Ghent, Belgium

Belgium has always been one of your favorite countries in Europe. You love the Grand Place, the little chocolate shops, and the international feel of Brussels. You go to Antwerp for the fashion and the exciting nightlife. While the canals of Bruges always take your breath away. Ghent should be on your list as well. Sure, you’ve seen the city’s three medieval towers, the Castle of the Counts, and its own canals, but you haven’t really explored yet. Here are three comfortable hotels where you can settle in to get to know the capital of East Flanders.

Photo: Hotel Harmony
Photo: Hotel Harmony

Your first option puts you right beside the canals. Hotel Harmony is in Patershol, one of the city’s oldest districts. The restored 19th-century townhouse has views of those three famous towers—the belfry, St. Bavo’s Cathedral, and St. Nicholas’ Church. Its interior is completely modern though. The minimal rooms have neutral tones and fluffy comforters. Your junior suite features a four-poster bed, a gas fireplace, and a freestanding tub. Crêpes and chocolate-filled pastries are set out for breakfast. A small heated pool is the perfect place to relax after walking around the cobblestone streets all day. Plus the lounge offers tapas dishes to pair with a glass of wine in the early evening.

Photo: Ganda Rooms & Suites Gent
Photo: Ganda Rooms & Suites Gent

Looking for something a little cozier? Your second choice is still in the historic heart of the city, but it’s on a quiet street near St. Jacob’s Church and its large open-air market. Ganda Rooms & Suites is also set in an old townhouse, this time from the 18th century. With only eight rooms, you’re guaranteed warm, personalized service. Your arrival is met with hot coffee, warm cake, and a chat to help acclimate you to the area. The upstairs rooms have high ceilings and original details like chimneys and wooden trusses. You’ve selected a deluxe Ganda room, which also has a plaid headboard and a walk-in rain shower. A buffet breakfast is served at the long table in the salon each morning, unless it’s warm enough to open the terrace. While French wine and Stropken beer are available at the honesty bar later in the day.

Photo: International Hotelmanagement Group BV
Photo: International Hotelmanagement Group BV

If you’re looking to turn a few days in Ghent into a relaxing escape, you might want to stay a little farther outside of the city center. Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof is closer to the Design Museum Gent, a museum focused on modern art, design, and furniture. The hotel is in a white 18th-century townhouse, seemingly a prerequisite here, that still has its Empire style and spiral staircases. But with space to expand, a new wing was added; the buildings now surround a quiet courtyard. While the rooms, with colorful wallpaper and pod-shaped tubs, are more whimsical than you expected. After wandering around the city, you return to the wellness center to relax by the small pool, the steam bath, and the sauna. You eat artful dishes at Restaurant LOF, a modern French restaurant. Then you move to the Champagne Bar for a bubbly nightcap.

With its adorable medieval core, art-filled museums, youthful energy, and comfortable hotels, Ghent has officially become another reason you love Belgium.

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