Ghent, Belgium

1898 The Post

Rates per night from$165.22

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR144.34), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Neo-Gothic grandeur

Setting

The postcard-perfect Graslei

In its past life, boutique hotel 1898 The Post was Ghent’s central post-office, a neo-Gothic masterpiece built to impress the crowds at the 1913 World’s Fair. The hotel takes pride of place on the Graslei, a former grain port flanked by medieval buildings with decorative façades and steep gabled roofs. Inside, you’ll find all sorts of details that nod to the building's past (polished-metal pencil cases and racks of old postcards, for example), but the furnishings also call to mind a man of letters, with antique writing desks, leather armchairs and bookcases filled with weighty tomes. Once you’ve poured yourself a scotch in the living-room-style honesty bar or sunk into an armchair by the open fire, you might begin to wonder if you’re really in a hotel at all, and not in the fairytale-esque home of a Belgian baron.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A signature cocktail at the Cobbler for each guest; for GoldSmiths, one afternoon tea at the Cobbler for each guest

Facilities

Photos 1898 The Post facilities

Need to know

Rooms

37, including six suites.

Check–Out

Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $165.22 (€144), excluding tax at 6 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €3.00 per person per night on check-out.

More details

Room rates don’t usually include breakfast, an American-style buffet laid out in a vintage-style open kitchen. Expect home-made bread, cold cuts, flaky pastries, cereals and fruit; hot waffles and bacon are made to order.

Also

Ghent didn’t take the idea of hosting the 1913 World Fair lightly. As well as building the grand post office (which took more than a decade), the city gave many of its historic areas a thorough facelift before the crowds arrived. The buildings along the Graslei went under the knife more than most, which is partly why they look so good today.

At the hotel

Lounge, terrace, laundry and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, iPod dock, minibar, Nespresso machine, tea-making facilities, free bottled water and bath products by Le Labo.

Our favourite rooms

For sheer old-world romance, it has to be the Tower Suite, which looks like it rose from the page of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. Split over two floors in the hotel’s octagonal tower, the suite has a white-marble bathroom with a double-headed shower on one level, and a king-size bedroom with antique wooden floorboards above. 360-degree views are the icing on this two-tiered cake.

Packing tips

Holster your favourite pen – you can’t help but feel inspired to recapture the pre-email era by dashing off a letter or two.

Also

All of the public areas are wheelchair accessible, as are the ground-floor rooms. The Envelope No. 1 is wheelchair-adapted, with wider door frames and rails in the bathroom. Many of the rooms are mezzanine style, so stairs are a common feature.

Children

All ages are welcome. Baby cots are available on request, but numbers are very limited, so be sure to ask in advance.

Food and Drink

Photos 1898 The Post food and drink

Top Table

Choose any of the tables by the large windows, which overlook the canal and the picturesque Korenlei on the other bank.

Dress Code

Ghentrify yourself with a tweed jacket, tortoiseshell glasses or a pair of brogues.

Hotel restaurant

Serving breakfast and afternoon tea, the Kitchen looks more like a living room than a restaurant, with an open fire, armchairs and dark-wood tables lit by jade-green reading lamps. Hot dishes are served from a modern kitchen that’s masquerading as something more traditional; the buffet is laid out across a large stripped-wood counter and dining table. Every afternoon, home-made cakes and fine teas make an appearance. Once the china’s been cleared away, the room tends to become an extension of the Cobbler cocktail bar.

Hotel bar

Named after the type of cocktail shaker they use, the Cobbler takes aim at Ghent’s upmarket bar scene, showcasing an award-winning team of mixologists. Those who like to watch should plump for one of the soft leather stools at the zinc-topped bar; otherwise, settle in one of the armchairs by the windows. The hotel also has a residents-only honesty bar, found in the octagonal tower. Like the Cobbler, it’s furnished with bookcases, armchairs and antiques, making it feel like a private room at a gentleman’s club. A glass drinks trolley holds decanters of premium spirits, but you can also order wine, champagne and cocktails if they’re more in your line.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 7am to 10.30am; a light lunch is available from noon to 2pm; afternoon tea runs from 2pm to 5pm. In the Cobbler, drinks flow from 5pm to 1am.

Location

Photos 1898 The Post location
Address
1898 The Post
Graslei 16
Ghent
9000
Belgium

Planes

The closest international airport is Brussels, which is served by many European routes; there are also direct flights from some larger US airports. From Brussels airport, it takes 45 minutes to reach the hotel by car. The Smith24 team can arrange flights and transfers; call anytime, day or night.

Trains

Ghent’s Sint-Pieters station receives regular intercity services from Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp and Ostend. From the station, walk to Gent Korenmarkt perron 5, where you can catch the number 1 tram to Gent Van Monckhovenstraat. You’ll be able to see the hotel’s clock tower when you exit the station.

Automobiles

The city centre was pedestrianised in 2017, proving how keen the government are to make Ghent foot-traffic-friendly – contact the hotel to request a permit to enter the car-free zone if you're planning to park on site or drop off your luggage. (A car can be useful for a day trip to Bruges, Brussels or Antwerp, but it’s not necessary if you’re staying in the city. If you do want to hire, Smith24 can arrange it.) The hotel has private parking (€20 a night) – you'll need to contact the hotel to book your spot before arrival. There's also the nearby public Sint-Michiels Parking, which is outside the car-free zone (€25 a night).

