First of its kind, Zoku is defining its own specialty hotel category where work meets play — think hybrid of AirBnB and WeWork. The rooms are designed as home offices, and the division of space puts focus on work-life balance and sustainable living. Located in East Amsterdam in a 70’s-style office building, the property doesn’t even look like a hotel (Zoku happens to share the building with WeWork). Based on the square footage, I thought the rooms would be small, but our XL loft room felt homey and spacious because of the clever design. The ceilings are high, and the bed is located in the upper mezzanine of the loft that can be accessed by a retractable staircase built into the storage space beneath the bed. This allows for more living area so the couch, large dining/work table and kitchen offer ample space for guests to relax, hangout, work, or entertain. The furniture is by one of my favorite Danish design companies, Muuto, which is known for blending functionality and aesthetics. The kitchen is well-stocked with dishes, utensils and a dishwasher, so it’s easy to have meals in your room — Cyn and I enjoyed leisurely breakfasts at “home” every morning. On the top floor of the hotel are the “social spaces,” where residents come to eat, drink, work, hang out, play and interact. Though the restaurant and bar have set hours, the social spaces are open around the clock, and there always are people hanging out, so it has an authentically cozy, communal feel. The staff at Zoku, referred to as sidekicks, are friendly and enthusiastic kindred spirits who are happy to assist in any way they can. Getting recommendations from a sidekick is like asking your trusted local friend for places to eat or visit — word-of-mouth endorsements from the tried and tested. In short, Zoku succeeds as more than just a lodging place; it’s where global travelers can find connection, creativity and comfort. Zoku also has a bit of a DIY feel — for short stays, the rooms are cleaned every other day, but on each floor, there is a pantry where additional heaters or rice cookers, linens, office supplies and cleaning products are located. On most review sites, Zoku garners impressive ratings. After my stay, I understand why. It’s a 10 out of 10 for me.