amsterdam has really got it all: fries, cheese, flower fields, weed, and a highly (pun very much intended) instagrammable hostel complete with caravan campers and a private lake.
lucky lake hostel is far from the average, and while it’s a few more dollar signs than an 8 bed, co-ed room full of strangers, the bikes, kayaks, free breakfast (on a breakfast bus), hammocks, full kitchen, tiny movie theater, smoking lounge and life size giraffe really make the price easy to justify. they even won “best hostel in the netherlands” on hostelworld this year 🏆
although it’s slightly outside of the city, after traveling solo through europe for over a week, lucky lake was a welcome break and change of pace. at first the commute seemed a bit overwhelming, but don’t let it scare you - they have a great shuttle bus system at Holendrecht station so you can get in and out of the city within 30 minutes.
when i arrived, the staff gave some helpful info about the netherlands, amsterdam, etc, including a list of “the most used dutch phrases at lucky lake” including: Kijk, een eend! (look, a duck!), Gezellig (it’s very cozy here), Mag ik een joint? (can i have a joint?) as well as Mag ik je kussen? (may i kiss you?) and Waar heb je mijn onderbroek gelaten? (where did you put my g-string?) - i cannot confirm which of these phrases came in handy for me personally ;)
i was the only solo traveler there when i stayed, and it’s definitely a social place. it would be a great choice if you’re traveling as a couple or in a small group to split costs - the communal kitchen and the “lucky lounge” (the smoking room) are popular spots.
there are about 30 semi private/private trailers and cabins, and there are 4 ‘dorm style’ rooms with multiple beds which are still infinitely nicer than a typical hostel dorm room.
ducks come up from the lake and walk around, i woke up to quacks outside my door every morning but can’t blame em for wanting to hang out. there’s also a hostel cat, and i’m down for any place that has a cat who i can chase to try to force to love me.
on my second night i was getting into the solo travel loneliness feels and i ended up smoking and playing cards with a bunch of girls who worked on staff. the staff is a group of 20-somethings who come from all over the world to work for the season (usually may - october), plus they get to live there in their own caravans. this night was one of the best memories from the month i spent traveling - to have this shared experience with a group of girls from spain, bermuda, ireland, iceland, namibia, and italy, just laughing and playing cards and eating weird dutch candy.
there’s a full outdoor kitchen so you can cook your own meals - i didn’t end up using it, but i did go for the late night €1 cheese toasties (a grilled cheese but with a cuter name because everything is better and cuter in europe) which you can get with sweet chili sauce (i mean, wow)
because it wasn’t quite warm enough to swim, paddleboard or kayak in the lake, i spent a lot of time out here reading on these beanbags with this giraffe. you can also rent a bike and explore the small villages around the hostel - a great chance to see the real dutch countryside if you’ve been tourist-ing around amsterdam.