We stayed here for three nights in June 2011, and liked this hotel. The room was large enough, with a view of the canal and Our Lady's Church, a super bathroom with separate shower, comfortable beds and free wireless internet. We also used the 'Relaxation' area, (a nice place, good sauna and steam room, but very unconvincing cardio equipment), and a few nights had a drink in the beautiful bar and its luxurious surroundings. The location is perfect, but don't be lazy and go somewhere other than the main squares nearby to eat. It might not be cheaper, but it will be better than the overpriced moules, frites and beer you will find there.
My impression was generally very good, but there are also problems: the design of the bathrooms is not very functional (including a light switch on the wrong side, hooks in the wrong place and so on), and strangely organised: the Relaxation area requires a security code, you have to give up your passport for a bathrobe, and there are no changing facilities down there. The hallways have muzak playing so softly that you think it comes from other peoples' rooms. The breakfast room is very nice, but the food is disappointingly mass produced, and a separate trip is required to get some cream for coffee.
The staff are earnest, but they do seem overworked and a bit brusque as a consequence, especially in the eccentrically located reception that must make their job harder by not giving them decent command of the area. The lounge is a fabulous place to spend the late evening, with quite reasonable prices, but whilst the decoration is top quality in terms of chairs, walls, curtains, plasterwork and a lovely little fire going, the 'paintings' (ugly, flat prints of undistinguished originals, or repro photos of '50s Hollywood) reduce the impact significantly.
We wondered aloud to each other whether the hotel doesn't feel it has to try very hard to get a crowd. Probably not, but a bit more attention to a few things would send this place into the stratosphere, considering how much it has to begin with.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Grand Hotel Casselbergh has many qualities that will guarantee you a special stay. Rich history is combined with modern luxury. The location, at the heart of the historical centre of Bruges - a UNESCO world heritage city - with its wonderful mediaeval buildings and idyllic canals, make the hotel unique. This luxurious hotel has been created out of three historical residences known as 'Casselbergh', 'Zeven Torens', and 't Fransch Schildt'. These buildings were owned and lived in throughout many centuries by leading citizens and the local aristocracy. Breathe in and enjoy the atmosphere of a bygone age! To the rear, a new wing has been added with quality architecture that is perfectly integrated with the surrounding buildings. Grand Hotel Casselbergh has 118 elegant rooms. They combine modern luxury with the authentic charm of 18th-century Bruges. The hotel has various meeting rooms, 40 parking places, and a superbly appointed wellness centre in the 16th-century cellars. This romantic hotel is certain to enchant you and welcome you with its attentive hospitality. ... more less
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