We have a new hostel in Rotterdam: King Kong! Already a king amongst hostels with a name like that. The hostel is located in the vibrant and cool Witte de Withstreet. We were present at the King Kong Sleepover Opening Party.

For the Dutch: Vind hier het Nederlandstalige verslag.

King Kong Hostel – This could be done better…

“I slept in many hostels and thought: This sucks. This could be done better.” says Ron Sterk, co-owner of the King Kong Hostel. We’re sitting at one their cosy picknick tables. “A hostel has to be clean and safe. Big lockers, instead of those small ones. A good shower.” This is how the idea of King Kong grew.

The King Kong Hostel opened her doors early March in the cool Witte de Withstreet. The Witte de Withstreet is one of Rotterdams most vibrant areas with bars, small international eateries, restaurants, art galleries, designer shops and clubs. In this street, Ron Sterk is also known for two other successful establishments: ‘NRC’ and ‘de Witte Aap (translation: the White Monkey). ‘De Witte Aap’ was declared ‘Best Bar in the World’  by Lonely Planet in 2009. King Kong is in good company.

Lobby King Kong Hostel. ©Bunch of Backpackers.
Lobby King Kong Hostel. ©Bunch of Backpackers.

From sex club to hostel

Former notorious residents of the building in which King Kong Hostel houses include a tattoo shop, an illegal casino and a sex club. Joel Ferdinandus, general manager of the hostel, proudly shows that some elements of those times are now processed in the interior of the hostel (e.g. mirrors from the sex club). It all adds to the vibe of King Kong Hostel.

A quirky mix

The hostel is a quirky mix of hip, vintage, industrial, calm, luxurious and most importantly ‘Rotterdams’. Throughout the hostel you find many great artworks from local artists. All rooms in the hostels have their own unique cool design: from the large top floor dorm to the smaller private rooms. The top floor dorm looks like an old style gym. The risk of this dorm is that may become a bit noisy at night. The gym equipment stuff may just be too tempting for some (drunken) guests! The smaller private rooms also have themes and are often decorated by local artists. Rooms are equipped with useful features such as your own plug, reading light, a case for your backpack and an en-suite bathroom

Art Sander Bokkinga. ©Bunch of Backpackers.
Art Sander Bokkinga. ©Bunch of Backpackers.
Art in King Kong Hostel. ©Bunch of Backpackers.
Art in King Kong Hostel. ©Bunch of Backpackers.

Hangover basement 

However, chances are small you will spend much time in your room since the communal areas of King Kong are you just to inviting. King Kong has a great chilled-out lobby with wi-fi, a ministore (24-h vending machines), a DIY-kitchen, a green roof garden for a BBQ-night in the summer, bicycle hire, a reading table and a relaxed ‘hangover’ basement where you can watch a movie or go wild during a karaoke session with for example Willem Philipsen (Musician, King Kong crew). In the future they also plan to have their own lemonade bar.

Outside chill area King Kong Hostel. ©Bunch of Backpackers.
Outside chill area King Kong Hostel. ©Bunch of Backpackers.

Get tips from locals!

King Kong is suitable for solo travelers thanks to large and cosy communal area’s with big tables, making it easy to connect to other travelers. But, big groups will also feel at home here! Rotterdam was featured in Rough Guide’s top 10 cities 2014. It’s a great city to visit with a unique mix of old and new, great architecture and original local initiatives such as pop-up bars and shops. King Kong’s proximity to the shopping district, the Museumpark and the Central Station make it the perfect location for exploring the city (tip: do it the Dutch way, rent a bike!).

Most of the King Kong crew are enthusiast locals, ready to give you tips about their city. From new pop-up stores, hipster parties and the best sightseeing spots: they know everything. Matthijs Jansen (Experienced traveler, King Kong crew) always asks the interests of his guests, so he can give them specific tips. “If someone loves architecture, I recommend visiting the Dutch Architecture Institute or a visit the new Market hall”.

We love it here…!!!

At the Official Opening Secret Afterparty in room 1.05 of the hostel one of the hostelguests, Elisa from England, blares in my ear “This hostel is amazing! We love it here! Everyone is nice. They even made us popcorn!!!” And we agree.

Crowd in front of the King Kong Hostel. ©Bunch of Backpackers.

Bunch of Backpackers Itinerary for a night out in the ‘Witte de Withstreet’ after which you can literally crawl back to your bed in King Kong

17.00 Drinks in the NRC.
18.00 Italian food at Oliva or a giant hamburger at Hamburg.
20.00 ‘Pubcrawl’ Proeflokaal Reijngoud, Tikibar, De Witte Aap & Het Zwarte Schaap.
00.00 Back to the NRC to dance and sweat in its basement.
01.30 Club Blender.
04.00 After drink at the ‘Oase Bar’.
05.00 Sandwich at the Warung Mini or a ‘Kapsalon’ (local specialty) at the Jaffa.

King Kong Hostel details

Hostel’s Website: www.kingkonghostel.com
Telephone: +31 (0)10 8188778
Beds from 16,50 euro

Check out the availability here! 

We love to hear about your experiences! Have you stayed in the King Kong Hostel? Write a short review in the comments! 

Recommended further reading
Visit Giethoorn (from Amsterdam), the most beautiful village in the world
Coolest hostel in The Hague: The Kingkool Hostel
The best multiple day music festivals


  1. Great review Bob. It sounds as though the owners have put a lot of thought into this and learnt from the failings of other hostels. If the set up is such that it encourages a party atmosphere I dare say it might be difficult to get a quiet night’s sleep.

    Overall though they’ve chosen a great name. You wouldn’t forget it in a hurry.

  2. SWEET!
    Very nice post and i love what they have done with this place! The look and feel of it. So “un-stereo-type-hostellish”!
    Haha, like the photograph of you ^_^ .
    Greets, Mijntje.


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