B&B The Verhaegen

Ghent, Belgium Book from Book from £172 per night

A romantic, utterly unique B&B in a beautifully restored historic mansion in central Ghent

When Jan Rosseel and Marc Vergauwe met in design school, they could never have guessed that decades later they'd become the owners of a derelict 18th-century mansion. But that’s exactly what happened; the interior designers bought a palatial townhouse in central Ghent, in need of complete restoration. 18 months later, the stunning result was The Verhaegen, a private mansion turned B&B, which showcases innovative Dutch and French design, and is now classified as a historical monument. There are 9 spacious bedrooms and suites, each with a unique fusion of antiques and modernist touches. Crystal chandeliers hang from the ceilings, sumptuous fabrics furnish the beds, and quirky finds are displayed in hidden corners. It’s certainly not a museum, though; rather a lived-in home that you're invited to share.

Downstairs, the opulence continues in the magnificent Grand Salon, which overlooks a French-style garden with an ornamental pond, box hedges and potted lemon trees. Inside, the salon walls are lined with 250-year-old Rococo murals by the Flemish painter Pierre Norbert van Reysschoot, and great care has been taken to preserve original features such as marble fireplaces and herringbone-wood floors. After a day's sightseeing, it's a fabulous place to relax with a fine wine or brandy. We’ve yet to stay, but it’s exactly what we’d hoped to find in historic Ghent.
Covid update: see our Flexible Booking Policy.

Highs

  • A must for art lovers and those interested in Flemish architecture; it’s perfectly placed for Ghent’s medieval canals and galleries, and just 5 minutes' walk from the Graslei
  • The warmth of service. Jan and Marc go out of their way to make you feel welcome and previous guests say they felt like they were visiting old friends
  • High-ceilinged rooms, with antique screens, plush carpets and vintage-style wallpapers. Gorgeous bathrooms, too
  • Breakfast in the elegant dining room is a lavish affair: fine china, silver tableware, candles, freshly squeezed OJ and an assortment of tasty treats

Lows

  • Rates don't include breakfast, and rooms are expensive compared to other B&Bs in the area, but worth the splurge for special occasions
  • Closed on Sunday & Monday nights
  • It's quiet in the evenings and there's no night bar, but there are plenty of restaurants and bars nearby
  • There's no night porter so no arrivals after 9pm (contact the hotel beforehand if this is an issue)
  • No lift

Best time to go

Spring and autumn are lovely times to visit Ghent - temperatures are fairly mild and it's not too overrun with tourists. There's a real buzz in the air in early July when the festival season arrives, though be aware that the city shuts down for a few weeks after this. August brings warm weather and sees locals out enjoying the sunshine.

Our top tips

Ghent hosts many musical festivals nearly all year round, and has a wonderful opera house and several concert halls, too. The International Jazz Festival takes place during the first week of July. This is followed by a 10-day open-air music festival that attracts huge crowds. Book tickets in advance.

Great for...

City Style
Romantic
  • Boutique B&B
  • 9 rooms
  • Breakfast only (restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 23-25 December inclusive
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Private tours
Room:

Rooms

There are 5 bedrooms and 4 large and impressive suites spread across the 18th-century mansion and the newly restored 17th-century extensions at the end of the garden.

All mansion rooms have original 18th-century fireplaces, dramatic high ceilings and elaborate cornicing, but they are completely different in décor, with bright colour washes and handpicked antiques (parchment leather washstands, vintage screens, marble tabletops). Retro touches, like Roberts radios and modernist art, act as a clever counterpoint and add a lived-in feel.

The aptly named Cosy is very private, tucked up in the eaves with a bath hidden in a cupboard. The best room for a view is tranquil Paola’s Room (the Junior Suite), which overlooks the manicured garden. Its sitting room is decorated in vibrant hues of red, and quirky artwork - a 'Pasta' poster by the French artist Razzia - hangs above the fireplace. It also has an illustrious history: the Queen of Belgium stayed here as a child. For complete and utter decadence, splurge on the enormous Suite Années '40. It's airy and luxurious, with grey and cream walls, a private reading room and a lovely balcony.

At the end of the garden are four more opulent suites: beautiful (and enormous) Atelier d’Arthur Suites come with kitchens so you can self-cater, while the Family Suite has one double and one twin bedroom, plus plenty of living space for a family of 4.

Bathrooms have big tubs, waterfall showers and complimentary Floris products, and all rooms have flat-screen TVs and WiFi. Minibars hide a selection of fine wines and champagne.

Guests also have the run of the gorgeous communal areas, which go way beyond anything you’d expect to find in a B&B. The Grand, Chinese and Dining Salons are magnificent with fabulous furnishings, while the serene and fragrant garden is the perfect spot for a cup of tea.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Fireplace
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Marc and Jan's scrupulous attention to detail continues at breakfast, where perfectly poached eggs and flaky French pastries are served on silver platters at a communal table. The Dining Salon is stunning, with a heavy chandelier, 250-year-old Rococo paintings by Pierre Norbert van Reysschoot, and a log fire in winter. If, however, you're tempted to linger in bed, ask for breakfast to be delivered to your room.

If you're staying in one of the Suites Atelier d’Arthur you get a little kitchen for self-catering, which is complete with a fridge, oven and dishwasher. There's a dining table in the living area.

