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Site of the week: Volkshotel

A public display of affection for a hotel website brimming with enough character to inspire “getting a room”



In 1981 the BBC’s Arena programme took its cameras into the hallowed halls of New York’s Chelsea Hotel. As a residence famously favoured by artists, musicians, socialites and eccentrics, what followed was a fascinating insight into the stories such a building might possess.

This is precisely the vibe you get from this new site for Amsterdam’s Volkshotel which underlines a fierce sense of individuality. Quirky, sketchy visuals and slightly comical animation kicks off the intrigue, before the content seems to focus most on projecting Volkshotel as a creative hang-out. Is it a gallery, a library, nightclub or place to sleep? As convenient to book and enjoy maybe, but Premier Inn this isn’t. “The hotel has many facets to highlight, thanks to the diversity of building-tenants as well as the history of the newly restored building”, says Magnus Löwing Swahn, design director at Your Majesty Amsterdam.

“We decided to approach the project from a heritage point of view, which means we applied a publishing platform solution rather than a traditional hotel website structure. We created a framework that provides each of the tenants their own space to express themselves, while still residing within the Volkshotel brand. In addition, we invited local artists to create videos that highlight and distinguish each tenant. Using CoffeeScript, SASS and Compass through Gulp, we were able to work fast and iterative.”


• The website feels very bespoke, unique and the antithesis of a typical and generic hotel chain


• Checking availability and actually booking with Volkshotel is still easy, as it links out to a secure booking system