Generator Hostel Amsterdam
What We Love
- The quaint, tree-lined Oosterpark setting
- Local coffee is delivered (on bicycle) to the café every morning
- The hostel’s former life as the zoological department of the University of Amsterdam
- Rentable bikes on the property—perfect for the 30-minute ride to Dam Square
What To Know
- There is no air-conditioning.
- For larger parties, there is a suite that sleeps six
- The property belongs to an up-and-coming hospitality brand with 12 hip hostels across Europe
- Guests under 16 are not allowed
The hostel gets a graceful makeover at this former university facility housed in a century-old brick building. The previous library (the bookshelves are still intact, though they’ve been stripped of their tomes) is now a dimly lit event space, while the lecture hall has morphed into a quirky bar with one major change: instead of displaying equations, the enormous chalkboard advertises drink specials. Even the original boiler room was left behind, though the old coal furnaces were removed to make room for a late-night basement-level club complete with a dance floor. Though you’re sure to spy a few members of the backpacking brigade here, it’s really purveyors of fine design—and an irresistible deal—that are attracted to the boutique-like flair of this pleasing space.
You’ll find all the hostel hallmarks—storage containers, a basic desk-and-chair combo, a plethora of plug sockets—in the twin and quadruple rooms here, which exude a clean and minimalist Scandinavian feel save for the accent walls, which are splattered with graphic prints by local artists. Opt for a room on one of the top two floors, which have floor-to-ceiling windows that look towards leafy Oosterpark.
The sun-drenched Nescio café, named after a Dutch writer, is a consistent crowd-pleaser—and not just because it’s open until 11 p.m. Skip the self-serve continental breakfast for a benedict bagel or their spin on French toast (slathered with peanut butter and jelly). In the evenings, there’s a reliable grab-and-go pizza and sandwich selection in addition to tasty health-conscious mains like zucchini noodles laced with mint and parmesan.
Amsterdam East is the city’s latest hipster haven, where speakeasies cozy up to traditional Turkish bakeries and the hottest clubs stand beside Surinamese supermarkets. The main draw here, though, is Oosterpark, a picnic-friendly spot that also features a number of historic sculptures and monuments.
How to Get There
While the rooms and food where great as well, the staff are definitely the best part about generator in Amsterdam. I had been dealing with a few issues during my stay and the staff were extremely supportive and helpful in so many ways and were always willing to assist in any way they could. They were extremely friendly and understanding and some even went quite out of their way beyond what would be expected of them for customer service. While I definitely had no complaints to begin with with my stay minus some unfortunate roommates, I have nothing but praise for the staff here. 5 stars for sure just for them alone.
I stayed at the Generator Amsterdam for 3 nights as part of a solo holiday through Europe. The staff and facilities were very courteous, professional, and clean.
I would not recommend staying here if you're trying to meet people while traveling. This location is that it's more of a shared-room hotel than a hostel.
From a solo travel perspective there are two major downsides:
- This place is too similar to a hotel and people are booking it like one. All 3 of my roommates were in town for work attending a large conference. (They left the main room lights at 1am and 5am.)
- The lobby and common spaces had too much space, which made it tough to meet people. The laundry room was more spontaneously social than the cafe. In 15 min at other hostels, I've connected with more people than I did in three days staying here.
Facilities wise this hostel is great. It's a clean, large building with friendly staff, lots of space and a cafe on the ground floor. Beware though, theres a couple rooms, not accessible by elevator, that you have to go through a maze to get to and that involve going up steep staircases with all of your belongings.
Vibe wise, it's severely lacking. As big as it is, generator is not a social hostel. There aren't any events to bring guests together, the bar is only open Friday and Saturday nights, and all of the "common spaces" seem more like places you go to have time to yourself.
Finally, don't do the breakfast buffet. It's not worth the price at all. The day I went there was no bread for at least 20 minutes,no toaster for the bread when it did come, and the scrambled eggs were cold. For the same price you could get a lovely meal at the cafe.
I'd maybe recommend for groups, but as a solo traveller I was overall disappointed with my stay.