Archive for the ‘Belgium’ Category

Grand Hotel Casselbergh, Bruges, Belgium

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
It was the beginning of high season in Bruges, Belgium. Fortunately, our group of travel writers had reservations at the Grand Hotel Casselbergh, as most hotels were fully booked in early May. The hotel has been created out of three historical residences, resulting in 118 hotel rooms, combining 18th century Bruges with modern luxury.
Nancy D. Brown, Grand Hotel Casselbergh, Bruges, Belgium, UNESCO World Heritage City, photo courtesy Grand Hotel Casselbergh

Exterior of the Grand Hotel Casselbergh in Bruges, Belgium

Charming Bruges
Everyone told me that I would love Bruges, from the canals with swans gliding by, to the lace, tapestry and chocolate shops dotting this charming town. They were right. Not only is Bruges a UNESCO world heritage city, it is an easy city to navigate on foot or bicycle and holds plenty of history. It’s also a wonderful location for photographers of any skill level.
We were in Bruges to witness the Holy Blood Procession, a festive cultural parade of sorts with the majority of the towns people participating in this religious procession.
Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown discovers Grand Hotel Casselbergh Rm 2409, Bruges, Belgium

Grand Hotel Casselbergh Rm 2409 in Bruges, Belgium

Grand Hotel Casselbergh – Grand Location
Located on Hoogstraat 6, the Grand Hotel Casselbergh looked over one of the many canals threading its way through Bruges. Our four star hotel had a great wellness center. However, I can’t image why guests would not take advantage of the wonderful walking and bike routes along the canals.
My room, #2409 was small, yet efficient. On this particular visit, the service did not represent a four star experience. I did not receive my wake up call and several of my colleagues were treated as more of a nuisance than guests of the hotel.
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Hollywood Meets Bruges
If you are planning a visit to Bruges, rent the self-titled movie In Bruges. You’ll see the Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce, where Colin Farrell stayed in the movie. Nearby, the Hotel de Tuilerieen is where Farrell actually slept as a visitor while filming In Bruges.
Luxury Travel Writer, Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce, Bruges, Belgium

As seen in the "In Bruges" Movie - Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce, Bruges, Belgium

Grand Hotel Casselbergh 32 (0)50 44 65 00
Article written by and photos courtesy of  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip. I was a guest of  Grand Hotel Casselbergh.
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Visit Flanders

The Beaumont, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

On the banks of the River Maas, the ancient city of Maastricht is home to several universities and venue of numerous international conferences. Just last year, the 13th United World College opened here, so it’s a vibrant city with a large international student population. Maastricht is a popular recreational destination as well, with heaps of great shops and restaurants. Furthermore, this is a very convenient location for exploring not only the Netherlands, but also Belgium and Germany, both only minutes away.

Conveniently located between the railway station and the old city, the Beaumont is a great lodging option and I ususally stay here whenever I’m in Maastricht for a conference. Everything in town is within easy walking distance. For US history buffs, the Beaumont has an American connection as well. During World War II, it was for a while home to the 9th American batallion. This is commemorated with photos around the hotel.

The rooms are affordable, clean and comfortable with rates from EUR 49.50 per person, including an ample and delicious breakfast buffet. Superior rooms are very spacious and have cool rain showers. Some rooms have a little balcony, so you can have a look at life as it passes by. There’s a large suite as well as a family-room with two baths and two TVs!

For other lodging options in the Netherlands, have a look at our reviews here.

Wycker Brugstraat 2
6221 EC Maastricht – The Netherlands
tel + 31 43 325 44 33

Review by Anne-Sophie Redisch of Sophie’s World
Photos courtesy of mylimburg at flickr’s Creative Commons

Marriott Ghent in Belgium

Friday, May 21st, 2010
Marriott Ghent
I’d never slept in a brothel before. That is, not until my arrival to Ghent in Belgium. How do I know that the Marriott Ghent was once a brothel? There are two swans adorning the outside of this beautiful historic, 150 room hotel. One swan on the outside of the building represents a brewery; two swans – a brothel. Who knew?
Three year old Marriott Ghent, located in Belgium combines the old with the new. Historic location overlooking the Leie River. Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown

Marriott Ghent combines the best of old and new in historic Belgium building.

