Bruges, Belgium

Hotel Sablon

Price per night from$175.94

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 (EUR160.38), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Poets’ haunt

Setting

Cobbled, gabled old town

Frou-frou fans, look away: Hotel Sablon may flaunt a 16th-century façade, but, fresh from a head-to-toe renovation, this city-centre stay is thoroughly of the moment. It was once a favourite haunt of a literary and bohemian crowd; expect bold interiors and quirky artwork alongside nods to the age and history of the building. Make like Verlaine and co and linger a while with a cocktail in hand, shooting the breeze on the inviting terrace. Bruges’ delights, when they’re needed, will be just a few steps away. 

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A welcome drink each

Facilities

Photos Hotel Sablon facilities

Need to know

Rooms

43, including nine suites.

Check–Out

11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.

Prices

Double rooms from £151.35 (€170), including tax at 6 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €2.12 per person per night on check-out.

More details

Rates don’t usually include the lavish buffet breakfast rustled up from fresh local produce, including made-to-order omelettes and daily specials (€25 each).

Also

Make a pitstop in Hotel Sablon’s courtyard, cheerfully dressed with neon-bright furniture and bold, playful artwork.

At the hotel

Courtyard terrace, lounge, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, air-conditioning, minibar, Nespresso coffee machine, tea, free bottled water, Moooi toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

Rooms are pared down but cosseting: expect oversized leather headboards, tactile rugs and cushions, and handpicked artwork evoking the building’s storied past. French poet Paul Verlaine – he of the scandalous liaison with Arthur Rimbaud – stayed here in 1893; his words grace the wall of the airy suite he gives his name to. The Loft Suite is even more enticing: it’s the biggest in town, with a delectable bath tub in the room and views over the church spires.

Packing tips

Bruges’ cobbled streets will make short work of flimsy soles, so bring good walking shoes to tackle long ambles around the old town. And leave plenty of luggage space for cocoa treats to bring home.

Also

All rooms are accessible by lift; some have been adapted for wheelchair users.

Children

Welcome, though the hotel is more of grown-up bolthole. The restaurant has high chairs and will happily reheat baby food.

Food and Drink

Photos Hotel Sablon food and drink

Top Table

Grab a seat at the long communal table, or, if the weather’s playing ball, a pew in the courtyard.

Dress Code

Rock something from a Belgian designer: impeccable slacks by Dries Van Noten, say, or ethereal knits from local shop Duka.

Hotel restaurant

With its cosy banquettes and inviting armchairs, the Breakfast Room is a welcoming spot for a leisurely start to the day. Dressed with velvet armchairs, a striking light installation and quirky artwork, the lobby’s Living Room is good for quick lunchtime bites. Nibble on Iberico ham, a plate of locally smoked salmon, or the scrumptious quiche of the day.

Hotel bar

Find a comfy nook in the Living Room for a pre-prandial tipple. Sample a traditional jenever, a gin-like drink with a bit of a kick that’s usually poured up to the rim of the glass. Expert mixologists from the Pharmacy – a speakeasy in nearby Knokke – have created a menu of signature cocktails: sip on a Hopped Manhattan or a fragrant Cherry Negroni.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 8am to 10.30am. Order nibbles in the Living Room or on the terrace until 2pm.

Room service

Cheese and cold cuts platters can be brought to your room, alongside champagne and cocktails.

Location

Photos Hotel Sablon location
Address
Hotel Sablon
Kopstraat 10
Brugge
8000
Belgium

A hop and a skip from the Bruges’ famed Belfry, Hotel Sablon is smack in the middle of the city’s bustling historic centre.

Planes

A half-hour drive away, Ostend airport is the nearest, with flights to popular destinations in southern Europe. Brussels airport, a 90-minute drive away, is the main international hub; the hotel can arrange one-way transfers for €175.

Trains

Bruges station, a 10-minute drive away, runs frequent services to Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels – a handy connection for Eurostar trains to London.

Automobiles

Compact Bruges is best explored on foot, but if you’re bringing your own wheels you can stow them at Parking Zilverpand, 150m away (€8.70 for 24 hours).

Worth getting out of bed for

You needn’t stray far from Hotel Sablon to sample Bruges’ best sights: the Markt, once the bustling heart of this mediaeval wonder, is barely a five-minute walk away, and still hosts a food-and-flowers market on Wednesday mornings. Get your bearings from the top of the Belfry – the views are certainly worth the climb up 366 steps, but it’s the melodic chime of the bells at the top of the tower that will take your breath away. Put the Groeninge Museum’s Flemish art trove, ostentatious Basilica of the Holy Blood, and The Church of Our Lady’s Michelangelo sculpture on your must-see list, but leave plenty of time to get lost in Bruges’ atmospheric side streets, too.

The city may be compact, but there’s no shortage of tempting boutiques and quirky shops. Christmas enthusiasts and grinches alike should make a beeline for De Witte Pelikaan, a year-round temple to all things baubly. Boetik Ruth stocks desirable Scandinavian, French and Belgian togs. Rockstar chocolatier Dominique Persoone has made headlines with The Chocolate Line’s subversive confections, but there’s something dark, milky or pralined for every taste in Bruges’ multitude of chocolate shops. Try royal favourite Mary for classic numbers, Sweertvaegher for on-trend ruby chocolate, or Pol Depla for its impressive bean-to-bar sourcing.

Local restaurants

For a quintessentially Belgian treat, head to Breydel de Coninc. The cheerful eatery’s plump mussels and fries are icons of the genre. Michelin-star collector Geert Van Hecke’s classy bistro Zet’ Joe is just the spot for Zeebrugge seafood and flavoursome game done right. Inventive Kok au Vin is a popular lunchtime treat, with set menus giving a starring role to farm-fresh local produce.

Local cafés

On the edge of the canal, sun-kissed Blackbird calls for leisurely brunches: French toast with caramel, say, or a healthier-than-thou spirulina bowl. Follow your nose to Lizzie’s Wafels – the most tempting sugar-dusted specimens in town.

Local bars

Rub shoulders with locals at Vino Vino (+32 468 27 11 66), a laid-back blues bar that also runs a side hustle in creative tapas. The house brew (a head-turning Tripel) at tucked-away De Garre packs quite the malty punch, but thankfully there are hearty platters of sausage, cheese and cornichons to soften the blow. Tiny and atmospheric, Bar Jus is just right for an apéritif: charcuterie platters here come with pitch-perfect cocktails or something quaffable from the interesting wine list.

Reviews

Photos Hotel Sablon 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 Belgium and unpacked their chocolates and jenevers, a full account of their European city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Hotel Sablon in Bruges…

Don’t be fooled by Hotel Sablon’s 16th-century façade: stepping into one of the oldest hotels in Bruges is a refreshingly modern experience. You’ll find no chintz, florals or frills here, but rather a pared-down aesthetic acting as a neutral canvas for some bold artistic choices. Selma Calheira’s delicate ceramics hang on the walls, Paul Verlaine’s melancholic verses adorn a suite and a curvaceous, playful sculpture by Le Maghien takes pride of place in the neon-bright courtyard. With its plush sofas and excellent cocktails, the Living Room beckons – days spent wandering around the cobbled streets of Bruges, after all, can take their toll. Take inspiration from the bohemian crowd that used to hole up here: the city’s must-see sights are just around the corner, so there’s no need to rush out.

Price per night from $175.94

Book now