The Pand Hotel: A Modern Boutique Hotel in the Heart of Historic Bruges
Ever since Colin Farrell graced us with his devilishly handsome looks on the silver screen for the movie In Bruges, I have been dying to visit this charming, historic town in northwest Belgium. I can't imagine why his character hated it so much because it's everything a girl can dream to see! This city is fresh out of a fairytale with its cobblestone streets, medieval architecture, and winding canals. In my opinion, it's basically the closest thing to feeling like you're in a Disney movie.
My sister and I spent two nights in Bruges at the start of our recent Euro-trip together, which ended up being a good amount of time there. Two full days and nights left us feeling like we definitely could have spent at least another night or two to hit up some more of the restaurants and breweries on our list, but we crossed off the main things we wanted to do. Since time was of the essence, we wanted to choose a hotel that was centrally located and easy to get around everywhere.
The Pand Hotel was the place we called home for our time in Bruges, and it proved to be perfect for everything we were looking for. It was very centrally located right near the canals, which made it extremely easy to walk just about anywhere we wanted within 5-20 minutes. The Pand was also quietly tucked away on one of the side streets just off the main road, thus diluting the noise of the city. After living in New York City for the last few years, having peace and quiet in the middle of the hustle and bustle is something that I live for!
Getting to Bruges from London
One of the things I love most about traveling through Europe is how easy and accessible it can be to get around from country to country. In the US, you typically have to fly commercial airlines to get from one state to another, which costs about two arms and a leg these days (don't even get me started on how much I hate US-based airlines...). You can also drive if you have access to a car, but it seems like taking the train isn't really a widely popular option anymore. For the most part, Europe has their train systems down to an art and it's such a convenient way to get around!
*PRO-TIP* We flew in and out of London Heathrow for this Euro-trip because it was significantly cheaper than flying in/out of any of the cities we were visiting. It cost us around $500 USD roundtrip versus about $1500 just to fly in/out of the cities we were traveling to. I highly suggest looking into this option if you're considering doing a multi-city European trip. Once you land, you can easily take the trains around Europe, which--if purchased well in advance--is also cheaper than flying.
Dani and I opted for taking the Eurostar from London to Bruges, which was actually pretty simple! We flew into London Heathrow and landed around 7:30AM and booked the 10:58AM train from London's St. Pancras Station to Belgium (any station). There was an earlier train departing around 9-something-AM, but if you've ever been to London Heathrow, you'll understand that it can take FOREVER to get out of that behemoth airport. We were so thankful we gave ourselves plenty of time to get from Heathrow to St. Pancras on the tube. I highly recommend giving yourself ample buffer time to do this as well!
Once we arrived at St. Pancras, we got to our train and departed for Belgium. Once we arrived in Belgium, we got off the train in Brussels and transferred to another train that would take us to Bruges. The nice thing about our ticket type is that it we were able to get on any train that was heading to Bruges at any time of that day. No rushing around to catch the "right" train. It took us a minute to figure it out, but we found the train we needed and headed to Bruges!
ARRIVING TO THE Hotel
Once we arrived in Bruges, we were left with the decision on how to get to our hotel. Bruges' train station is only about a 20-minute walk to The Pand Hotel (and about 10-15 minute walk into the downtown area), but (a) we were jet lagged as hell and (b) we didn't want to drag our luggage across the cobblestone streets for 20 minutes. Ultimately, we opted for public transit since it was the most affordable option and dropped us off about 2 minutes from the hotel.
An 18th-Century Carriage House Turned Modern Boutique Hotel
After stepping off the bus, we hobbled our tired selves, luggage, and backpacks across the cobblestone streets towards the hotel. One of the best parts of the hotel is its proximity to the canals and everything else that's probably on your to-do list in Bruges. The Pand Hotel is located just around the corner from a main road on a side street, which is perfect because it drowns out the city noise.
The first impression I had of the lobby was that it was charming and exuded this old-meets-new glamour that I love about boutique European hotels. There was a beautiful library and lounge area in the front where guests can enjoy a drink or relax after a long day; and towards the back you could see the dining area where breakfast is served daily.
I personally enjoy the character and quaintness of a smaller boutique hotel to the flashy pizzazz of a larger chain hotel. It just feels more...home-y, if you will. It makes you feel like you're genuinely welcome there and can relax and really unwind. That's definitely the feeling you get here at this hotel. It's just so comfortable that it feels like home!
High-End Luxuries That Feel Like Comforts of Home
The Pand Hotel offers guests 4 types of room accommodations: Small Charming Room, Charming Plus Room, Junior Suite, and Master Suite. Each room is individually decorated with beautiful antiques and luxurious designer fabrics and textiles. We opted for the Junior Suite since we wanted to treat ourselves to a little opulence after that long trip from New York.
Our room came with plenty of closet space, a full size bathroom with a jacuzzi and shower, a small living room area, and even an adorable little balcony where we were able to step out and enjoy the view of the surrounding area! That was definitely a magical part of the space that we enjoyed. The bed was super comfortable and even had a canopy with drapes in addition to the black-out shades for the windows, which came in handy since the sun didn't go down until about 10pm and rose around 5am!
HOW TO SPEND YOUR TIME HERE
Enjoy Breakfast in the Dining Area
Every morning, guests can wake up to enjoy a full champagne breakfast buffet in the dining area. This was by far the best part about staying at The Pand Hotel. Everything was made fresh for us on the granny's stove that also serves as a focal point of the dining room. We took full advantage of this each morning and indulged in fruit plates, meats and cheeses, omelettes, house-made juices, and of course the champagne! It was so incredibly delicious and left us feeling satisfied for hours.
Have a Cocktail in the Lounge or Garden
There are plenty of places around The Pand Hotel to kick back and relax after a day of exploring. You can have a drink in the lounge or lobby area, or enjoy the afternoon by the garden that is adjacent to the dining area.
Explore the town with guided tours
Upon arrival, we received a voucher for a daily guided walking tour that all hotel guests can enjoy. Tours depart in the early afternoon and cover some of the highlights of Bruges. We did not have time to join one of the tours during our stay, but would have loved to if we had one more day!
GOOD TO KNOW INFORMATION
Currency used in Bruges (and all of Belgium) is the Euro.
If you're planning on taking the Eurostar like we did, book as far in advance as you can as to avoid ridiculously high train ticket prices. We learned this the hard way...
Free Wi-Fi is available on hotel grounds.
The train station is about 20 minutes away on foot or 10-15 by public transit. You can also hire a taxi or arrange your own transportation ahead of time. Public transit was our preferred option because it was affordable and easy!
Because Bruges can get very crowded during the peak hours of the day, I recommend getting an early start to see the town—the earlier the better to avoid having hundreds of people in your photos.
I would recommend at least 2-3 days minimum in Bruges if you really want to see things. You can definitely do a day trip, but you'll probably leave wanting to spend more time in this fairytale town!
Once Dani and I checked out of the hotel, we both agreed that our time in Bruges would not have been nearly as good as it was if we hadn't stayed at The Pand Hotel. The location, service, and comfortable luxuries of this hotel made our time unforgettable and helped us kickoff a really amazing time in Europe. I highly recommend this hotel if you're visiting Bruges and would like to find a hotel where you can maximize your time because of its location, or if you're interested in a boutique hotel that offers a wonderful experience and great service.
The Pand Hotel
Pandreitje 16, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS HOTEL, PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW
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