Although the Booking.com listing doesn’t make it clear, this isn’t really a hotel. Instead, it’s more like a shared pied-à-terre—and what a lovely pied-à-terre it is. Three things I really liked about the unit:
1) Location. It’s well-located just off the Vrijdagsmarkt (Friday market) and within easy walking distance of the main attractions in central Ghent.
2) The unit itself. I stayed in Unit 103, which had a full-size bed, a couch, a kitchen area, a breakfast counter with stools, a large bathroom with a shower (no bath) and plenty of space in-between. The room is quite large by European standards and even by American standards. The furniture and finishings were all tasteful, modern and incredibly clean/immaculate—it’s as if the owner decorated it for him/herself and is sharing it with us. The kitchen was well-equipped with most things you’d need to do your own cooking.
3) The price. I paid 80€/night + tax midweek, much less than you’d expect to pay for a room of its size and location.
Another thing I liked about the room: the price included fast Internet access.
Three things I didn’t like about the unit:
1) CASH ONLY! The place is cash only even though the reservation requires a credit card. Booking.com doesn’t communicate this clearly enough. I don’t recall seeing “cash only” on the reservation page, and on the confirmation email, the disclosure is buried at the bottom. Perhaps for Europeans, cash-only lodging isn’t unusual, but it’s exceptionally unusual for Americans, and getting cash out of a European ATM can be an expensive endeavor. Booking.com should improve its disclosure, and the lodging operators probably should independently communicate it as well.
2) Not a hotel. As a shared pied-à-terre, it’s not run like a hotel. For example, there’s no “front desk” or any on-site staff. Instead, the proprietor comes onsite for only limited hours, and those hours may be inconvenient. The only other way to reach the proprietor real-time is to call the outside intercom, which apparently rolls over to the proprietor’s cellphone. You need to coordinate your arrival time in advance because the proprietor might not be around if you just show up.
3) Unit 103 overlooks a parking lot. The unit overlooks one of the parking lots supporting Vrijdagsmarkt. This means that, at all hours, cars will be revving their engines and drunk kids will be shouting as they go to their cars. In mitigation, the unit had quite effective double-paned windows that reduced the outside noise a lot.
Other things I didn’t like: bring your own shampoo; no air conditioning + no screens on the windows = mosquitoes in the room; if you react to hypo-allergenic pillows as I sometimes do, bring your own (I always pack a travel pillow—see http://www.epinions.com/review/Thermarest_Compressible_Pillow_CAS0086/content_435153243780).
On balance: if you expect service levels like a hotel, this place might be a little sketchy. But if you expect service levels like a pied-à-terre, then this could be a good bargain for those willing to carry a lot of cash.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Place 2 Stay offers luxury studio's, a penthouse suite with terrace and a two-bedroom apartment for rent on short & mid-long term in the historical city center of Ghent, only 200 meters from Vrijdagsmark. The Korenmarkt and St-Braafs Square featuring the Belfort are a 5-minute walk from Place 2 stay. Alijn House Museum is 400 meters away.All accommodation is fully furnished and equipped with all modern comfort.Our studios (32-34m²) have a double bed ; dining corner & kitchen with microwave, grill fridge & freezer as well as tea and coffee making facilities; a lounge area with flat screen tv & wifi internet access; Personal bathroom with shower and a heated towel rail. There is individual central heating and videophone.On the highest, third floor there is the penthouse apartment (72m²)for 2 persons. The penthouse has a private terrace (28m²), nice to enjoy the sun on spring and summer days. The penthouse has a dining table, a seating area with a digital flatscreen-tv and free WiFi (internet hotspot). There is an open kitchen with oven, microwave, grill, fridge & freezer and dish washing machine. The bathroom has a double lavabo and bath tube. There is a separate toilet.The two-bedroom apartment (115m²)for max 4 persons has a seating area with a digital flatscreen-tv, a working area (desk) with free WiFi (internet hotspot); a dining table. There is an open kitchen with microwave, grill, fridge & freezer and dish washing machine. The bathroom has a double lavabo and bath tube. There is a separate toilet.There is a separate storage place with wash machine and dryer, iron; available for long stays or on request.There is always possibility to add an additional bed for an extra person. Extra costs apply.Baby cot available on request, and free of charge. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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