ne by one hotels, with the many precautions indispensable for our health, are reopening their doors to welcome back travelers. Among these there is a place that is incredibly special both for its location and for its philosophy of hospitality: Bunk Hotel Amsterdam.
The Bunk is an anomaly and fascinating cross between a high-class hotel and affordable hostel. The idea of its founder, Robin Hagedoorn, is to offer high-quality hospitality, reliable accommodation and also the luxury of privacy at a low cost.
The location is an ex-church dedicated to Saint Rita in a lively area in north of the Dutch capital. The exteriors of the church present it as such in simple and austere redbrick architecture, with just a small hot-pink neon sign at the foot of the door marking it out as a distinct presence.
The true revolution, designed by the architect Rob Salemans of Raumkultur, takes place indoors: under the brick arches and the wooden truss white cubes punctuated with small windows are placed as if they are floating in air. These are the Bunk Rooms, private rooms for one person and up to five people starting from €54. In the lower part of the church, among ancient brick and stone arches, the Bunk Pods can be found: 107 capsules for one or two people (starting from €24) placed inside a wooden structure that gives this “hive” a serene communal atmosphere in casual intimacy.
Both the private and shared spaces stand out for sustainability and technology. The mattresses, the ambient lighting system, the high-pressure mist shower for saving water, the organic shampoo and the fair-trade cotton towels are of the highest quality. Check-in is automated, the wi-fi free and fast and in every corner USB and electrical outlets can be found. The common areas, the gender-neutral bathrooms and large communal tables have been reorganized to ensure social distancing.
An intrinsic part of Bunk hotel was, and will be once again, the intense cultural calendar and artist-in-residence program that has been integrated into life in the square—a meeting place for locals, artists and creative-types passing by throughout the many lives lived by the building. Built in 1921, bombed in ’43 and reconstructed after the war, the church lost its religious role and first became a site of Universal Studios and later a municipal library.
Its latest transformation into Bunk Hotel came thanks to an almost-magical event its founder Robin Hagedoorn participated in: the legendary festival-non-festival Burning Man in Black Rock Desert (Nevada, USA). The experience of wonder, energy and also shared dehydration together with thousands of people gathered in the desert bowled him over. He left his job in urban renewal in order to create new and, especially, different hospitality and sharing spaces. Places with the right balance of quality, reliability and social responsibility. It is unsurprising that this mission was founded in a deconsecrated church.
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