Stayokay Vondelpark: Better Than Okay
One thing I’ve learned about myself on this Euro-Trip is that ya girl is not a fan of “roughing it.” Don’t get me wrong, by no means do I need a room at a 5-star hotel to feel at ease. It’s not THAT serious, LOL! All I truly need is a clean bed/bathroom, a decent wifi connection and I'm gucci. I’m not saying I’m going to have a Meredith Blake breakdown (Parent Trap reference) without these things, but not being comfortable where I’m staying can definitely have an impact on my experience. At the end of a long day the ability to decompress and unwind is something you really cherish while traveling, and that's why if you’re ever in Amsterdam I would highly recommend staying at Stayokay Amsterdam Vondelpark.
Prior to our trip to Amsterdam we had stayed with friends and rented out Airbnb's, making Stayokay my first stay in a hostel. I honestly couldn't have had a better first time experience. Upon our arrival Marta, the hostel concierge, greeted us with such a warm smile that I knew we were in for a good week.
Where do I start? From waking up in the comfortable bed, to the delicious (and free) breakfast every morning, to the cool but cozy restaurant/bar, Stayokay really had it all. The lounge area and room had great wifi, the bathrooms were always clean, it’s located right outside the beautiful Vondelpark and a great distance from the center of Amsterdam. Without a doubt, Stayokay provided me with the comfortable nest I needed after a day of exploring.
I was even able to drag myself out of bed a couple of times to go for a run through Vondelpark. *pats self on back*. This usually ended with me getting lost, something I’d normally fear if I wasn’t surrounded by so much beauty, and running a couple more miles than I had anticipated.
We’d then spend the day walking up and down the the canal-lined streets, breathing the crisp fall air and stumbling into cozy coffee shops to escape the rain. I’d normally reject the idea of exploring a city in the rain (that LA mentality doe) but there’s something so comforting about the streets of Amsterdam, I didn’t mind it. One day Lucy and I took the free Ferry across the river to Noord and discovered this cool restaurant, Pllek, built entirely out of shipping containers! Like whaaa!? Lucy and I tried to do more grocery shopping and eat meals on-the-go in Amsterdam, but you know we had to hit up a couple of the foodie spots ;). If you’re looking for a quick and healthy bite I'd highly recommend SLA! Or if you have a bit more time to enjoy an acai bowl with a side of ambiance PLUK is da spot! Lucy also took me to an incredible Greek restaurant that her and her family had been to the last time she was in Amsterdam called Oresti’s Taverna. It was easily the best Greek food I had ever eaten AND I was able to meet Oresti himself! It was such a special night.
Amsterdam is full of gems, and although the city is quite small, I think it would take me forever to discover all of them. If you ever have the chance to visit this cozy, canal-filled city I would highly recommend you do so. And if you’re looking for a comfortable place to call home at the end of the day, I would DEFINITELY recommend you hit up Stayokay Vondelpark. :)