Sint Niklaas B&B

Bruges, Belgium Book from

Reviewed by Laura Dixon
A friendly welcome and 3 lovely rooms-with-a-view in central Bruges
One of the most beautiful details in this characterful home in central Bruges is the medieval map that takes up the whole wall beside the front door. On it you can see how Bruges is a maze of small streets, pedestrian-only cut-throughs and architectural delights, ringed by water, and it’s the same today as it was back then. Sint Niklaas B&B is one of those ancient delights, a home-from-home in a building that was once the Sint Niklaas hospital, dating back as far as the 14th century. Now its 3 bedrooms offer some of the finest views of Bruges’ famous bell tower, along with warm and friendly hospitality from the owner, Véronique.

Stay here for the location, in the heart of Bruges, and the B&B's style and welcome. Véronique shares her secrets of the city over mint tea in the lounge, offers you space to rest up after a long day admiring architecture and negotiating cobbled streets, and provides a neat drink by the fire while it rains outside. It’s a great place to come for romance in beautiful Bruges, a long weekend as a family, or a trip together as friends or mother and daughter.

Highs

  • Bruges itself - a delightful Unesco city, woven through by canals and cobbled streets
  • The B&B's fantastic central location on a quiet street beside the Markt Square, and close to restaurants
  • The warm welcome on a cold and rainy January day (the owner even helped me park my car)
  • Spacious rooms, offering good value for money in Belgium
  • The Belfort Room is a knockout with exceptional views, so book this if it's free

Lows

  • It's an old house with steep stairs and no lift
  • Some might not like the intimate atmosphere
  • No plasma TVs, no gadgetry, no concierge - it’s a typical B&B offering
  • No other food options beyond breakfast
  • You’ll have to pay to park if you drive here

Best time to go

Bruges is a great city to visit year-round. It can be rainy in January and February and very busy in July and August, so we consider June and December the best months overall - the latter because the city is buoyed with Christmas spirit, the former because you get the best of summer without the crowds.

Our top tips

The hushed beauty of The Beguinage is unmissable - a square surrounded by small white houses with a timeless sense of romance and incomparable architecture. The fairytale castle on the ‘lake of love’ beside it used to be a restaurant but is now sadly closed.

Great for...

City Style
Family
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique B&B
  • 3
  • Breakfast only (restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Scooters available
Room: The Rooftop Room

Rooms

There are 3 double/twin rooms and each has its own personality. On the first floor, The Oval Room is refined and elegant, with a stunning 19th-century ceiling rose. It is divided into a sleeping area and a partitioned bathroom, with a duck-egg blue slipper bath and walk-in shower.

On the second floor, The Rooftop Room has chocolate-coloured décor, with views over the Old Town and a smaller bathroom with a shower/tub. It's lovely but the upper-floor Belfort Room is a real knockout, and all rooms are the same price so book this if it's free. The room opens to a small desk area, and leads to stairs that reveal the attic, with its stunning views, a large red rug and the romantic double bed. Despite being in the eaves, it isn’t cramped and still suits taller people. The ensuite bathroom has a power shower but no tub.

All bedrooms have a view of Bruges' famous bell tower and the Rooftop Room room looks out over the back of the B&B too, showing the Church of Our Lady and rooftops beyond. All rooms are spacious - more like suites, really - and there's space for an extra bed and baby cot in each.

Features include:

  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Honesty bar
  • Iron (on request)
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

You get a full breakfast menu in the morning. I chose a boiled egg, toast, jam and local cheese for breakfast, but equally you could have yoghurt, cereals, cold meats, fruit salad and delicious fresh pastries. There is a small honesty bar in the lounge, but apart from that, you're on your own.

The air in Bruges smells of chocolate. Every second shop is a chocolate shop, and every third seems to sell waffles, frites or something else to eat. You are not going to go hungry here. How you find the best food, however, is the tricky thing. Ask Véronique for recommendations and don’t eat at Markt Square - it’s only a few steps away, but the touristy restaurants are overpriced and not Bruges’ best gourmet advertisement. Although for Belgian frites with mayonnaise, the stand in front of the bell tower is the genuine article!

Before your trip, book a table at the 3 Michelin-starred De Karmeliet if that’s your thing - waiting lists are long, but it's the most highly regarded place in town. Otherwise, try Couvert on Eekhoutstraat for Belgian food, or bistro ‘T Klein Genoegan. Sale & Pepe is a good Italian nearby - the daily specials are worth seeking out. Waffles are found everywhere, but apparently the best are at Salé et Sucré. And if you're after chocolate, Neuhaus and Sweertvaegher are the 2 that locals recommend.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Wander to Markt Square and admire its medieval architecture, then climb to the top of the bell tower for stunning panoramic views (made famous by In Bruges). It’s 300 steps to the top

  • Take a boat tour along the canals, spot swans and spy an alternative view of the city. It beats the uber-touristy pony and trap tours that run from the centre; the entire city is a Unesco World Heritage site

  • Visit Burg Square with its 14th-century town hall and Basilica of the Holy Blood. It’s one of the city’s finest spots and reflects Bruges' past wealth and influence

  • Get down with the chocolate. You can try truffles at every shop you like (there are over 50 chocolate boutiques, so good luck), then explore the town’s chocolate museum, Choco-Story, with more tastings and a history lesson

  • Bruges’ other food museums are the Museum of the Frite, all about the history of potatoes (and more interesting than it sounds), and the De Halve Maan brewery, another great stop for tastings

  • Bruges can be overly touristy. Hire a bike (ask Véronique) and take yourself on an architectural tour of the northeast side of the city to avoid the crowds - you’ll make discoveries around every corner

  • Marvel at the magic touch of Michelangelo, whose Madonna and Child is found among countless paintings at the Church of our Lady. The tower here is 122m high, making it the tallest brick building in the world

  • Take a tour of Flanders Field and the First World War battlefields, around an hour away. Véronique can arrange a custom tour that picks you up from the B&B

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome here. An extra bed and baby cot can be added to all rooms and Véronique is happy to cater for kids at breakfast. There are plenty of places to eat nearby for children; they may also enjoy the boat rides and bike rides in the city.

Best for:

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

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Babysitting:

On request

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Seapark Brugge, a dolphin amusement park
  • Plenty of indoor playgrounds (ask at the tourist information booth)
  • A 14th-century children’s farm at Zeven Torentjes
  • Three swimming pools nearby
  • A couple of large nature reserves
  • The Beisbroek public observatory

Families Should Know:

The B&B has steep stairs, typical of any historic Belgian building.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
9/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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