Ghent’s restaurant culture is booming, with a number of Michelin-starred restaurants continuing to spring up around the city. Generally, the cuisine revolves around local seafood and you're an easy stroll from an eclectic mix of bars and eateries. On Jan Breydelstraat, The House of Eliot is a 1920s-style brassiere recommended for its lobster menu. Down in the 14th-century Patershol quarter there are some great fish restaurants. A Flemish staple is waterzooi (a stew made with fish or chicken) and this can be sampled at many restaurants, including the well-known Pakhuis - an industrial-chic former warehouse. After dinner, head back to the hotel and unwind in the Grand Salon with one of Jan and Marc’s fiery cocktails or a cigar and fine brandy.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Communal dining
  • Drinks on request
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Stroll along the canal to the Graslei, Belgium’s most famous quay. It’s only a 5-minute walk to the busy medieval port with its lively restaurants and specialised old merchant shops
  • Ghent is famous for its splendid 18th-century Flemish architecture, dating from its textile-trade past. Marc and Jan can organise a private guided tour of the historic centre.
  • Bruges, Antwerp and Brussels are only a 30-minute train ride from Ghent if you fancy a day trip
  • The SMAK museum holds a world-class collection of contemporary art, including Hockneys and Warhols
  • St Bavo’s Cathedral is a must, with 3 impressive towers and a Rococo pulpit built from Danish oak. It’s worth the token entrance fee just to see The Adoration of the Lamb altar piece - one of the finest examples of religious art
  • Head to Zwarte Zusterstr for clothing boutiques and artisan products. Recommended shops include Volderstraat, Henegouwenstraat and Vlaanderenstraat
  • Listen to jazz and admire the art at the Hotsy Totsy Club, just down the road from the hotel. Over 30 years old, it's popular with artists and photographers
  • Check out the Parisian-style second-hand book market of Ajuinlei, located along the Lys. Hunt down some old classics or stock up on vintage postcards and records
  • While in Ghent, it would be wrong not to sample the mouthwatering chocolates at patisserie Joost Arijs. The owner used to work in the famous Michelin-star restaurant Hof van Cleve and his cookies are sublime

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Live music
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets

Kids

Children are welcome and will love the fairytale vibe, although it's not an obvious choice for a family stay. It's probably best suited to babies or older children. Baby cots/extra beds are available.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

There's a Family Suite with two bedrooms (one double, one twin) and a living area. The Suites Atelier d’Arthur have kitchens for self-catering. The four smaller rooms can fit a baby cot; suites can fit a rollaway bed.

Kid Friendly:

Location

B&B The Verhaegen is situated in the centre of Ghent (Gent), northern Belgium. It's at a crossroards between Brussels, Bruges and Antwerp. The easiest way to get here is by train.

By Air:
The nearest airport is Brussels International (50km). Or you can fly into Lille in France and cross the border.

From the Airport
Taxis are available from Brussels airport (around EUR100 in 2013) or you can hire a car.

By Car:
We would not recommend driving here - it’s far easier to take the Eurostar or train, then a taxi, bus or tram. However, if you do want to drive, see our car rental recommendations. If you're hiring a car from Lille, check you're OK to take it into Belgium. The hotel has 2 parking spaces which can be used by guests for an additional fee.

By Train:
You can reach Ghent by rail from across Europe; if travelling from the UK by Eurostar, rail travel around Belgium is often included in the price. Gent Sint-Pieters station is a 15-minute taxi ride from B&B The Verhaegen.

Getting Around:
Ghent is best seen by foot and the hotel is perfectly placed for walking around the centre. The tram network is a good way to get a more scenic tour of the city.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Brussels International 50.0 km BRU
  • Lille (in France) 80.0 km LIL

Other:

  • Beach 50.0 km
  • Shops 0.5 km
  • Restaurant 0.2 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
9/10
Food
9/10
Service
7/10
Value
9/10
Overall

The hotel was very beautiful and extremely comfortable. We had a problem in our room on Saturday morning (the shower in the room above was leaking through our bathroom ceiling). They immediately moved us into another room which was also very nice and comfortable, so we got to experience two very contrasting rooms which was a treat. The garden is lovely but the weather was sadly too cold for us to use it. They accommodated my husband's gluten intolerance at breakfast and provided him with delicious breads and toasts. The only drawback is the breakfast (which was delicious) not being included in the price of the room but other than that I would highly recommend Hotel Verhaegen as a stylish, comfortable and welcoming place to stay.

10/10,

Staying here is a really special experience; the owners are very friendly and the place is simply magnificent. The breakfast room with its fabulous original 18th century murals is worth the price alone but the breakfast itself is excellent with freshly squeezed orange juice and beautiful eggs as well as croissants and wonderful jam. In summer it must be lovely to sit in the garden. The location is brilliant and Ghent itself is superb. Thank you for having us!

10/10,

The stay at chambre d‘hotes was alright. The place the beautiful and has a very tranquil old charme. However for this price we would have expected better service. The breakfast was good and tasty. Though we felt it was expensive. There are very good restaurants and breakfast options in Ghent which offer very high quality alternatives for same or less money.
The house is monumental and definetly worth seeing! Unfortunately we were not offered to see the full house. Of course we also didn’t ask, as it felt inappropriate to ask the owners for a housetour.

7/10,

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Rates for B&B The Verhaegen

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