You might not be able to say it without starting a table-tapping chant (try it), but De Durgerdam is putting its namesake coastal village on the map, mostly by providing a convivial inn for like-minded sorts to convene at. The rooms are an Old Master painting brought to life, with artistic throw-arranging and a perfect play of chiaroscuro-worthy light and dark. It’s close to Amsterdam in reality (just 15 minutes by car), but worlds apart in theory – since when does a buzzy Euro city have meadows, marshes and lakes to cycle around? Rewarding your pedal count is a brilliant restaurant, with a menu designed by two top chefs from the city, and cosy corners for a beer (other drinks are allowed too).
Double rooms from £214.41 (€251), including tax at 9 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of 12.5% per room per night on check-in.
Rates don't usually include breakfast.
Sadly, the higgledy-piggledy historic inn is not easily accessible for guests with mobility issues.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout. In rooms: dumbbells and a yoga mat; tea and cookies, plus a Nespresso coffee machine; steamer; Zenology bath products; wireless radio; air-conditioning; and TV. Suites also have Kassl Editions raincoats.
Our favourite rooms
Provided you’re not claustrophobic or excessively tall, De Durgerdam’s Suite - De Maan has the novelty bed (or ‘bedstee’ in these parts) you need, in a steep-roofed alcove that means it’s tricky to make but snug to sleep in. It’s also the most atmospheric room (and there’s some stiff competition) at the inn, and the only one with a bath tub, plus a log-burner that staff will light before you return in the evening.
When you’re not heading into Amsterdam proper, you’ll probably be on a bicycle pedalling with gay abandon through the wetlands, so bring appropriately waterproof and cheerful clothing. If you’ve booked a suite, a Kassl Editions raincoat will be ready for you to borrow. In summer, locals love sunbathing on the jetty and jumping into the lake, so don’t forget your swimwear.
All ages are welcome, but there aren’t many special facilities for children. Baby monitors can be borrowed and cots can be added to Specials and Suites.
The listed building has been restored under strict conditions, with all salvageable materials reused and anything that had to be bought new sourced from as close to the hotel as possible. There’s no gas used at the property, plus solar panels provide some of the energy.
Some of the chairs have been anointed with hides – feel like the chosen one(s) by selecting one of them.
Ready to pose for a portrait.
The menu at De Mark was designed by two of Amsterdam’s most celebrated chefs. Lots of the dishes are vegetable-centric, with tomato tartare, leek served in various ways and shallots cooked in hay some of the signatures.
The cosy De Mark bar is where to go for some Dutch courage, helpfully provided by beer and borrel bites. Drinks are poured between 6pm and 10pm, but there’s an honesty bar available if you’re thirsty out of hours.
Breakfast hours are 8am to 11am; lunch is served between noon and 3pm; and dinner is available between 6pm and 10pm.
Dishes from the applicable menu can be delivered to your room during service times.
As the name suggests (if you can figure out what it means), De Durgerdam is in Durgerdam, a coastal village in the Amsterdam environs.
Amsterdam’s Schiphol, one of Europe’s busiest hubs, is 30 minutes away by car. The hotel team can arrange transfers.
If you’re arriving by rail to Amsterdam Centraal, you can hop on the line 26 tram to Durgerdam. Hotel transfers to and from this station can be arranged as well.
Skip the hassle of parking and rely on taxis to take you in and out of the city instead. Drive time is around 15 minutes.
Since it’s surrounded by water, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that Durgerdam can be reached by boat – the hotel can arrange this for seafaring guests on request.
Worth getting out of bed for
Guests have the best of both worlds at De Durgerdam in the namesake coastal village just outside of Amsterdam. You’d never know one of the buzziest cities in the world was only a 15-minute cab ride away from this sleepy spot, with gabled 17th-century houses, a church with turrets, marshland and cows grazing on its many meadows. The hamlet is home to IJmeer Lake, with wooden pontoons for sunbathing on and yachts launching from the sailing club – and, in summer, it’s possible to swim in its waters. In Amsterdam Noord’s hinterland, you’ll also be able to discover natural wetlands, more traditional Dutch villages and food markets. In case you weren’t feeling de-urbanised enough, hop on a bicycle and pedal along to the Milk Tap and Farm Shop, to buy (with actual cash) fresh milk. You could also cycle over to Holysloot then rent an electric boat to sail around the islands and villages, in search of lighthouses, windmills and churches. Or simply stroll along the dyke to see the communal garden parks between the reeds. Cheese fans will also enjoy a trip to Edam.
There aren’t many places to eat and drink in Durgerdam, but you’ll be a swift cab ride from the restaurants of central Amsterdam, such as De Kas, which takes a ‘picked in the morning, served in the afternoon’ approach to cooking. If you do want to stay local, set sail for the islet of Vuurtoreneiland (also known as Lighthouse Island) for a tasting menu cooked on a wood fire, with plenty of pickled, smoked and fermented additions, served in a greenhouse at the mercy of the elements.
Het Schoolhuis (in an old schoolhouse in case you haven’t figured it out) is the perfect place to reward yourself with a coffee and a slice of apple cake for ambling this far.
It’d be rude not to drink beer in the Netherlands and you won’t find a finer spot to do it than the Brouwerij t’IJ taproom, just across the water from Durgerdam.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this coastal hotel in the Netherlands and unpacked their freshly churned milk and cheese, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside De Durgerdam in a village just outside Amsterdam…
Named for the coastal village it’s located in, De Durgerdam is an entirely new take on Amsterdam – that is, staying outside of it. The beauty is that, while this natural playground of tall grasses and gabled clapboard houses feels miles from an urban centre, it’s really only a 15-minute cab ride from one. The building was once the Prince on Horseback pub, serving sailors on the East India trading route and princely patrons.
The design studio tasked with restoring the old inn to its former glory has added thoughtful and creative touches throughout. The headboards, for example, were designed to resemble the waves of the sea surrounding the village and crafted from tulip wood (they drew the line at incorporating clogs). Then there’s the light-blue paint on the inside of all the cabinets, which was a tradition in Durgerdam, to repel insects. It may not be functional any more (since a special type of paint would be needed), but it’s a detail that shows the consideration that went into this project. More genius-design points are awarded for the comfortable reading chair in every room, the superior Hypnos mattresses and the gentle light sensor that guides guests to the bathroom in the middle of the night without fully rousing (/blinding) them. Its name might lead you to mutter a Muppets-worthy chant, but you’ll be glad to meet this edge-of-Amsterdam stay. Mahna mahna.