My mum and I just got back from a 4 night stay at the Sofitel Brugge and overall really liked the hotel. The service was excellent (helpful, friendly staff), the facilities overall were great (nice heated indoor swimming pool, comfortable rooms - lighting a bit dim but very spacious for Europe and ultra comfortable cosy beds!) and the location was very central (opposite bus stops - so you can easily get a bus rather than a taxi from the station - and a shortish walk into town via the main shopping street.) Had the weather been better the hotel also has a pretty little garden which looks nice to relax in. Just a couple of pointers about the hotel and Bruges in general:
- try to request a non-ground floor room - upon arrival we were told we'd been upgraded to a deluxe room (great!) but it was facing the street and there was a lot of noise both from traffic and from water pipes from the swimming pool in the same corridor. The hotel changed us to a quieter 2nd floor room without any problems the next morning.
- as others have said before, if the breakfast is not included in your deal it's really not worth it at 21 Euros per person - unless you eat an awful lot! Lots of little breakfast places nearby in the main shopping street, and a supermarket!
- also watch the phone charges in the room - use the lobby machine, much cheaper!
Some recommendations for Bruges:
- the canal cruises are great fun and very good value at only 5 Euros per person - a must do!
- clothes shoppers will enjoy the main shopping street - Steenstraat - to our surprise the shopping wasn't all frumpy lace and souvenirs at all, some nice and reasonably priced clothes shops too! It's not London or Paris but it's worth a look.
- Sunday's probably a good transit day as lots of things are shut. But if you are there on Sunday, Est winebar (in the smaller shopping street running parallel to Steenstraat) is excellent - lovely food and wine, great atmosphere, non smokey and fab live jazz from 8pm. We just saw the ad on a city map so went on the offchance and were surprised by what a little find it was. Real mix of ages and friendly service. In general restaurants and bars are a fair bit cheaper than London (not hard!) - not a bad little Italian (including good menu for veggies, very inexpensive) was Romanos. Beware strict opening hours in Bruges though (12-2 for lunch in most places, then gap where you can't eat between 2-6!!)
- the dolphinarium wasn't bad, sweet dolphin display and nicely laid out although more to interest children than adults! No aquarium but a few other animals including interesting birds of prey. A quick trip on the bus.
Places to avoid:
- I read about another Italian restaurant someone had recommended - Bacchus Cornelius in Academiestraat - where the food was nice and inexpensive as stated. However what the reviewer failed to point out was that the waiters were rude perverts!! I'd recommend only men or women WITH men go there...give it a miss there are plenty of other nice restaurants in Bruges!
- the English Theatre of Bruges - nice venue, inexpensive tickets...but the quality of the shows is really bad. Think school play not fringe. Maybe the shows vary, I don't know, but the one we went to see only had about 5 other people in the audience - and we could see why! Even given the 10 Euro price don't bother!
But overall a pretty place to visit with friendly helpful people and a fair bit to do for a couple of days. Take lots of cash as not everywhere is card friendly!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tucked in the historic center of Bruges, NH Brugge uniquely boasts all the modern conveniences of a contemporary facility within the antiquated charm of a 17th century monastery. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Nh Hotels Bruges
- Nh Brugge Bruges