordable places to live, so four friends came up with an ingenious idea; create a foundation to build homes for students that could be rented out as hotel rooms when the academic year was over.
The hotel operations would bring in money over the summer, allowing the foundation to offer the student rooms at more affordable rates.
Hotel Casa moved from its original building around the corner in James Wattstraat in 2010, but while the location may have changed, the ethos has not. The hotel is still run as a social foundation, with the objective of providing young people with an affordable home during their studies in Amsterdam.
What it’s like to stay at Hotel Casa
I said at the start of this blog post that I was slightly dubious about staying at a hotel that’s also student accommodation. I had visions of being kept awake by student parties; not ideal when your itinerary for Amsterdam was as packed as mine was!
I needn’t have worried at all; my room was really well soundproofed, and if there were any parties on either of the nights I stayed, I didn’t hear them!
While Hotel Casa doesn’t exactly separate student residents from hotel guests, they do make sure that both groups can use the building as they want to.
The floor I stayed on had both hotel rooms and student rooms, but the student rooms were in two of the three wings, while the hotel rooms were concentrated together in the third. The student “side” had its own lift, with direct access to the dedicated student laundry room and social area.
I liked the approach; it would have felt weird for us to be totally segregated but in reality this light touch felt like it was designed to meet both groups’ needs. For hotel guests like me, it felt like a hotel rather than a halls of residence, while I imagine for the students it means it does feel like student accommodation rather than like living in a hotel.
It’s a combination that works really well; the hotel has an 8.7 rating on Booking.com and there’s a 2-year waiting list to move in as a student.
Lobby, coffee bar and co-working space
The concept works particularly well in the lobby/co-working space. Hotel lobbies can often feel a bit sterile, but Hotel Casa’s feels genuinely buzzy and a place you’d want to spend time. I was very early for check-in, so I had a coffee at the East coffee bar and got my laptop out to do a bit of work.
I was surrounded by students writing essays, locals catching up over coffee, people just hanging out reading and business meetings. The whole vibe was very welcoming and inspiring.
If the area around the coffee bar is busy, you can head upstairs to the library, where there are lots of cosy nooks.
My premium double room at Hotel Casa was on the 8th floor with a far-reaching view of the canal outside and the spires of the city centre in the distance. It was lovely and big, with a king size bed and a comfy window seat. Everything was simple but stylish and felt very airy.
I stayed at Hotel Casa for two nights on a Thursday and Friday night, and slept really well both nights. I didn’t hear any noise from either the corridor or from neighbouring rooms, and the curtains blocked out all the light.
The bathroom had a big shower with nice toiletries and there was plenty of storage space. The hairdryer was stored in a bag in the bathroom and was powerful enough to deal with even my unnecessarily thick hair!
Every room at Hotel Casa has a safe, fridge, kettle, pod coffee machine and a big smart TV. There was a little book to tell me about the hotel’s story and some books that I could have imagined studying if I was one of the student residents. They were all in Dutch, but I appreciated the thought!
My room also had a view of the 8th floor rooftop bar, Gapp. Open from April to October, the rooftop bar serves drinks and snacks with the same great view over the city that I had from my room. I visited in December when it was closed, but I can imagine this being a really lovely place to hang out on a sunny evening!
As well as the rooftop bar, Hotel Casa has its own restaurant, East, which is open all day from 8am and serves Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern dishes, along with some Dutch specialities given a meze twist.
We had lunch at the restaurant and they prepared a sharing menu for us. Four of us were vegetarian and there was plenty of choice. I particularly liked the avocado open sandwiches and the cauliflower steaks served with sage and burnt butter.
East also serves classic cocktails. If you’re there on a Thursday evening you can celebrate “little Friday” with them, with one selected cocktail costing €5 all night.
There are two options for breakfast. We went for the buffet breakfast, which had plenty of options.
If you don’t have breakfast included in your room rate, you could go to to the East restaurant after it opens at 8am for breakfast bowls, omelettes and shakshouka.
Hotel Casa is located in the up-and-coming Amsterdam-Oost area. While it’s not in the centre, I travelled in and out of the city centre several times during my stay and it was really easy on the Metro, and as my I amsterdam City Card included public transport, it didn’t cost me a thing.
There are two Metro stops less than 10 minutes’ walk from the hotel (Amstelstation and Wibautstraat) and when I walked back to the hotel from Amstelstation after an evening exploring the Amsterdam Light Festival, it felt ok.
Amstelstation is a particularly useful metro station as it’s also a railway station. I went to Utrecht after my trip to Amsterdam and I could have caught my train from this station.
Even if you don’t catch a mainline train to or from Amsterdam Amstel, it’s still really useful to have close by as there’s a supermarket, a chemists, Burger King, Starbucks and a few other handy shops in the station building.
From Amstelstation to Amsterdam Centraal takes 10 minutes by Metro, and there are trains every few minutes. It takes just over 20 minutes to reach the Rijksmuseum, and 25-30 minutes to get to the Anne Frank House. If you’re brave enough to ride a bike in Amsterdam (I am absolutely not!) then Hotel Casa has bikes you can rent during your stay.
I’d recommend Hotel Casa to anyone looking for somewhere laid-back and comfortable to stay in Amsterdam. The rooms are lovely, the food is great and the communal spaces are really airy and stylish.
While it’s not in the city centre, it’s easy and quick to get everywhere you need to go, and you may be able to save a bit of money by staying just outside the historic centre. If you’re visiting Amsterdam in the summer, when the rooftop bar is open, it’s an even better choice – what a great place to relax after a day of sightseeing!
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I stayed at Hotel Casa, but I really enjoyed my stay. I loved the concept and the social conscience behind the hotel, and the room and hotel were so welcoming and comfortable. Hotel Casa is definitely on my list of hotels in Amsterdam to return to!
Do you have any questions about staying at Hotel Casa in Amsterdam? Let me know in the comments!