Overhaul of an outdated urban hostel location
Stayokay was founded in 1929 as the Dutch Youth Hostel (NJHC). In 2003, they changed their name to Stayokay. Since then, the organisation has called its branches ‘hostels’. Stayokay is the largest provider of budget accommodation in the Netherlands and offers approximately 1 million overnight stays per year.
In addition to backpackers (mainly in Amsterdam), the organisation also focuses on young families, seniors and groups. Some hostels also have meeting facilities. Stayokay has locations throughout the Netherlands – from the Wadden Islands to inner cities. Some of the locations are housed in unusual buildings.
Stayokay believes that you gain the most valuable experiences when you go out and meet people. In fact, the phrase Fill your life with experiences, not things could have come straight from Stayokay. That’s why the company develops comfortable hostels that not only offer rooms and beds, but also a cool place to hang out, curated events, and great food and drinks. The hostels are also a great place to work.
Stayokay wanted to capitalise on the growing market of people looking for meaningful experiences during their travels. At the same time, they wanted to be seen as the type of hostel that accommodates this style of travel. They came to DAY for help renovating some of their urban locations. The first one – Stayokay Oost in Amsterdam – needed a completely new spatial and interior transformation and overhaul.
Photography by: Taco van der Werf
The inspiration for the experience concept came from the hostel’s surroundings. Amsterdam Oost is a very lively, colourful and multicultural neighbourhood with many local businesses and, of course, the Tropenmuseum (Museum of the Tropics). DAY has now brought this local colour and flavour to life in the Amsterdam Oost hostel.
We redecorated the entire ground floor to incorporate a much cosier, open atmosphere. We integrated a colourful concept throughout the interior design and the choice of furniture. We also used a striking mix of patterned wallpaper to give the bar, lounge, dining rooms and meeting rooms a modern urban look. Finally, we brightened up the bedrooms with quirky illustrations created especially for the location, depicting interesting objects and facts about the area.
To keep the whole project affordable and within budget, we reused some of the original features and materials, such as the tiles from the dining room floor and some of the lighting.
As a result, Stayokay Oost is now a distinctive and unique place to be, with lively and cosy communal areas in which people feel relaxed and inspired to spend their time.