My girlfriend and I spent Valentine’s weekend at Hotel de Barge in Brugge in February 2009. This hotel takes the form of a converted canal barge.
We booked our trip through www.expedia.co.uk as a “flights and accommodation” package, as this worked out cheaper than booking the Brussels Airlines flights and the hotel separately. Booking this way meant that our Standard Double cabin, with en-suite facilities, cost around 120 GBP for 1 night. This also included a buffet breakfast.
To be honest, this is more than I’d usually pay for a night’s accommodation, especially 3* accommodation, but we were looking for somewhere a bit different and suitably romantic for a Valentine’s break. Hotel de Barge fitted the bill perfectly, especially as we had recently spent an enjoyable weekend at a similar “floating hotel” in Prague (the Botel Admiral boat hotel).
Hotel de Barge is located on one of Brugge’s many canals, moored up at Bargeweg.
It enjoys a peaceful location, but is just 5 minutes walk from the central train station and 5-10 minutes walk from the centre of the old town. The short walk to the town centre is a picturesque one through the nearby Minnewater park and around the “Lake of Love”.
Our double cabin was more spacious than I expected (much more spacious than the cabin we stayed in on the boat hotel in Prague), was well furnished, clean and bright.
The cabin contained a comfortable double bed, a large wardrobe, lots of shelf space, a small TV set (with UK and European channels), wooden stools, bedside lamps, wall mirrors and a telephone.
The room had a nautical theme with mirrors that looked like portholes, ropes on the ceiling and even life jackets on the bed (we hoped the latter were for show rather than out of necessity!). Our cabin faced away from the canal towards dry land – there was perhaps a metre of water between our window and the canalside. The barge doesn’t move, so there’s no need to worry about sea sickness or choppy waters spoiling a good night’s sleep!
The en-suite shower cubicle was unsurprisingly small, but featured a good shower with plenty of hot water, a toilet, a washbasin, a large mirror, a hairdryer and plenty of bright light. Fresh towels and a few basic toiletries were provided.
The room rate included a very good buffet breakfast. The choice of food included cereals, yoghurts, cold cuts of meat, a variety of cheeses, bread, croissants, rolls with chocolate chips and apple and raisin in them, meatballs, bacon, scrambled and boiled eggs. Drinks included fruit juices, coffee and a good selection of teas (peppermint, lime, lemon, strawberry, camomile…)
We arrived at the hotel late on a Saturday morning, but were unable to check in to our cabin until 2pm. We were able to store our luggage in reception while we explored the town and then returned later in the afternoon to check in.
Upon checking in, we were provided with a very good street map and a discount card with reductions for many of the city’s main attractions. We used it to get a 20% discount at the Choco-Story and Belgian Frites museums.
There are a few other boats and barges near the Hotel de Barge, including one just a few metres away which is an upmarket restaurant.
Comfortable, nautical cabins on an impressively converted barge. Bright and well furnished en-suite rooms and a good breakfast included in the price. Recommended as a good alternative to a standard city centre hotel.
Three star hotel with nice little cabin rooms with a view over the canal. The room had a nautical theme - all blue stripes, white knotted rope (don't know what that was for!!!) and brass decor with ensuite bath and shower. It was quiet and comfy and just a short walk from the centre of Brugge. It was lovely to watch the boats sailing past on the Brugge-Ghent Canal and the cyclists on the bank opposite.... of course it meant they could also see you so don't forget to draw the curtains!!!!
There is a lovely bar and restaurant (breakfast room) down stairs. The only thing I didn't like were the live lobster with taped claws sitting resignedly in a huge glass tank. By night De Barge is an expensive lobster restaurant and these poor creatures were glumly awaiting their fate.
Breakfast was included and was the usual standard continental fare.
Unique Quality: It floats. It has nice decking outside to sit and have a bier or coffee. Friendly helpful staff.
Directions: On the canal.
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Address: Bargeweg 15, Bruges, West Flanders, 8000, Belgium