Meet Kiki, a familiar face at Hotel Casa for the past 3 years. She’s originally from the Netherlands, but spent her childhood and teenage years in the tranquil village of Tavira, Portugal. Now back in the bustling city, Kiki calls CASA home as she pursues her studies in Psychobiology. Kiki’s personality shines through in her CASA room, which she’s decorated with playful drawings and unique thrift store finds. She’s a great storyteller, and it was a pleasure to meet up with her.

Hi Kiki! Thanks for making time for us. How does it feel to live in Hotel Casa?

Kiki: “I found out I could live in CASA through family and after being put on the waiting list, I suddenly had the keycard to my room. Initially, it felt surreal, like living in “The Suite Life” from Zack & Cody (laughs). After three years, it now feels more ‘normal’ and it’s fantastic to always be able to seek support from reception or the student community team. In my initial year at CASA, I had no additional duties, but by my second year, I took on the role of buddy to get more involved in the student community.


Can you explain what being a buddy involves?

Kiki: “CASA accommodates around 350 students, with roughly 30 students per floor. To support this large community, students can volunteer as buddies. Our role involves creating a welcoming atmosphere by organising activities like game nights and cooking sessions in the shared kitchen our floor. Additionally, each buddy is invited to plan events on a regular basis for the entire student community. For example, I organised pumpkin carving and jewelry making sessions in the CASA student lounge. I also contribute to initiatives like the CASA student Instagram page and the sustainability team. It’s fantastic to be part of something bigger.”

Kiki Student Hotel Casa Amsterdam

As a student, what is your favourite free activity in the city?

Kiki: “When I think about unwinding, Oosterpark immediately comes to mind. It’s been our go-to spot with friends ever since I moved to CASA, and even now, I still think it’s the most beautiful park in Amsterdam. Next to that, I absolutely love scavenging through thrift stores and markets. Sure, it’s not exactly a free activity if you end up buying something, but it’s still a fun way to spend time exploring different second-hand shops.

And then there’s the goat farm in Amsterdamse Bos, a completely free and delightful outing. I really miss my dog from Portugal, so spending time cuddling with goats brings me so much joy. Petting animals just makes my day. It puts a smile on my face for the whole day.”

What is your favorite café in Amsterdam and why?

Kiki: “I try to explore as many different cafés in Amsterdam as possible. I often visit bar Bukowski or bar Basquiat. I particularly enjoy going to brown cafes. A friend of mine works at Café ‘t Mandje, right in the city center, and it’s such a fun pub. If you’re up for a unique experience, Café ‘t Mandje is not only a lively spot but also holds historical significance as one of the first cafés where LGBTQ+ individuals could be themselves openly. Plus, they had a quirky tradition of cutting off ties from male patrons, adding to its colourful history.”


Kiki Student Hotel Casa Amsterdam

We all have a guilty pleasure snack, what’s your go-to comfort food?

Kiki: “I really enjoy a serving of fries with Joppiesaus. It doesn’t get much more Dutch than that. My dad wouldn’t approve (laughs) because he’s a big fan of satay croquettes, but since I’m vegetarian, those are a no-go for me.”


Last question: What is your greatest tip to save money during your student period?

Kiki: “I hardly buy any branded products, but I guess that’s typical for a student. I prefer saving on expensive drinks rather than on healthy food that makes me happy. I almost never spend money on clothes because I buy everything second-hand. Tips for thrift stores? Thrift store de Lokatie is a nice one, and I also often visit Leger des Heils on Middenweg. Lastly, I really try to upcycle. For example, the vase in my room is actually an old pickle jar.”


Thank you so much for the Bright Vibes, Kiki

Kiki: “With pleasure!”



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