Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Three Days in Rotterdam, The Netherlands


I'd been looking forward to visiting Rotterdam, the Netherlands second city, for a long time and it did not disappoint. Completely different from Amsterdam, this urban jungle lacks romantic canals but makes it's own drama with modern architecture, big open spaces, and more than a touch of the alternative. Rotterdam is an ever evolving city with surprises around every corner. At first glance the city might look a little grey but once you've scratched the surface you'll find pops of colour everywhere, especially yellow, which is fine by me as it's one of my favourites.

Here's my Rotterdam city guide.

Friday, 26 January 2018

HOTEL REVIEW: Stroom, Rotterdam


The second stop on our Netherlands road trip was Rotterdam, and whilst accommodation in Amsterdam is expensive, Rotterdam is a lot more affordable. As always, I was in search for an affordable boutique hotel, and Stroom hit the bill perfectly. I was drawn to the minimalist, industrial design of the bedrooms, and despite the slightly 'out-of-the-city-centre' location, the hotel was a dream.

Formerly an electricity power station, Stroom doesn't have the prettiest of exteriors, but don't let that put you off as the owners have converted the space into an industrial design haven. High ceilings, metal staircases, and exposed girders and pipes, the reception area is raw, fun, and evokes the brutalist nature of the city well. Next door you'll find the all day bar-lounge area where local beer and typical European food is served, including my much loved bitterballen. The area is cosy thanks to the soft furnishing, low lighting, and attentive staff. I got the impression that a lot of locals use the space to hang out and grab coffee.

Inside the 21 bedrooms the design softens but the focus remains minimal. Expect neural tones, minimal furnishings, and open wardrobes. The bed was big and comfortable, and the shower was hot and powerful. We went for the XL studio which was a huge and comfortable space. The shower was open so potentially not great for the more modest of guests, but from the bed you can't see it. Some of the bigger rooms have split levels, and whilst they do cost more, they aren't eye-watering expensive.

Our room cost 90 Euros a night, we were given a token for a free drink (each) from the bar, and it only takes 15 minutes to reach the city centre from the nearby tram station. I was delighted with Stroom and would consider staying again if I ever make it back to Rotterdam, which I hope to do as it's a great city.

Lloydstraat 1, 3024 EA Rotterdam, Netherlands

I took these pictures just before we checked out which is why the bed looks so messy. The cleaners did a much better job than me, promise.







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Sunday, 7 January 2018

PHOTO DIARY: Amsterdam, Netherlands, October 2017


Amsterdam was amazing and most definitely lived up the hype. I'd been once before, when I was 17, but we didn't get much sightseeing done so I was excited to get back to the capital of the Netherlands and find out what makes it tick. Steve and I had four days in the city and we squeezed in as much as possible. Museums, cafes, food, beer, you name it. I left feeling like we had achieved a lot in a short space of time, but also that there was still so much to see.

DAY 1