Ghentrification A review of NH Gent Belfort
Love Bruges, but feel overwhelmed by frilly lace frou-frous and an overindulgence of chocolate shops? Ghent could be the answer.
This hotel is within a few steps of some of the best things Ghent has to offer for sightseeing, drinking and eating. The Sofitel has an old facade but modern interior, with spacious rooms, big beds and a slightly louche 70s air. Reception staff are friendly, and it is worth registering with the loyalty card scheme for more assorted ungents and strangly kitsch treats (bears, bamboo, chocolate, slippers and a torch on our last visit...). Plus good rates when you return, as you may find yourself seduced by Ghent.
Take the boat trip if you visit between March and October, and fantasise about owning a house with a dock at the end of the garden, and sunny afternoons messing about on the river. Try to spend at least one evening in the tiny Galganhuis at the bottom of the paved street which leads from the Sofitel down into town. After an evening amongst the assorted hanging dolls (the Galganhuis was used to house prisoners on their way to execution) and sampling the best Belgian beer, it's a gentle meander back to the hotel.