Ameland Island, the Netherlands (Vrbo): Only a 90-minute drive from Amsterdam followed by a picturesque ferry ride is an island that is a haven for artists and those looking for a remote retreat. Ameland is in the West Frisian Islands of the Netherlands, but it feels like a world away from our 2021 modern-day worries, like having to figure out how to decline social invites again and the “will they or won’t they” game of being called back into the office. In other words, an escape to these windswept beaches is a great excuse to dust off that OOO reply and tell your boss she won’t be seeing you at your desk for at least another two months.
This home, named “Sela,” is located beside one of the biggest dunes on the island, which means your stay comes with both an undulating pastoral view and a prime location. The beach, described by the host as “rustic,” is only a 15 minute walk across the hills.
England may be all the way across the North Sea, but the wild, untamed beauty of a Jane Austen novel is present on the western coast of Ameland Island. Now, all you need is a brooding Mr. Darcy to come traipsing across the dunes at sunset and you will have realized your perfect vacation.
It is only fitting that a creative haven should have a dining room table that takes its inspiration from the colorful palette of a painter who is in the thick of finishing her latest masterpiece and a unique “chandelier.”
Mood lighting means a little something different when you’re hidden away amid the dunes. Here, you can ditch the candles and enjoy your dinner soirée by the gleam of the lighthouse, one of the island’s main attractions that can also be seen from your very own holiday house.
Sela was refurbished in 2017, which means, while the beach and nearby town may be described as “rustic” and “quaint,” you can enjoy your bucolic surroundings while not actually feeling like you’re living in the previous century.
If traipsing around the beach and moodily staring out at the dunes for creative inspiration isn’t enough to keep you entertained, visit the nearby village of Hollum and experience centuries of history. The oldest building in town was built in the 11th century.
Ah, we love it when practical touches like a mini cord of wood also serve as delicious decor matched perfectly to the living room’s color scheme. There’s no need to ruin the functional magic of this design detail by pointing out that the fireplace is gas, making the logs solely ornamental.
Embrace the local lifestyle and head to town via the home’s two available bikes (complete with the trappings to cart around the kiddos). After buying the fresh catch of the day and a tote full of local produce, you’ll soon be dreaming of auditioning for the next season of Top Chef.
But if any kitchen disasters bring those dreams of overnight culinary genius crashing back to reality, opt to hire the local chef and sommelier who are available to design the perfect evening for guests of Sela. Who needs Top Chef stardom when you’re living your best Beyoncé life!
Speaking of the lives of the rich and famous, we’ve always wanted to say, “If you need me, I’ll be in my sauna.”
The house has five bedrooms and three bathrooms and sleeps eight, which means its up to you whether you make your vacation a rousing affair for friends and family, or whether you book yourself a solo holiday as the breeding grounds for your next artistic creation.
We like to think of this light fixture as a modern disco ball there to light up our most dazzling dreams.
Here, the idea of maximizing productivity is being able to check “read a good book” and “take a long nap” off of your to-do list in the same day before happy hour starts.
There’s no better way to avoid modern life slowly creaking back to normalcy than to spirit away to a far off island. When it’s time to get back to the real world, give yourself a much-needed wake up call by taking a chilly morning dip in the sea.
Book Your Stay: Sela Dune Villa, Ameland Island, the Netherlands $950/night via Vrbo