Crane Hotel Faralda
An unashamedly bonkers hotel in up-and-coming Amsterdam Noord. This three-suite property is housed in a converted crane and boasts spectacular city views. Opulent and obscure in equal measure, it’s ideal if you’re looking for something alternative, but best avoided if you suffer from vertigo.
Many of Amsterdam’s hip young things have decamped to the disused dockyards of NDSM Wharf and there’s a whiff of East Berlin about the neighbourhood, with its street art and repurposed shipping containers. Aside from a handful of hipster bars and restaurants, though, there are no notable attractions. For that you’ll have to head to the city centre, a free 10-minute ferry ride away.
Service & facilities
The crane’s eccentric owner, Edwin Kornmann Rudi, or one of his employees, will greet guest to hand over the keys and explain what’s what. Consequently it feel more like you’re renting an Airbnb than staying in a hotel. Nonetheless, staff are knowledgeable about the area and keen to pass on their recommendations.
Facilities are limited due to the crane’s restrictive architecture; there’s no restaurant or bar, but there is a hot tub on the roof, which has terrific views. There’s Wi-Fi throughout and, naturally, a bungee jump in case you fancy throwing yourself off the crane (a seasonal offering).
Each of the three suites has its own unique aesthetic, but they’re all bound together by the same admirable antipathy for convention. They obey similar layouts; a small lounge and wetroom (with WC) on the ground floor and a mezzanine-style bedroom with king-size bed and standalone bath. Large windows offer fine views of the city, but the curtains do little to keep the light out. The stairs to the bedroom are also perilously steep.
The decor is the work of someone walking a tightrope between genius and insanity. Mystique, the most gregarious suite, has an element of S&M dungeon about it with its bright red ceiling, black leather chairs and gold leaf bed sheets. Free Spirit is the most reserved of the three, though guests still wake up next to a stuffed peacock.
All suites are equipped with the usual mod cons – coffee machines, kettles, minibars, televisions and music streaming devices – while wetrooms boast rainforest showers and porthole windows, which allow you to admire Amsterdam while conditioning your hair.
Every room has spectacular views and because the crane moves in the wind guests often wake up with different vistas to the ones they had at bedtime.
Food & drink
The hotel doesn’t have a restaurant, but a champagne breakfast can be delivered to your room for an extra, ahem, €90 (£77) for two people. It consists of smoked salmon, ham, cheese, various breads, fruit, jam, orange juice, pastries and, of course, champagne. For €25 (£21) per person guests can have a hot buffet breakfast next door at the (comparably bland) DoubleTree by Hilton.
Value for money
Suites from €435 (£371) per night, excluding breakfast (€90/£77) and hot tub access. Wi-Fi is free. You’ll get more for your money elsewhere, but, well, this is a crane.
Access for guests with disabilities?
NDSM-Plein 78, 1033 WB Amsterdam, Netherlands.
00 31 20 760 6161