Thank you fellow TA reviewers for speaking the praises of this hotel. On the spur of the moment and with the force of the recommendations at my back, I booked a room for a one night stay earlier this week. This was also my first visit to Ghent as well.
Well, the location of the Ghent River Hotel is excellent. About the only "comparable" hotel that would top this location would be the fabled Marriott Hotel which is situated on the incomparable Kornlei. Not bad real estate if you can get it, but getting back to Ghent River Hotel, the hotel backs up to the main canal. Not too shabby I say! My room with a King (228) didn't overlook the river, but not to worry, I was in town to explore and I was only in room to sleep.
For starts, accessibility to the hotel is very simple via the #1 tram from the Sint-Pieters station. With a bag in tow, I'd estimate the walk to be around five minutes to the hotel after disembarking at the Gravensteen (sp) stop. The hotel is superbly situated in the Historic Centrum. Architecturally from what I could tell, the hotel did a novel job blending both the historic building site and modern airy environments such as the lobby and hallways.
Room features included complimentary wifi, an "honor" minibar of sorts with a form to be filled out for items consumed, a generously proportioned bathroom with tub and shower unit, and a wall mounted flat screen. Windows open both horizontally and vertically too. Air conditioning (not that I really needed it) worked like a charm. The bedding just agreed with me perfectly. Call me a bed snob, but the bedding seemed more like "marriott style" and who knows what is under the hood so to speak? But whatever the case, I was happy to be in a supple soft bed that felt like it had a pillow top.
The spectacular location really requires no explanation. A simple look at Google Maps can say it better than I can. All the main attractions such as the Belfry, St. Michaels Bridge, and the restaurants of Patershol are just minutes away on foot. And when I say minutes, I really mean time in the single digits unless one get seduced into buying chocolates at Leonidas or stopping by a bar for a couple of drinks while en-route.
What I didn't use in the hotel were any facilities such as the sauna, gym, or room service. It does appear there is a small bar in the lobby but which choices aplenty in Ghent, the lack of access to imbibing won't be an issue.
I checked out too soon as I had to return to work. I definitely plan on revisiting Ghent and spending some time exploring the area on bike. I'd love to return to this hotel because it had charisma, it was peaceful, and the room environment was very pleasant.
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