Ghent Marriott Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel
- Set in a 16th-century townhouse on the River Leie
- Walking distance from the cathedral, castle & design museum
- Waterfront dining at the traditional restaurant
- There’s free Wi-Fi throughout
Set right on the River Leie, the Ghent Marriott’s central position can’t be bettered. The views are superb -- it overlooks Dutch-gabled townhouses on the pedestrianised riverfront areas of Korenlei and Graslei -- and is two minutes on foot from the Design Museum Gent and just a little further from the 12th-century Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts).
A 10-minute walk across the river will bring you to the St Baaf’s (or St Bavo’s) Cathedral, where van Eyck’s iconic masterpiece The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb is displayed. Borrow a bike from the hotel (extra charge) to explore the city’s quiet, cobbled streets on wheels -- Bicycle locks and a basket are provided and tyre pumps are available for free at reception. Excellent connections by road and rail make daytrips to the canals in Bruges or the battlefield in Waterloo a breeze.
The hotel started life as a 16th-century merchant’s house but has been radically updated. There’s a chic bar for an evening glass of kriek (cherry beer) or shot of espresso, and the restaurant is a good bet for traditional local food, including waterzooi (chicken and vegetable in a cream sauce) and stoverij (beef stew). Dine in one of the cosy dining rooms or out on the waterfront terrace.
Ghent is the canny traveller’s alternative to Bruges. There are plenty of bars and restaurants (two even Michelin starred), and you’ll even find an alley devoted to graffiti -- it’s whitewashed regularly to make way for the next wave of art. Don’t miss the 10-day Gentse Feesten, a raucous annual music and theatre festival that’s held in July.
Contemporary rooms are comfy and all offer free Wi-Fi. Upgraded rooms have river views and soundproofed windows ensure a quiet night, despite the central setting.