Worth getting out of bed for

Ghent’s Museum of Contemporary Art, otherwise known as SMAK, has a permanent collection containing works by Karel Appel, Francis Bacon and Andy Warhol. The gallery has also made a name for itself with exhibitions that lean towards the daring and provocative end of the scale, even suggesting that visitors ‘recover’ from their visit in Citadel Park, which is just across the road. The cobbled lanes in Patershol have remained largely unchanged since medieaval times, making this a particularly charming neighborhood to wander round. The area was once the dwelling place of members of the Order of Carmelites, or Paters, giving the place its name. Today, many of the decorative-fronted buildings hide small restaurants, bars, boutiques and art galleries within their depths. Those wanting to delve even further into the past should make the trip to Saint Peter’s, a former Benedictine abbey that’s stood since the 7th century. It’s now home to a museum and exhibition space; the abbey gardens are also a blissfully quiet place to spend a sunny afternoon.

Local restaurants

Chef Kobe Desramaults’ Chambre Séparée takes the idea of intimate dining very literally. There are only 16 seats in the whole restaurant, all of them arranged before a U-shaped counter that skirts the open kitchen. With so few diners, attention is lavished on every dish, all of which come from a set menu that changes depending on the ingredients and inspiration of the day. Book well in advance. Oak’s head chef Marcelo is of Brazilian and Italian descent, which goes some way to explaining his prowess in the kitchen. A worldly man who’s no stranger to culinary experimentation, Marcelo combines local ingredients with South American flavours and Asian spices, creating dishes that are flavoursome and surprising at every turn. The atmosphere is laid-back and, with only 24 seats, fairly intimate; book before you arrive in town. Tucked within the medieaval streets of the Patershol, Roots is a modern, minimalist and relaxed restaurant run by vibrant young couple Kim and Nele. Your cutlery is in a drawer in the table, and you could easily come away from your meal having spoken to every member of staff. Local produce features heavily, elevated to its best by an adept kitchen team. The set lunch menu offers particularly good value for money. Again, don't dally when it comes to booking. 

Local bars

Specialising in biodynamic wines, Win is a stylish and pared-back wine bar with poured concrete floors, mid-century modern furniture and dangling bulbs. The wine draws a crowd of discerning drinkers, but it’s equally popular for its gin selection and tapas. Inspired by the legendary Hot Club de France, Hot Club de Gand is is dedicated to showcasing top-drawer jazz in all its forms. Hidden at the end of a small alley, this local favourite dishes up live acts and a Deep South-esque atmosphere from 9pm most nights – check their website for the latest listings.

Reviews

Photos 1898 The Post reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in Ghent and unpacked their list of tips for making the perfect waffle, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside 1898 The Post in Ghent…

It might sit on the most charming row of buildings in the whole of Ghent, but 1898 The Post would seem equally at home in a story by Edgar Allen Poe. You could well imagine the master of Gothic fiction conjuring up the masonry, which is dramatic at every turn, not least the gape-mouthed gargoyles that guard the clock tower looming over the guildhalls along the quay. Attractive as they are, those buildings look like gingerbread houses when compared with the hotel’s Gothic grandeur. But as always, it’s a case of books and their covers, as for all it's imposing looks, 1898 The Post radiates warmth and hospitality once you’re within. Each morning, sugar-dusted waffles come thick and fast from the rustically-styled open kitchen; after dark, guests sink – cocktail in hand – into armchairs arranged before the fire, surrounded by the hallmarks of fine living: antique furniture, leather-bound books and crystal decanters. But with so much writing paraphernalia on display (and perhaps having spent a little time sampling cocktails at the Cobbler), it’s hard not to let your imagination run wild. When you can stay in a tower that looks like something from a fairytale, romance tends to spiral as steeply as the staircase.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in 1898 The Post’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The location and the interior decor. Also love that they repurposed an old building in a very ingenious way.

Don’t expect

Great food and service.

Rating

Stayed on 5 Aug 2018

We loved

The unique quirkiness of the hotel (it used to be the main post office in Ghent). The classy cocktail bar. The hotel décor. The hotel is well situated in the heart of Ghent, straight out of the hotel to the river side and other main tourist attractions all within easy walking distance... Best of all, the young man and young lady on the reception desk who were very polite and helpful. Visit the Sunday morning flea market at St Jakobs Square.

Rating

Stayed on 7 Jul 2018

We loved

The super-central location combined with the ultra quiet and sophistication of the interiors. The calm and leisure of being inside this gorgeous historical building. The Ghent Altarpiece, of course (a 3-minute walk away); Pakhuis for dinner; Home Linen for amazing Belgian linen products.

Don’t expect

Exacting service on all counts. The employees seem young and still in the learning process.

Rating

Stayed on 23 May 2018

We loved

We loved the hotel, it was situated right in the heart of Ghent which made it perfect to explore this beautiful town. We loved our room (a Junior Suite) with its excellent themed decor which carried on throughout the hotel. Don't bother with bringing bathroom toiletries; we fell in love with the hotel's offerings, which were a class above the norm. We loved the Cobbler bar which serves cocktails that we would highly recommend with outstanding staff that will accommodate your drinking delights.The bar turns into the breakfast room in the morning to a outstanding choice of continental or English style breakfast. We loved the staff one word sums them up: outstanding. Nothing was too much. I would highly recommend this hotel and would return again.

Don’t expect

An evening meal in the hotel.

Rating

Stayed on 30 Mar 2018

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