Inn on the Lake
- Style Verdant-gardened vicarage
- Setting Waterside in Waterland
With wood-burning fires, 17th-century charm and an enviable waterside location, Inn on the Lake hotel is a classic Dutch B&B located a breezy 10 minutes from Amsterdam. With its original beamed ceilings and a bright sun porch, this former vicar's home is appealing in all seasons. In winter, the lake freezes for ice-skating; in warmer months, the blooming gardens are a fragrant retreat from the cyclist-clogged city streets.
Need to know
- Rooms Four suites.
- Rates Double rooms from $191.45 (€140), excluding tax at 21 per cent.
- More details Rates include breakfast.
- Facilities Garden with three terraces, library, free WiFi, and a stash of CDs and DVDs. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD/CD player, Nespresso machines and Pascal Morabito bath products.
- Poolside No pool as such, but intrepid guests can take a dip in the lake (beware the – ahem – muddy bottom). There’s also a more swimmer-suited lake with fewer boats nearby; ask the owners for directions.
- Check–out 11am, but flexible, subject to availability and a €50 charge. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Children This hotel is better suited to couples - leave the children at home!
- Also Pets can come too, for €20. Smokers can light up in the conservatory, as long as food isn’t being served. On 2 June 2012, the local village association is holding a musical performance by the lake, which will be audible form the hotel until around 1am.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms Given the hotel’s rural setting, the Black Room’s city-savvy styling is unexpected eye candy: bold monochrome decor, smart black armchairs, flamboyant floral and striped wallpaper, a big freestanding bath tub opposite the bed, and a striking chandelier. The spacious Red Room is equally seductive, with warm ruby hues, a slanted, high ceiling, elegant chaise longue, oodles of lounging space, and a raised balcony area, once used for smoking fish in the chimney.
- Packing tips Match the season – bring goggles and spandex for ice-skating in winter, and a picnic hamper for alfresco lakeside meals in summer. You’ll also want to jot down Pamela’s mouthwatering recipes, so bring a notebook.
- Also Ask nicely, and the owners will give you a tour of the wine cellar tucked away behind a quaint hatch door. There’s a stash of coffee-table tomes (including, if you’ll ’scuse the plug, some Smith hotel guides), for guests to browse and/or buy.
Food and drink at Inn on the Lake
- Hotel restaurant The Inn’s technically a guesthouse, and Pamela rustles up an impressive morning spread (try her wholesome home-made muesli). Dinner is available on request, for €35 a head; you'll need to book in the morning for dinner the same day – there’s a set menu of polished home cooking every week – or if you'd like a meal on your first night, arrange this when you book your rooms. Pamela has culinary pedigree: her father was a restaurateur and her brother is on the Dutch Masterchef jury.
- Dress code There’s something of Vermeer in the decor, so dress to match (and no, we’re not talking pearl earrings); try one of the painter’s signature hues: peacock blue, chartreuse or amber – maybe with a touch of velvet.
- Top table Stake out one of the conservatory tables, facing the lake. If there’s a load of you, sit on the raised dining area near reception.
- Last orders Breakfast is served from 8am until 10am; lunch is between noon and 4pm; dinner (booked in advance) usually between 7pm and 10pm. You can get a drink until midnight.
- Room service A selection of snacky-type dishes can be ordered between 3pm and 6pm.
- Hotel bar Drinks are served in the lounge from morning to midnight and there's a Nespresso machine on the landing.