Bob W
The exterior of Bob W Noord [Credit: Bob W]

Bob W opens its doors in the Netherlands

Finland / Netherlands: Tech-powered short-term rental operator Bob W’s growth trajectory is continuing with openings in two of Amsterdam’s most fashionable districts. 

Bob W Oosterpark and Bob W Noord, comprising over 150 apartments, lofts and rooms between them, will be exemplars of the operator’s approach to 21st-century hospitality, combining the quality of a hotel with the authenticity of short-term rental accommodation. Guests will be able to experience a “five-star, contactless service” in locally-designed apartments within the handpicked neighbourhoods.

The startup’s entry into the Netherlands means that it now has a footprint in nine European countries — including the UK, Germany, Spain, Norway, Greece, Italy, Finland and Estonia.

Bob W Oosterpark will opens its doors on Middenweg in Amsterdam. The rooms are housed in a former courthouse, a building steeped in history — where Napoleon Bonaparte was given the keys to the city of Amsterdam. The restoration process and necessary adaptations to the building have been carried out sensitively, retaining much of the original charm of the property.

Situated on Papaverweg in Amsterdam-Noord, the newly-built European flagship location for Bob W Noord consists of uniquely designed apartments and lofts alongside a rooftop pool, wellness centre and restaurant. The building is part of The Republica development, described as a sustainable “city-state” that generates its own energy, collects waste to produce biofuel and supports biodiversity with green roofs. Claiming to be the world’s first international climate-neutral hospitality provider, which double offsets all its emissions, sustainability is also a central value at Bob W.

A record number of tourists are booking overnight stays in the Netherlands according to Statistics Netherlands [CBS]. In the third quarter of 2022, Dutch hotels, holiday parks and group accommodations received a total of 14.6 million guests [15 per cent more than in the same period last year], meanwhile hotel guests increased by 130 per cent in Amsterdam over the same period.

Aiming to capitalise on the growth within the Dutch travel and tourism sector, Bob W is continuing to expand rapidly across Europe with its mission to offer the consistent quality of a hotel alongside the utility and authentic flair of a short-term rental.

Since being founded just before the pandemic by Sebastian Emberger and Niko Karstikko, Bob W emerged from organic growth  by acquiring Estonian operator Estonishing Stay last May, followed by Finnish competitor KOTI Hotel last October, while simultaneously securing €21 million in Series A funding. April saw the startup make its entry into the German market with the purchase of apartment rental agency Charly Hospitality.

To date, Bob W has raised €31 million in funding.

Niko Karstikko, co-founder and CEO of Bob W, said: “We can’t wait to open our doors to Amsterdam and introduce a whole new category of hospitality to the city.

“These apartments have been designed to satisfy the modern traveller’s desire to live like a local, be it for business or pleasure. We choose cities that make financial sense, match our brand and appeal to the next generation of both business travellers and consumers. Amsterdam ticks all the boxes,” he added.

Each location’s furniture, art and design are tailored to the destination to bring the flavours of the neighbourhood to the guest.  Interior design has been delivered by a soon-to-launch Amsterdam-based studio, Bob W’s local design team and international design agency Holloway Li.

Na Li, co-founder and managing director of Holloway Li, said: “Together, we aim to create truly authentic spaces that combine Bob W’s quality hotel-level standards with a nomadic home experience that feels intimately connected to the destination.”

Properties feature local artists, including custom Oosterpark-inspired art by designer Aafke Bouman, and locally sourced second-hand furniture. In addition, Bob W Noord will boast limited edition rooftop lofts featuring AI art, one-off Dutch design pieces, upcycled furniture and other features.

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