The thing about a country as small as the Netherlands is that you don’t have to go far to feel like you’ve gone very far indeed. Hidden away in a 17th-century house in the seaside village of Monnickendam, Posthoorn lures guests with romantic, antique-filled suites and rooms, as well as a Michelin-starred restaurant. While the restaurant’s French-inflected cuisine is a destination in and of itself, the refined-farmhouse-style rooms provide a reason to linger longer in a haven where old Dutch living seems to have been preserved. Each of the six rooms has been individually decorated with antique finds, whimsical wallpaper, and original 17th- and 18th-century prints and paintings native to the Waterland surroundings. A three-course breakfast from the restaurant’s vaunted kitchen is included in all stays; because of the inn’s personalized nature, you could order breakfast to your room, but why miss out on a chance to sip coffee and nibble pastries in the garden? When you do finally venture out into the world—into a landscape whose beauty has been immortalized in countless artworks—the helpful staff can point you in the direction of all those local finds you wouldn’t know to look for.
The hotel is adding six more rooms by 2016, in order to handle demand. It’s doing more than a few things right.
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The seaside haven of Monnickendam dates back at least to the Middle Ages, and its picturesque cobbled streets and historic red-brick buildings make for at least one pleasant day of exploring. Water sports such as sailing and windsurfing are popular, as are land sports such as hiking and biking past canals, lakes, and windmills. There are a number of other equally charming towns within close driving or biking distance, and Amsterdam city center is less than a half-hour drive or bus ride south.
Need to Know
Rooms: Six rooms, three suites. From $170. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options:The rooms at the Posthoorn are lovely, but the Michelin-starred restaurant is its crown jewel, a modern fine-dining affair whose understated decor and breezy terrace form an elegant backdrop for four-, five-, and seven-course tasting menus of world-class, French-inspired cuisine. The wood-paneled bar is a popular spot for aperitifs, digestifs, or, really, whenever the signature cognac cocktail strikes your fancy. A three-course breakfast is included in all stays. Spa and gym details: The hotel has neither a gym nor a spa.
Who's it best for: Gourmands, romancing couples, and anyone willing to travel for a meal and charming seaside town. Our favorite rooms:Each of the six rooms and suites is romantic and elegant in its own way; the Sistermans Suite has its own whirlpool tub and an antique mirror headboard, while the top-floor Admiraals Suite has panoramic harbor views and a stand-alone soaking tub, and the Diensthuys Suite has its own private entrance and an Illy espresso machine. Navigate the waterways:The best way to explore the surrounding Waterland is, well, on the water, so ask the staff to help you rent a fluisterboot, one of the small electric boats that are popular in the area.