Rotterdam is a vibrant and cool city. The architecture is eye catching and modern, the people are welcoming and open minded and it’s only right that when I was looking for a place to stay I found something that reflected the city in this way. Located in the aptly named Cool District, CityHub Rotterdam is a hotel with a twist. Instead of the standard hotel room with en suite, accessed by a bland corridor of blank wooden doors, here you have a hub. The space saving pods are paired up in the way two L shapes lock in together in Tetris, and the futuristic looking pairs are arranged to give easy access across the floor.
Check in is self-completed on a computer when you enter, with a staff member on hand if you get stuck. Just fill in your information, pick whether you’d like a high or low bunk and you’re good to go. I opted for a high bunk, which meant I’d have a couple of steps leading up to my bed. There are no keys or room cards here, everything is done with a wrist band. Once you’ve checked in and scanned your wrist band to activate it, you’re ready to enter the pod.
The pods themselves are the perfect example of space saving efficiency. Layered so that a pair of pods still takes less space than a standard hotel room, inside there’s plenty of space for a comfortable bed and storage. Opting for an upper pod, the steps to my bed formed part of the shelving, and as someone who hates not being able to get stuff out of my bag I found that there was plenty of space for me to essentially unpack. I’m not sure how spacious it would be for two people to unpack or change at the same time as floor space is limited, but this is part of the charm of the CityHub pods.
As the pods aren’t en suite, bathrooms are shared. On the same floor as the pods there are two toilets – one male, one female. Initially I thought this was it for up to thirty people, but I soon realised that these are just for quick access, as the bathrooms are on the floor below. A short walk down the stairs and you’ll find the separate male and female bathrooms. Not only are there plenty of private toilet cubicles – floor to ceiling doors, thank you! – but there are also a generous number of shower stalls. Sinks are on counters away from the wall with plenty of counter space, super helpful when trying to get ready in the morning. Plus there were extra towels available, so if you want to change yours just grab a new one and leave the old one in the linen basket. My favourite thing in the bathroom was that there was music playing. It always smelt pleasant and the music added a nice vibe.
Following on with the modern concept of checking yourself in on the computer, the lights in the pods are controlled using the CityHub app. Once you’ve checked in, download the app on the free Wi-Fi and you’ll be able to not only adjust the brightness but also the colour of the light strips next to the bed. Feeling like you want a chilled yellow to relax to, or maybe the bright red lights to give your room a Red Light District vibe? Go for it! The app also allows you to message reception about any questions or problems you have, and also for them to give recommendations on places to eat, things to see, etc. Great idea, and more fun than it probably should be!
The little touches at CityHub make it more homely and welcoming, feeling like a hotel but with the community vibe of a hostel. On the ground floor is a chillout area, complete with tables and chairs, and a self service bar area where drinks are charged to your room with the wristband. There’s a handy vending machine with things you might have forgotten to pack, which is such a good idea for a hotel to have. When you check in you’re also handed a Wi-Fi hotspot device that you can take out and about with you for free Wi-Fi while exploring. Little touches like these make all the difference!
I had originally booked to stay for just a few nights at CityHub, but after staying my first night I realised how comfortable the accommodation is and extended my stay. It was very easy to do, and after speaking with one of the girls on reception there was nothing further required. If I return to Rotterdam, I will without a doubt stay here again, and will also be looking for the same in other cities.
The Important Stuff
Hotel website: cityhub.com
Official rating: 2.5 stars
Trip Advisor rating: 5 out of 5