To attend the Bruges Early Music Festival 2014 (formerly called M A Festival, or Musica Antiqua), I stayed 11 nights at the Cadzand apartment on the 3rd floor of the Ridderspoor apartment building. Location is very nearby everything interesting, and a 5 minutes walk from the central Market square as well as all bus stops. In spite of being in the city centre, no noise whatsoever was heard from streets, unlike the previous year in a different location with nearby bars staying open until 3 am. Moreover, though being on the top floor and directly under the roof, I had no issues with the summer heat that I feared beforehand. There were windows on 3 different sides to allow fresh air into the room after a hot day for a quick cooling down. The original wooden beams are the most striking feature of this apartment, a unique selling point as marketers are used to say, and rightfully so. Upfront I feared to bump my head very often while moving around, but luckily that did not happen at all, mostly due to the spacious interior allowing enough room to move around without endangering your skull. The gratifying floor space is the second selling point for an apartment like this, making it stand out in comparison with a mostly crowded hotel room.
Being a self catering traveller by choice my first check on arrival was the kitchen, in which I saw everything as advertised, in the form of the necessary pots, pans, dishes and cutlery in order to prepare my own meals. As a matter of course there was a traditional coffee maker (what I prefer above Nespresso or Senseo), a water cooker, and a microwave. The 4-core electric stove is not the latest and fastest model, and takes its time to get warm, but after some time you discover which of the cores are the fastest. There are 2 large supermarkets on 700 meter walking distance, one of these even open on Sunday mornings. An unexpected surprise was the washing machine in the apartment, not mentioned in the description but convenient anyway. I might have brought along less clothes when I had known it beforehand. For completeness sake, I also mention that there is a common tumble drier in the basement. I did not use it but decided instead to hang out my clothes to dry inside the apartment.
As a previous reviewer mentioned, the furniture is inconsistent. A positive example is the 80 by 200 cm table, that is large enough for paper work and still has surplus room to eat as well without a need to remove all documents. The integrated tiles in the middle allow placing hot pans without burning holes in the wood. On the other hand, I can mention several negative examples. I emphasize that none of these is really insurmountable, yet allowing some room for improvement. Firstly, there is a very outdated, tiny TV set (new sets has been ordered, according to the proprietor). Secondly, the comfy chairs are not really comfortable and won't sustain a long evening. All this, however, was not a great obstacle for me, having most business outside the apartment and not much time left to watch TV or read books. Thirdly, there is a hand shower in the bath tub, but it's a bit redundant as there is no room to take the shower standing up due to the pitched ceilings all around you.
To continue on the positive side, there were compensations. For instance, there is ample closet space and drawers, and plenty of clothes hangers to allow unpacking your suitcase, which is often a problem in apartments elsewhere. There was no hanging cupboard but the original wooden beams, an inherent feature of this loft apartment, provide for sufficient alternative hanging space. The twin bed was large enough to accommodate my 1.85 meter length, though one is inclined to wind up in the middle, possibly a nice advantage for a couple just-married but it may not be so convenient for everyone.
I know from experience, having stayed in Bruges for 6 years in a row, that cheap is not an option in this tourist region. However, I have my doubts about the 100 Euro per night that I paid for this apartment, unsure whether it offers sufficient value for money. Nevertheless, everything was available and working as advertised, including WiFi internet that accepted my two smartphones and my laptop without incident, contrary to reports from previous reviewers, and I had streaming audio and video without the usual hiccups in other places. The amount of stairs seems daunting at first sight, but proved not a problem after all. Last but not least, the service from the proprietor before and during your stay, is spotless. The proprietor, by the way, lives in the same street at house nr 10, where he runs a B&B, so he can help you out in case of an emergency or technical failures. All in all, in spite of aforementioned mixed experiences, I have no reason whatsoever to complain about this apartment.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The house is divided into four spacious holiday flats (ground floor apartment with 2 bedrooms, 1st and 2nd floor studio/apartments with 1 bedroom each and with comfortable sleeping facilities in the living rooms, spacious loft on the third floor). The interior of this neo-classical mansion from 1856 has been renovated recently and adapted with up to date comforts and conveniences. ... more less
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