I stayed here with my husband just after Christmas. We had planned to cosy up in our room and the spa for a relaxing weekend. Our room wasn't ready on our arrival so after waiting in the bar for 45 minutes (and sampling some local beer!) we were given another room with twin beds, though we had booked a double. The staff were very helpful and brought us a double duvet to use over the beds pushed together - not ideal, but it was a huge room so we didn't complain.
We ventured into historical Ghent which is a very short walk away, to the Christmas market (the stalls weren't very impressive but it gave the town a nice festive atmosphere). It snowed, which was fun until we got soaked and decided to return to the hotel to warm up in the spa. However, the spa was disappointing. Only the sauna was working and it was the coldest sauna I've ever experienced. We put water on the coals and nothing happened, not even a sizzle. It was like sitting in a room with a warm radiator.
Back in our room our clothes were still soaked as our room was cold. We tried turning up the thermostat but it would click out before the room warmed up. We phoned reception but were told that the whole hotel was set at 25 degrees and could not be overridden. It's great that they have a strong environmental policy but it was below zero outside. We went down to the bar and lounge rooms but they were colder than our bedroom. Worried about our clothes being wet for the next day, we were given an electric heater for our room. My pet hate is cold hotel rooms, especially for romantic breaks when I don't plan to spend the whole time wrapped up in a jumper and slippers!
The room was nicely decorated and very clean, with a huge corner balcony overlooking the garden which would be great in the summer, but the bathroom was freezing. There was no bath, just a huge shower that I only used once as I couldn't stop shivering in it. Thinking a hot drink might help, my husband went downstairs to get a cup of hot water for a teabag I had brought from home, as I was on a very limited diet at the time, and we had no kettle in our room. They gave him a whole teapot of boiling water, though he asked for only one cup, and it was only when we checked out that we noticed they'd charged us almost 4 Euros for this! We were also charged for a beer we hadn't ordered, but the reception was so busy with others checking out, that we didn't bother going back to question it.
Breakfast was fantastic with a massive selection of quality food, with a very good gluten-free loaf and gluten-free cereals served. We tried to eat in the hotel restaurant but was told it was fully booked, so it's worth booking for a weekend evening. We found some very good restaurants in town so it wasn't a problem.
I don't like to complain when I'm on holiday, but here I felt like I was forever phoning reception about various problems. To the staff's credit, they did find solutions, but it has put me off returning. It's a shame because the hotel is beautiful, as is Ghent itself, but I certainly wouldn't recommend staying in this hotel in the middle of winter!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This magnificent 18th-century Ghent hotel offers stylish interiors and modern amenities. It is only 750 meters from the Belfry. The Reylof features a wellness center and a garden courtyard with terraces. In restaurant LOF they serve classic French dishes and oriental cuisine. And in the Champagne bar you can enjoy a delicious glass of champagne. Rooms at the Grand Hotel Sandton Reylof have high ceilings, large windows and a beautiful French-style interior with modern details. Each room has air conditioning, a minibar and a luxurious bathroom with a spacious rain shower for 2 people or a bathtub. In the suites the minibar is included. The wellness in a former coach house situated in the garden offers a wonderful setting for relaxation. You can have several soothing massages and other treatments. For hotel guests the use the of the sauna, steam bath, fitness and wellness pool are free, except for the treatments. There is a business corner with PC available. Also, there are 9 meeting rooms available with connections for all types of equipment, the equipment is present in the hotel. The hotel has a parking garage (€21/day) with a free charging-point for electric cars. There is also a public parking 'Ramen', just around the corner. Since April 2013, Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof has besides the BREEAM certificate also the Green Key award. ... more less
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