Firstly Monnikendam is worth a visit for its own sake. It is a picture postcard small town (or large village) with cobbled streets, old houses, canals and locks. It has a Disney feel to someone from the UK, as everything is clean and well cared for (I mean everything, every house, street sign, cafe, bollard etc). There are cafes, shops and restaurants. Parking on the main street is limited, but there is space alongside the canal if you loop around the one-way system. There is a pleasant small market on Saturday morning.
It is very quiet (we were there in January) but locals say it is always quiet, it isn't a tourist destination apparently. In the UK it would be like a Bibury or Stow-on-the-Wold, with coaches full of visitors.
The Posthoorn is a small hotel on the main street in an old building, so all the rooms are different. We stayed in the Sistersroom (I think) which was large and comfortable. Note the bathroom, while large with a bath and separate shower, is quite open to the bedroom. It has frosted double glass doors, so if you need privacy for your ablutions it'll be somewhat limited <g>
We ate a tasting menu in the highly rated restaurant together with a selection of wines. It lived up to the reputation. Splendid food and Mark (the owner) does a good job of explaining why he has chosen certain wine with each dish. Even if you don't stay at the hotel give the food a try.
The downside is the cost, neither the hotel nor the restaurant is inexpensive, but then Europe isn't generally a budget destination.
Having driven in to Amsterdam to look around I'd echo another reviewer and say if you are short of time don't bother, just relax in Monnikendam, it is a much nicer experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- It is no surprise that the Dutch royal family appreciates the truly unforgettable pampering to be had at the Posthoorn – a unique place, where history and pure indulgence have gone hand in hand since the Napoleonic Era. The Posthoorn cannot be categorized, but excels at offering a melting pot of different styles, with luxury, quality and cordiality as guiding principles. ... more less
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