Signature checks in to… Hotel Heritage – Relais & Châteaux, Bruges
Located in one of the most romantic cities in the world, Hotel Heritage Bruges reflects the medieval spirit of the destination. The Relais & Châteaux property – located on a quiet street one block back from Bruges’ famous Grote Markt or Main Square – is in the most central part of the city. Dining at the hotel is an experience in itself with the restaurant, Le Mystique, having won a number of awards.
Traveller: Lisa Wagstaff
Room: Junior Suite with Belfry Tower View
Address: Niklaas Desparsstraat 11, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
Date: August 2018
Best for: European antiques and elegance in one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the world.
The Signature factor
The Signature experience here is in the little details: the nightly turndown service; fresh fruit, sweets and chocolates in the room; warm, fluffy towels; staff on hand to meet your every need and a bottle of water at check-out. Every guest is made to feel special during a stay here.
Built in 1869 by renowned Bruges architect Louis Delacenserie, the property was transformed into Hotel Heritage in 1992. In 2010 it became part of the Relais & Châteaux collection. The oldest part of the building is the cellar, dating back to the 14th century.
Hotel Heritage is a beautiful white building with pink flowers adorning its window sills. The lobby is decorated with classic antique furniture and flickering candles at night. As we check in, our bags are taken to our room and we are given a city map, information and suggested itineraries to explore fairytale Bruges.
In the room, classical music plays from the Bose sound system. There are a fruit basket and card from the owners welcoming us to the hotel.
My favourite feature of the fourth-floor attic loft is the exposed varnished hardwood beams separating the bedroom and sitting room. The Nilson king bed has a plush red velvet upholstered bedhead, reading lights and a master light switch next to it … a feature that I absolutely love. Two fauteuil chairs sit under a window with a view of the Bruges skyline and the 13th-century Belfry of Bruges Bell Tower. On the writing desk is an iPad and a gorgeous 1920s Paramount Viscount-style red telephone. The lounge has comfortable sitting chairs and a Nespresso coffee machine.
The large marble bathroom is fitted with Durance amenities and houses a spacious bathtub with six jets, with little extras like bath salts and a loofah. The room is brightly lit with a double vanity and has lovely fluffy bathrobes and slippers.
The evening turndown service includes a delicious Belgian praline, just one of the sweet Belgian touches provided by the hotel.
Next to our room is the sun deck: an outdoor space on the top storey with a table, chairs and a collection of bright potted flowers. It’s a great spot to sit and enjoy the slow chiming of The Belfry.
On my plate
The hotel’s champagne buffet breakfast was voted the Best European Hotel breakfast by Prix Villégiature.
On arrival, we are served cappuccinos and a yoghurt parfait. We order the house special of eggs benedict and from the buffet choose mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes, crusty bread and, of course, the champagne. We’re then served a dessert of pear mousse with pear compote and offered a freshly cooked Brussels waffle. We’re so full we can hardly take another bite, but can’t resist sampling the lighter of the two types of Belgian waffles.
Highlights from the mini-bar
Pommery champagne and a selection of local Belgian beers.
I wish I could take home…
The chocolate cart from the breakfast buffet showcasing decadent Belgian pralines and chunks of dark, white and milk chocolate chipped off large display blocks. Imagine eating chocolate for breakfast every day.
The hotel has a sauna and steam room (pre-booking is required). Located in the 14th-century basement, it’s perfect to relax in after a day walking around the city.
Watch a movie on the flat screen TV or sweat it out in the gym and sauna/hammam.
Follow one of the hotels suggested itineraries to view all the attractions this medieval city has to offer. Swans are the official bird of Bruges and you’ll see plenty of them as you explore.
Keep an eye out for the ‘stay 2 pay 3’ promotion that the hotel occasionally offers.
We didn’t leave the window open and wake up to mosquitoes buzzing around our heads.
There is something truly special about a stay at the privately owned Hotel Heritage. The personable staff, gorgeous rooms, delicious cuisine, antiques and history of the hotel all contribute to an unforgettable stay that will make you fall in love with Bruges.
Where to find Hotel Heritage Bruges
From Brussels, take a train to Bruges. The hotel is 10 minutes from the train station by car.