With its cobbled streets, streets, meandering canals, and medieval churches, Bruges’ fairy tale-like appearance marks it out as one of the world’s truly unique cities. It is a place simply made for leisurely walks, with plenty of stop offs for a refreshing Belgian beer or a mouth-watering plate of mussels and frites – the signature local dish.
As might be expected of one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, the options for where to stay are almost endless, ranging from the budget to the very pinnacle of luxury. For those seeking something in between, here are some of the city’s best 4-star hotels.
Plenty of Bruges hotels offer scenic views of the city’s waterways, but few offer the same quality of ring-side seat as Hotel Van Cleef, which combines an idyllic setting with a personalised level of service more akin to a country house than a city hotel. A pretty terrace and tea room at the rear back onto a delightful canal, exclusively open to hotel guests who can watch boats drifting gently past as they enjoy a refreshing drink or delicious appetisers. The hotel’s interior is equally impressive, featuring luxurious boutique-style guest rooms with extra-long beds, a spa bath, flat-screen TV and free WiFi. Those seeking to read, relax or explore are all catered for here, thanks to an elegant on-site library, indulgent massage treatments and bicycle rental service. Many of Bruges most popular attractions are just a short walk away, including the city’s Market Square, the Groeninge Museum, and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Beguinage complex.
Housed in a newly renovated mansion and featuring a wellness centre in its original 16th-century cellars, this hotel certainly makes a striking visual impression. Nestled in the city centre, it is particularly popular with those who enjoy leisure facilities, with a sauna and steam bath in the wellness centre and a separate fitness area available too. Contemporary guest rooms are sound-roofed and feature private marble bathrooms, coffee/tea facilities and free Wi-Fi. For those arriving by car, there’s a private parking area, while guests can also benefit from laundry and currency exchange services. Breakfast is available daily in a spacious dining area offering views out to the pretty courtyard garden.
Lovers of classical music will surely be tempted to visit the renowned T Zand concert hall, which is located just a 2-minute walk from Hotel Portinari. And for a pre or post-concert meal, you’ll have no end of choice, with a huge array of excellent restaurants all around. As for the hotel itself, there’s a picturesque terrace offering views of the city, and a bar area where you can enjoy a delicious Belgian beer or a hot drink after a bracing afternoon’s exploring on a cold day. Guest rooms are fitted with a minibar and a flat-screen TV with cable channels, as well as a private bathroom with a bath or a shower. Bruges’ main shopping district and Bruges Railway Station are both a 10-minute walk away.
A recent renovation has brought Hotel Aragon up to the mark of many of its 4-star competitors, with newly decorated guest rooms featuring warm colours and contemporary furnishings. Just 100 yards from the Market Square, you are truly in the heart of Bruges, with the city’s famous beer halls, restaurants museums and other renowned attractions right on your doorstep. Buffet breakfasts are served each morning, while limited private parking is also available on a first come first served basis.
With Bruges Train Station just a 20-minute walk away, this impressive hotel is well located for those arriving by rail. It also boasts a scenic location next to a pretty canal, while numerous popular attractions and landmarks, including the Market Square the Beguinage and De Halve Maan Brewery are all an easy walk away. Notable hotel amenities include a beautiful 18th-century salon featuring a roaring fireplace – perfect for enjoying a pre-dinner drink or a nightcap, or simply to relax with a good book on a rainy day. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel.