On our stay in (probably) the best city in the world

On our stay in (probably) the best city in the world

Right now I’m in Tirana, the capital of Albania, and after having spent quite some time in places without too many people and traffic, I once again realise how much I love the energy of cities. Not for too long, just a few days, that’s perfect for me. Long enough to slurp in all of the greatness without getting too exhausted. Thriving on the ever flowing energy that all these busy bees in the city provide – and experience the cool stuff that happens when people are together and co-create. Tirana is surprisingly nice, and I might write a little more on that later. First I want to talk about something I’ve been wanting to tell for a longer time, but an endless range of deadlines didn’t really grant me time for it. Until now, sitting in a cute coffee place, sipping a nice latte which is agreeably affordable and having done all the work that I needed to do. It’s a homely coffee place which reminds me of all the intimate coffee places I’ve been the last year, but most of all it makes me feel at home.

About my home

Home is a word of which the definition changes constantly, to me. But when I’d have to point out an exact place it would be Amsterdam. And let this gem of a city happen to be filled to the brim with cute and awesome cafés and other places. As a freelancer without a fixed working space these spots used to be my office.

When arriving back in Amsterdam this August, after having recovered from the crowds and traffic, the first thing I felt so delighted about was to walk around and see all these nice places – and have a drink in one or two, my laptop burning in my bag, eagerly ready to get some work done.

The one thing that was strange is that although Amsterdam still really felt as my home, we didn’t have a place to turn to. Nothing that was ours, anyway. We were actually lucky to be granted a temporary emergency spot at one of the campsites there, because we hadn’t made a reservation and it was super high season. Staying at friend’s houses in the city wasn’t an option either, since hardly anyone has a spare bedroom in their cramped apartments. Let alone find a spot for Chewie to be safe. Or a parking spot at all, for that matter, since parking in the centre is near impossible, and really expensive too.

Amsterdam Teleport Hotel

Enter Amsterdam Teleport Hotel. We found the place online, one of the few hotels that allow dogs and have their own parking lot. Also it was notably fair priced, considered that almost all hotels in Amsterdam have rates you wouldn’t even want your mother-in-law to pay. We needed a roof over our heads and a bed, you see, because Chewie was scheduled for her minor repair. That was when we still thought the only problem was the head gasket leaking. We booked two nights and checked in, but before the first night we were told the mechanic who was supposed to fix Chewie, couldn’t manage to do it before his vacation.

Absolutely rubbish news, because it meant we were in the hotel for nothing. Funnily enough it only took us minutes to sulk over it. We looked at each other and said: let’s just make a tiny vacation out of this ourselves! We surely felt very comfortable in our own room with a nice new bathroom (having a shower and toilet for myself never gets boring, because it happens so seldom) and the staff of the hotel was so charming as well. The whole place totally lacked the formal atmosphere many hotels have. Instead there were candy jars by the entrance (and come evening, hearty snacks and beer), a pin ball machine and football game in the lobby and employees even bringing their own pooches to work. You could see the people that stayed here, intentionally did so, and the present laughter made instantly made us feel better about the hassle with our unfortunate rolling home. Which was safely parked out right in front of the entrance, without any extra fee to pay. And a free late check-out. Seriously, what more would you want in a hotel?

Those two days we enjoyed the **** out of Amsterdam, as you can do so easily and abundantly. Upon leaving we crossed paths with David, one of the employees of the hotel and responsible for marketing. We told him we’d loved staying with them and that we were looking at a second stay, because Chewie still needed her maintenance. Long story short, David felt very fond of our journey and arranged for us to be able to stay there a month later, for as long as we needed. The only thing he wanted in return was for me to show on Instagram what the hotel was all about. Nothing slick or premeditated, just how I experienced being there. I was happy to, because I’d already found it one of the best places to stay at when visiting Amsterdam. We would have returned anyway.

Smiling staff

Three nights, maybe four. That’s what we needed. We thought. By then it wasn’t the old mechanic who’d repair Chewie but Bernard van der Ploeg, a vintage Volkswagen van specialist, and there wasn’t just the leaking head gasket as it had turned out, but the whole engine which needed to be revised. But these old beasts are rebellious and as days moved on, it turned out much more time was needed. Each day again we informed the hotel staff that we were going to need to stay one night more. And one more. And one more. And every time they smiled and helped us and gave us a home when ours was under construction.

I could truly not have wished for any place to have stayed at than the Amsterdam Teleport Hotel. On the colourful bikes they provided we cycled to the city centre in only ten to fifteen minutes, while also enjoying the peace and quiet of sleeping just outside it. Also, did I mention the hotel is located in the west part of town? That happened to be where we used to live (I actually walked and cycled past my old house for more times than I can count) and I still find it the coolest part of the city. From Westerpark to the new cinema and food court De Hallen, from all the cool cafés and restaurants at the De Clercqstraat to being so close to the best techno club in town: De School.

Amsterdam is simply very awesome

With all my heart I recommend you to visit Amsterdam, if you could ever. All the people I’ve come across during my travels that had been there, agreed. The last one was the Albanian customs agent when entering the country where we are now. His eyes shimmered upon thinking back of the city that might be superficially known for its drugs and red light district, but is about so much more. When I think about Amsterdam, mine do too. So, if you ever wind up there, feel free to ask me for cool places to go at any time. And feel free to check availability at the Amsterdam Teleport Hotel. David told me that they have a nice winter deal going on, and from what I saw they’ve turned the place into a real Winterwonderland.

Super Winterdeal @teleport_hotels till the end of January! Discounted rates, free mulled wine, hot chocolate and grilled sausage for everyone!! Grab this great opportunity and book now!🎄🎅🏻🎁⛄️ #amsterdam #iamsterdam #holidays #christmas #hotel #hostel #christmastree #snowman #instatravel #travel #hotel #hostel #visitnetherlands #holland #cool #deal #budgettravel #hotelphotography #passionpassport #wanderlust #themehotel #arthotel #boutiquehotel #exterior #theme #goteleport

Een bericht gedeeld door Amsterdam Teleport Hotel (@teleport_hotels) op 12 Dec 2017 om 11:52 PST

I don’t see any reason not to go. :)

Some photos I took during my stay in Amsterdam and in the hotel, last October:

Traplopen in Dubrovnik

Traplopen in Dubrovnik

Starting to get used to this crazy life - again

Starting to get used to this crazy life - again