Our stay at the Lakeland Hotel was linked to a National Holidays trip to Amsterdam and the Dutch coast. The hotel is in a great location just of few miles from Amsterdam and right next to the small picturesque town of Monnickendam. It is well worth taking a stroll into the town which whilst quiet, has a marina and many bars and restaurants.Had we had more time, it would have been possible to hire a bike and explore the many cycle routes in the vicinity.
The hotel is situated on the lakeside and the rooms are sprawled along long corridors. However, our room was comfortable and clean and the dining facilities pleasant. There was a good choice of breads, cereals, meats, fruit juice etc for breakfast whilst the evening was fairly basic with soup, a buffet of hot food and a help yourself ice cream selection.The bar and lounge are very comfortable and the trip had the added bonus of a free bar which included local beer, wines and spirits.Then hotel desk staff were very helpful and provided a street map of Amsterdam with the catering and bar staff also very friendly.
Once again, the holiday typified the value of many of the National Holiday trips to the near Continent via the North sea ferries. As well as a day trip to Amsterdam, the itinerary also took in visits to The Hague, Scheveningen and Zaanse Schans. Amsterdam is such a vibrant place and having enjoyed a canal trip on a previous visit we enjoyed strolling further into the
city. We particularly enjoyed the Rembrant Plein with it's jazz buskers and the Albert Cuyp street market that seemed to sell everything and had a variety of fast food stalls with the fried fish offerings proving very tasty. Zaanse Schans is such an interesting place, particularly because of it's windmills, and it is well worth taking a short river crossing, or going over the bridge, to explore the town itself with it's distinctive dutch style buildings, all in pristine condition.
Scheveningen is a very impressive seaside annexe to The Hague and I was amazed at the number of stylish lounge type bars and restaurants virtually on the beach. (the Dutch must be a very hardy race or their summers much warmer than in England) .The only disappointment was that we were dropped off at 10am without much information whereas had we been better informed(the Tourist Info office didn't open until 11am), we could have taken a tram into The Hague to explore the Dutch capital.
Yes, overall, a dutch experience that proved good value and very enjoyable.