Bianca Brasdorp was way ahead of her time. A former marketing executive, she quit the corporate grind in 2011 and opened the first female-only hostel in Amsterdam a year later. With Hostelle, Brasdorp lifted the grubbiness of traditional backpacker lodging to a whole new sleek, stylish and safety-first level.Fast forward 10 years, and the number of women who travel solo is skyrocketing. Internet searches for “female solo travel” increased by 62 percent between 2016 – 2019. Women are expected to spend up to $125 billion on travel in 2021.
Hostelle was tailor-made to satisfy the needs of that market. A boutique hostel, it offers HGTV decor – hardwood floors, calming colors with bright accent walls, butcher-top tables, plants galore and contemporary art by local women artists. Bunk-bed living meets modern interior design. And it’s affordable – a bed in one of the dorm rooms is less than $50.
Even the property’s name is true to its mission. “Host” means to welcome and take care of guests, and “elle” means “she” in French.
Brasdorp says the most rewarding part of launching Hostelle was being able to provide a safe and homelike space for travelling women. She wants them to feel at home, as if they’re having a sleepover with friends. Bright and spacious with cozy nooks for reading and relaxing, Hostelle is the perfect place for time away from whirlwind travel adventures.
And Brasdorp is the perfect resource for locating the best black-related activities that Amsterdam has to offer.
“Visit the Bijlmer (where Hostelle is located),” she relayed by email. “That’s a predominantly black area with great soul food, such as World of Food.
“Visit Coloured Goodies, the only black doll shop in Europe. In the summer go to Kwaku festival (four weekends) and July 1st is Keti Koti, the abolition of slavery celebrated with a big festival,” she reported.
“Also attend the Black Heritage Tour of Amsterdam where you will learn more about the history of black people in Holland, such as the slave trade.”
And Brasdorp wants to reach out to stateside sisters: “I also want to plan a girl’s trip for next year to Amsterdam and Hostelle for black women from the US. We will do lots of activities regarding black culture in Amsterdam, with food, festivals and education. Please let me know if you want to collaborate or have suggestions.”
1102 DK Amsterdam
PHONE: +31 20 337 5707