Historic Ghent

Everyone has heard of Bruges, Belgium, yet there is a lot of history to be found in the nearby city of Ghent. Overlooking  the Korenlei on the banks of the river Lys canal, the three year old Marriott Ghent seamlessly combines the old with the new. The centuries old building is a treasure to the citizens of Ghent and they are proud of their history and historic buildings. The Marriott Ghent has successfully married old brick walls, while featuring a glass-sided lobby to let the sunlight of Ghent stream in.

Marriott Ghent Lobby in Belgium combines the old with the new. Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown

Belgium's Marriott Ghent lobby combines the old with the new.

Rooms with a View

My room, #306, a quality room, went for 306 Euro during a May 2010 stay. If you are looking for a canal view, Room #331 offers a good view of the canal. Those on an expense account or with plenty of Marriott points may opt for the Junior Suite with a canal view at 425 Euro. Breakfast, served from 6:30 – 11 a.m. in the half-timbered restaurant had a combination of hot and cold offerings. 

The smoke-free Marriott Ghent has two handicapped accessible rooms, a business center and small gym for working out. If you arrive by car, Marriott Ghent offers underground parking for 19 Euro daily. Social media guests will find the Marriott Ghent on Twitter. You may also follow VisitFlanders on Twitter and become a Facebook Fan of Visit Gent for more information on the area.

Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown stays in Quality Rm 306 Marriott Ghent, Belgium

Quality Room #306 at the Ghent Marriott in Belgium

Marriott Ghent – Great Location

The Marriott Ghent is located steps from the Grand Meat Hall, a place where meat was stored and traded back in the middle ages. It’s also close to charming shops such as the famous mustard shop. When in Ghent, make sure to sample the Gentse Waterzooi soup, Belgium chocolates and stop at the St. Bavo Cathedral to view the Adoration of the Mystical Lamb.

Marriott Ghent +32 (0) 92 339393


Ghent, 9000 Belgium

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Article written by and photos courtesy of  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip  I was a guest of Marriott Ghent.



Conrad Brussels, Belgium

Thursday, May 13th, 2010
Conrad Hotel, Brussels, Belgium, 71 Avenue Louise, Luxury Hotel

Conrad Hotel, located on 71 Avenue Louise in Brussels, Belgium,

Conrad Brussels, Luxury on Avenue Louise

Located on the famous Avenue Louise, the Conrad Brussels is one of  Belgium’s top luxury hotels and is THE place to stay in Brussels. Easily accessible to the Palais Royal and Grand Place, the Conrad Brussels is an ideal location for visitors looking to stroll this elegant capital.

Opened in 1993, the hotel has preserved its 19th century facade, while offering 20th century accommodations. The Conrad Brussels features large marble bathrooms with bath and separate shower, digital TV (although you won’t need TV with all of the museums nearby) high speed internet, (for an extra fee) mini-bar, a large work table and luxury toiletries.


Conrad Brussels Deluxe Room 623, located in Belgium on the famous Avenue Louise

Conrad Brussels Deluxe Room 623, located in Belgium on the famous Avenue Louise


Handicapped Accessible, Family and Pet-Friendly

Offering 269 luxury guest rooms, including 39 suites, and two rooms for the disabled, the Conrad Brussels is family and pet friendly. The hotel offers connecting family rooms and all rooms are pet-friendly for an extra fee. While 99% of the hotel is smoke-free, smoking is permitted in first floor rooms. The Conrad also features Cafe Wiltcher’s for guests wanting to dine in-house. For those needing to check e-mail, The Conrad Brussels has complimentary computers available at the business center. Personally, I like the Conrad for its goose down feather duvets and the free shoe shine service.

My deluxe room, number 623, was on the top floor and looked over Avenue Louise. The rack rate for this room was 550 Euro, however, check the website for the best available room rates.

Aspria Avenue Louis e Spa

Guests may enjoy the spa facilities, fitness room and swimming pool. If you have time, book a one hour Aroma Massage (90 Euro) followed with a dip in the hot tub. The aromatherapy massage was just the ticket to help combat my jet lag after an 11 hour flight from San Francisco.

If You Go:

Conrad Brussels 00 32 2 542 48 03

71 Avenue Louise

1050 Brussels, Belgium

Article written by and photos courtesy of  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip. I was a guest of  Conrad Brussels.

Related Post: Things to do in Belgium