Romantic Places in Belgium
-Northen Belgium (Flanders)-Dutch-speaking northern Belgium. Trade, commerce, architecture and art has flourished here since medieval times. Major historic places include Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent and Ieper (Ypres).
Medieval Ypres is a very small, but lovely town, surrounded by walls and water, with a Great War past. It contains a beautiful walk on the best preserved ramparts of Belgium and is surrounded by the beautiful nature of ‘the Westhoek’ and by some lovely authentic villages. Ideal to walk, bike or drive around.
Main Street Hotel
Rijselsestraat 136 8900
Ieper (Ypres), Belgium
T: +32 57 46 96 33, 6 rooms. US$ 140-
Small romantic hotel with a relaxing atmosphere and stylishly beautiful music, wallpapers, curtains and furniture. The hotel has lots of luxury, comfort and little surprises for the guests. Breakfast includes local and organic choices.
Ghent is located at the crossroads between the cultural centres of Antwerp, Brussells and Bruges. Renowned for its 18th century splendour due to the considerable wealth of its textile industry, Ghent is now also well-known for its youthful energy linked to a very special provincial charm and cosiness. The SMAK museum is one of the world’s most bespoken museums of contemporary art.
Oude Houtlei 110 9000 Gent, Belgium
T: +32 9265 07 60. 4 rooms. $245-
Once the private 18th century mansion of Baron Verhaegen, it has been converted into a beautiful small hotel by its owners, two interior designers. It contains high ceilings, plush carpets, memorable art and a stylish attention to detail. The car-free centre of Ghent with its beautiful canals, open plazas and cafes is two streets away and the museums are a gorgeous 20-minute walk through the park.
A cosmopolitan, stylish and wealthy port city, with magnificent guild houses, baroque buildings and a medieval old town. Home to Rubens; his splendidly flamboyant paintings can be found in Antwerp’s cathedrals and museums.
De Witte Lelie
T: +32 32 2661 966. 10 rooms. US$ 410-
The name means “the white lily” – originally all the guestrooms were decorated in white – but now they’ve been beautifully updated with colorful touches. Located in the Old Town center, the hotel is made up of three 15th century step-gabled houses.
T: +32 32 25 5218. 5 room b&b. US$ 180-
Carefully restored 19th century Jewish quarter mansion.
Belgium’s Amsterdam: medieval architecture, Gothic churches, and narrow canals.
Hotel de Orangerie
T: +32 50 34 16 49. 20 rooms. US$ 230-
An opulent romantic hotel—originally a 15th century convent—overlooking a canal.
T: +32 50 34 06 66. 24 rooms. US$ 170-
Furnished with antiques provided by the family’s antique business, this former 18th century carriage house is tucked away in a leafy, tranquil square. De Haan Escape the 1970’s era high-rise resort towns along Belgium’s northern coast to the tiny seaside village of De Haan. Full of Belle Epoque villas, growth here has been strictly regulated to preserve as much of the sand dunes and green space as possible. Located ten miles outside of Bruges.
Prins Karellaan 12 De Haan, Belgium
T: +32 59 23 32 20. 7 rooms. US$ 220-
This beautifully furnished white brick villa, with pool, was once the summer home of a wealthy family from Brussels.
-Southern Belgium (Wallonia)-
French-speaking southern Belgium includes the rolling hills and woods of Ardennes, numerous castles, and the cities of Liege, Namur, and Tournai.