Where to stay in Bruges

Choose from a fairytale castle complete with spa, sauna and pool; or a boutique 18th-century townhouse in the heart of Bruges.

The Pand Hotel

This boutique hotel is an 18th-century townhouse in the heart of Bruges. It's perfect for a traditional romantic getaway, with its wood panelling, open fires and antiques. Some of the 26 rooms also have four-poster beds.

How they rate it

The Pand's "old-world style is entirely in keeping with the city", says Anthony Satin in Cond Nast Traveller. The service is "of a level one would expect from an award-winning hotel". The hotel is a short walk from the Burg square and the centre of Bruges, but it has the feel of a house rather than a city-centre hotel. Breakfast is served in a bright room complete with Aga and there's a "small, clubby bar" for after-dinner drinks.

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The menu

The Pand does not have a restaraunt, but it does serve an impressive full cooked breakfast with waiter service, rather than the all-too-common breakfast buffet. For a seriously posh meal, head to Siphon. This three-Michelin star restaurant (www.siphon.be) in the village of Damme specialises in eels, cooked in a green sorrel or cream sauce. Or you can opt for the other house speciality, hunks of prime beef grilled over open pits.

The cost

Doubles from €195 a night. For more, see www.pandhotel.com; call 00 32 50 34 06 66.

Kempinski Hotel Dukes' Palace


This Bruges hotel is in a fairytale castle, complete with turrets. For a truly amazing stay, book the Prinsenhof suite. It's spread over three levels and has its own private terrace.

How they rate it

This 15th-century palace "looks best at night when it's lit up like Disney World", says Casilda Grigg in The Daily Telegraph. The hotel has a spa, well-equipped gym, Finnish sauna, hammam and indoor pool. But the best things about the place are the "young, unstuffy staff", "terrific bathrooms" and the "superb and lively hotel breakfast".

The menu

The hotel is lovely, but the menu is "overblown", so avoid it and opt for the nearby Den Dyver. This family-run restaurant "holds its beer and wine lists in equal esteem to the food", says Kate Pettifer in The Sunday Times Travel Magazine. Drinks are carefully selected to accompany each course and are included in the set-menu price. Dishes include venison and tarte tatin. If the weather is good, take a table on the terrace. Mains cost from around £22 (www.dyver.be).

The cost

A double room at Kempinski Hotel Dukes' Palace costs from £170 per night (room only). The Prinsenhof suite costs from around £550 per night. Visit www.kempinski-bruges.com, or call 00 32 50 447 888 for more.

Ruth Jackson-Kirby

Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance. 

Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.

Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.