We’d made it over the mudflats and North Sea on the ferry, and stood in the terminal on Ameland itself. Not a lot to see, the shoreline stretched away in both directions and over a rise in the land, so most of the scenery was gently lapping water or rolling green grass.
As there was no one around once the buses had pulled out of the terminal, we rang for a taxi and after a 15 minute journey across the main Ameland road, we arrived in Hollum at the Hotel Dolores to find a warm welcome and an amazing room.
The hotel itself didn’t look anything special, a brick 1980’s building in the middle of a 1980’s development, but on opening the door we found ourselves with a mini apartment and an outside terrace that looked onto the garden at the back.
The room itself was great, with a small dining room areas and lounge with a couple of chairs grouped around the flatscreen TV. The dining area also had a fridge and coffee maker which made fresh ground coffee from the bean hopper on top. All the furniture was in a modern hardwood, and the overall feel was bright, airy and amazingly clean.
Then came the bathroom; a wetroom with a solarium built in to the same area. Never having tried one, I had a go the next day, and while it was a little weird standing in a shower area with no water and goggles on, it did give me the start of a nice tan! To complete the bathroom, a big bundle of fluffy white towels were delivered daily.
While we were on the island, we had a couple of great meals, starting with a Mexican meal on the first night we arrived in the restaurant next door to our hotel, Cantina Dolores. The food was great, large portions and spicy enough to be pretty authentic.
What made the place though were the cocktails, €7-€9 each and they were some of the best I’ve had in a long time. The Strawberry Margarita and Blueberry Mojito were my favourites. So good in fact that we abandoned plans for a walk around the town and drank there all night!
On our last night, we wanted pizza and headed to Il Vulcano, just a five minute walk from the hotel. It was packed, and we managed to get the last table in the place, and we soon found out why. We had a couple of drinks and then ordered pizzas. When they arrived, they may have been the best pizza I’ve ever eaten, huge, thin and crispy and loaded with toppings. We’d walked 6 miles along the beach that day, but even though we were starving, the quality was outstanding, and the bill for 4 drinks and the massive pizzas came to €30 – a real bargain.
The hotel itself also provided breakfast, which arrived each morning in a little basket on a shelf outside the room. Fresh orange juice, ham, cheese, patisserie and rolls, yoghurt and hard boiled eggs, the whole thing topped off with more fresh coffee. A truly fantastic way of starting the day.
Overall, I’d say that Ameland works hard to attract tourists, mainly from the Netherlands and Germany (all the locals spoke English though) and as such has a high standard for food and lodgings, as that’s what is expected from those visiting.
A real treat, and one that we hope to be revisiting before the summer is out!