25 Replies Latest reply: Nov 4, 2011 4:04 PM by newhiltonmembr RSS

Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!

newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
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I recently returned from a trip to Belgium and northern France.  I spent 3 nights in Bruges... and wish I could have stayed much longer!  Bruges is a gorgeous, medieval city that is often referred to as "the Venice of the North".

 

I can highly recommend spending a few nights here...  after the throngs of day trippers leave, the city is utterly charming at night!  There are many sites to visit from the Provincial court, the Belfry, the Church of the Holy Blood which houses the Relic of the Holy Blood (supposedly Christ's blood) to the charming Beguinage, Minnewater, and its lovely canals.  And, for beer lovers, make sure to stop at De Halve Man Brewery for a taste of  the home-brewed Bruges Zot beer! Delicious!  And, then of course, there are the Belgian chocolates, windmills and ancient city gates!

 

There are many, many more sites to see.... this isn't meant to be an all encompassing trip report.

 

I certainly recommend dinner at Restaurant Pieter Pourbus (pieterpourbus.com).  It's a lovely restaurant with excellent food and service.

 

There is no Marriott here... what a terrible shame!  I stayed at the NH Hotel which I bid on at Priceline (about a 10-15 minute walk from the Grote Markt... gives you a chance to walk off some of the calories!).  Very nice hotel, although I would have preferred "winning" the Crown Plaza that is just steps from the Grote Markt (market place).

 

I loved, loved, loved Bruges!  It was the reason for my trip!  Here are a few Bruges photos...

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Location Brand Hotel
Bruges, Belgium
Ghent, Belgium
Bruges, Belgium
  • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
    newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
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    And, a few more pics...

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    • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
      joda Gold
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      I was very excited to see this!  We'll be visiting Brugges for 10 days next summer.  We rented a flat and will also use Marriott points for 5 days in Paris.  We have never been to Belgium so we are very excited!  I took a few notes from your post!

      Thanks again.

      Jo

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  • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
    profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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    Dear NewHilton,

    Fantastic post and gorgeous photos! Even though I spend a lot of time in Belgium, it's been more than 20 years since I was in Bruges.  But I immediately recognized the small restaurant on the canal (your fourth picture of the first post) as a place I'd eaten and had a fantastic beer or two in 1986.  Which one of the two places (if either) was that?

     

    I'll have to go back soon!

    Cheers, ProfChiara

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  • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
    tjcnewyork Platinum
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    What a shame indeed!  Thanks for the stunning photographs of the Venice of the North!

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  • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
    newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
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    Thanks very much, Professor and TJC!

     

    Professor, that restaurant is Duc de Bourgogne.  It has a fantastic location although I didn't eat there. 

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  • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
    profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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    You're right!  I remember now, it was indeed the Duc de Bourgogne.  We only went there for a long lunch but it was fantastic, especially with the view.  Your night photography is great!

    ProfC

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  • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
    newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
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    Thanks very much for the compliment on my night photos, Professor!

     

    This is the FIRST time that I've had any night shots come out anywhere close to being shareable.  I have finally bought a small tripod and learned a little about the lighting settings and self-timer on my camera.  Usually, everything is a blurred mess!!!  What a difference a little education makes.  

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
    arkwright Platinum 2 Reviews
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    Dear NewHiltonmbr,

     

    Let me add my thanks to those already penned for your pics: delightful and a technical tour de force, I suspect!

     

    One small point which may help to mitigate your disappointment re. the absence of a Marriott presence in Bruges: there is a very good Marriott at Ghent - a modern-looking building which, in a way, is more reminiscent of a Hyatt - but which nevertheless blends in well with the local architecture and character. It is no more than 30 mins by train from Bruges - by your standards, no more than the proverbial "stone's throw".

     

    Again, my thanks

     

    A

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    • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
      razorbackfan Alumni Steward Platinum 23 Reviews
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      We have enoyed two trips to Bruges.  The first time we stayed for several nights at a lovely bed and breakfast and the second time we took a day trip from Ghent.  I certainly recommend a visit if you are anywhere in the area.  There are several wonderful chocolate shops there.  We took a tour of the city and got an overview of places we wanted to return to.

       

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      As arkwright said, the Marriott in Ghent is marvelous.  We were in Ghent during a huge music festival, so we would like to return during a calmer time.

       

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      This last photo is taken from the hallway just outside our room.

       

      You can't go wrong staying at the Ghent Marriott.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      Location Brand Hotel
      Ghent, Belgium
      Bruges, Belgium
    • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
      newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
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      Hi Arkwright,

       

      I'm not sure how this old post got dug up.... I posted it a year ago.  I suspect this new site is not sorting correctly by year... just month and day..

       

      I did stay at the Ghent Marriott during that trip.  It's a lovely hotel.  I was upgraded to a Jr. Suite (while using points) with a view of the castle.  Loved Ghent.  There should be an old post around MRI somewhere regarding my stay there.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
    arkwright Platinum 2 Reviews
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    Dear NewHiltonMembr and Razorback,

     

    Thanks for yours. I think our overall message is clear; Insiders could do much worse than to spend a few days in and around Ghent.

     

    Have a good week-end,

     

    A

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
    gm1 Gold 1 Reviews
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    Thank you newhiltonmember and the numerous insiders who have added insight and pictures to the discussion of Bruges.  I will be adding Belgium and Bruges to my bucket list of places to visit.  It  appears to be a great place to spend some time.

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    • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
      profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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      Please add Ghent as well, which is not far away, has the best Marriott in the world (in my humble opinion) and is gorgeous.

      ProfChiara

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  • Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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    Fond memories of Mussels in Brussels--thanks

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    • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
      fhllast4ever Platinum
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      Eating escargot while walking down the streets of Dinant was tricky but cool!  Those critters cost a lot in the US.

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      • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
        Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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        Except in Palm Springs at John Henry's where a plate of eight classic style are $6.95!

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  • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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    New Hilton, Professor, or anyone,

     

    Is there six days worth of "Things to do", in Ghent?

     

    I don't travel anymore unless I stay from Sunday and leave the following Saturday.  It's too much for us to change hotels during the time we are away.  That is why I do Paris, London, Zurich, etc, Day trips are fine as long as I can get back to the Marriott late that night.

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    • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
      newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
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      Hi Jerry,

       

      I wouldn't say that there are 6 days worth of things to see in Ghent itself.  But, yes, you could spend 6 nights at the Marriott in Ghent and do day trips to Bruges, Brussels, Antwerp, etc. 

       

      Hope you go!  It's wonderful!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
        jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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        New Hilton,

         

        Thanks for the information!  This place looks lovely, as others have stated, it's on my list.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
        fhllast4ever Platinum
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        Don't forget to go to Dinant.

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        • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
          newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
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          I loved Dinant!  Especially the view of Notre Dame, the Citadel, and the town from across the river.  I saw a photo in a guide book and knew that I had to go there.  Spent a few hours having lunch and siteseeing/walking around between my drive from Reims to Namur.

           

          Highly recommend!

           

          dinant.jpg

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Bruges, Belgium - What a Lovely Town!
      profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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      There aren't six days of things to do in Ghent itself, but it's a great base for exploring small Belgium, where there is plenty to do in six days.  (Plus both Luxembourg and Amsterdam are not far.) And like I said, the Ghent Marriott is amazing, right on one of the canals. 

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)