Until recently Eindhoven, The Netherlands’ fifth city and most famous for being the home of electronics giant Philips, had nothing to offer than a few bland business hotels. With the rise of its renown Design Academy, IT businesses and reuse of old Philips factories Eindhoven is now competing with more interesting options. Next in our Eindhoven diptych is the Blue Collar Hotel.
Hotel and hostel. Bikers and backpackers. Chic and raw. Blue Collar Hotel is everything, but decisively unique.
Happening. The hotel’s popular bar (shortlisted this year being one of The Netherland’s best looking bars), small theatre and adjacent concert venue creates a buzz. Rooms are quiet though.
The hotel is part of the “Klokgebouw” (Clock Building), dating from 1928, one of the many buildings in use by Philips in this area called Strijp S. An Eindhoven landmark, the clocktower is clearly visible from anyone entering Eindhoven by train from the north and for many a sign they arrived “home”. The Klokgebouw used to be home to Philip’s Philite or bakelite factory.
Intentionally left raw, the interiors reflect the old use of the building with soaring ceilings and huge windows.
As Blue Collar is both hostel and hotel, it offers a choice of accomodations. Guests can enjoy a bed in the large dorm or in the smaller ladies-only dorm and there is a choice of standard twin/double and quadruple rooms, twin comfort rooms (which have a sofa/seating area) and themed rooms. All beds have high quality mattresses, even in the dorms. Lockers purchased from a Danish school act as wardrobes and still have the name tags of former students.
Dorm rooms share an institutional-like common bathroom while the individual rooms have a built-in bright red cubicle with shower, vanity and toilet. Amenities: nothing we would write home about, so bring your own.
Difficult this one: do we go for the Jack Daniels room with -you guessed it- some sponsored alcoholic amenities, Tennessean imaginery and rocking chair or one of the two Burlesque rooms, either gold or silver. These have a jacuzzi bath and over-the-top furniture. Well, you decide.
Young staff are relaxed and eager to please.
Backpackers, shoppig ladies sharing the quadruple rooms, bikers, partygoers visiting the adjacent venue, designers exploring the area, anything goes in this place.
There is a small theatre at the back of the bar/restaurant which regularly stages concerts and plays. The hairdressing salon then doubles as a backstage room.
Wining & dining
Most of the ground floor is made up by the bar/restaurant with one end acting as a reception area. Outside there is a sidewalk terrace with basically not much to look at, that is if you are interested in the parking garage opposite and trains passing by on the side. Food consists of classics, tapas and bites. Drink and snacks for guests are available 24/7. The seriously hip Radio Royaal restaurant is around the corner, and so are a coffee house and ice cream parlour. Breakfast is served in the top-floor former canteen offering a fab view of Eindhoven.
Location, location, location
Located in Strijp-S, on the former Philips premises, this is the hip place to stay in Eindhoven. This up-and-coming area is home to many design-oriented companies, restaurants, shops and a biological market. Eindhoven city centre can be reached in a 20-minute walk or take the bus, which stops close by and also connects with the airport and PSV Stadium. Train station adjacent.
The rock&roll Blue Collar is just what this hip city needed.