Hotel Patritius is only a five minute stroll from the Markt, on the reasonably quiet Ridderstraat – it’s really well located to explore the centre of Bruges. The entrance is pretty spectacular, an old courtyard and garden with a large double-doored reception area off to the right. The family who run the hotel speak excellent English, and we were quickly checked in and put into a room which seemed to have just been decorated, judging by the smell of paint and varnish, and the different wallpaper to the photos we’d seen on the various travel websites. We were overlooking the garden, and had two large twins made up as a double bed, with a nice bathroom and bathtub/shower.
Breakfast was tremendous – a large continental spread of breads and pastries, cereals, meats and cheeses, with chopped fruit salad and fresh orange juice. Plus the option of boiled or scrambled eggs as well. The atmosphere was very serious though, with Mozart in the background and hushed self-conscious conversation between whispering couples. The food was excellent – they also do afternoon tea which is free between 3-4pm, but we were always out and missed this. The room was a bit cold, we couldn’t get the heating to work – but if it had really bothered us we’d have contacted the front desk, of course. The only minor annoyance was the drainage system for the upper floors seemed to run into and then out of our room (as we were on the end), so every time someone flushed a toilet there was a pretty loud gurgling whoosh in our bedroom!
There’s no cover for the desk at night, you are given a four-digit code for the large outer door and buzz yourself in, picking up the key from behind the empty reception. I guess some people might not like that (we could have picked up any key), but there’s a safe in the room if you have anything that’s really precious. The location is great, only a few minutes from everything. There’s a good-value modern Italian (Carlitos) around the corner on Hoogstraat, as restaurants can be very pricey in Bruges, particularly with the strong Euro. We decided to splash out one night and went to Bistro den Huzaar on Vlamingstraat – the food there was outstanding, highly recommended.
One last tip – if you want to buy some chocolates (probably near the top of gift shopping lists for most visitors to Bruges), then the chocolatiers in town are really expensive. If you continue away from the centre along Hoogstraat over the canal bridge into Langestraat, after a few minutes there’s a supermarket (Smatch) where we found exactly the same blocks of chocolate that were €5 in town, for only €1.99.
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- Also Known As:
- Patritius Hotel Bruges