Our first international trip since before COVID shut down the world was a success! We had a great time, ate a lot of wonderful food, and we stayed at an absolutely beautiful hotel. The Grand Hotel Casselbergh Bruges was a wonderful re-introduction to European travel, and we already can’t wait to go back!
The newly renovated Grand Hotel Casselbergh is located in the heart of the historic center of Bruges, Belgium, just steps away from the main market square. It boasts 118 rooms inside an 18th century building, complete with complimentary wi-fi, spa, and fitness center. There is a historic building, as well as an adjacent modern building, but both are luxurious and an ideal starting point for exploring historic Bruges.
More here: Legendary Hotels of the World
Our room was truly European in style—small, and with a slanted ceiling! We stayed on the fourth floor (fifth if you’re counting floors American-style!), which was the top floor of the newer portion of the hotel. It was quiet as far as hotels go, which we appreciated in our jet lagged state. While it was on the small side by American standards, we didn’t mind because there was plenty of storage space in an armoire.
The room included a mini fridge, mini bar, nespresso machine with coffee pods, sweeteners, and creamer. The TV was a little bit on the fritz, but we weren’t there to watch TV anyway! And we loved the table and cushy little chairs in the alcove by the window. We sat there and ate our chocolates from The Old Chocolate House!
Keep reading: The Best Hotel Luxuries
Knowing the size of most European hotel bathrooms, this one was spacious! It included a bathtub with a hand-held shower head, sink with enough counter space for the two of us, and a separate stand-up shower as well. They gave us more than enough towels, which is not always the case everywhere. But the best part was the toiletries from L’Occtaine. I have strong affection for hotels with nice toiletries that don’t dry out my skin! Their soaps smelled good without being overpowering, too. It was a great bathroom experience!
Also helpful: The Ultimate Guide to Solid Toiletries for Travel
The spa in the hotel basement is actually pretty awesome. It’s all stone down there, so it’s a little creepy, a little dungeony, and very intimate! The spa includes both a dry sauna and a steam room, as well as lounge chairs and potted palm trees all around the perimeter. There are also communal showers—very European!
The Fitness Center
The fitness center is small, but effective! There is one multi-purpose weight machine, one treadmill, one elliptical machine, and one stationary bike. I liked that there was a good amount of open space, too. Working out on vacation isn’t everyone’s favorite thing to do, but it helps us fight jet lag and start our days right, so we always appreciate a gym we can use!
Need some travel workout ideas? There are several on my Health and Wellness Page!
The hotel offers a buffet breakfast seven days a week for €25 per person. That is pretty reasonable for a buffet with all the fixings, tax and tip included. The buffet included fresh fruit, pastries, pancakes, waffles, eggs, cold cuts, cheeses, breads, cereal, yogurt, and more.
More here: The Best Places to Eat in Burges, Belgium
Belgium is taking COVID very seriously, and Grand Hotel Casselbergh is doing all they can to mitigate the COVID risk to their guests. Here are the measures they’re taking:
- Masking is required indoors
- Show COVID Safe Ticket (or American vaccine card) upon check-in; receive a bracelet to move about the hotel freely
- Hand sanitizing stations are set up throughout the hotel
- One family or traveling group is allowed per elevator; they suggest that guests take the elevator up and the stairs back down
My husband and I visited just two weeks after the Omicron variant reared its ugly head and changed all the rules for international travel. This gave us cause for concern, so I reviewed their COVID-19 Policy Page and e-mailed the address on Hotel Casselbergh’s website.
I asked if we would be allowed to quarantine at the hotel, should we test positive while there, and whether our American vaccine cards would be sufficient, or if we needed to use their COVIDSafe BE app used within Belgium and the EU. I received this response:
“If you would test positive during your stay, it is possible to quarantine in the hotel. Normally at the rate of those dates, but if this were the case we can always verify with the manager and see what we can do.
“You would not be allowed to leave the room. I see the reservation does not include breakfast at the moment. In case you test positive and would desire breakfast, room-service is possible at a supplement of € 20 per day.
“You could order Deliveroo or Uber eats for lunch or dinner as we do not have a restaurant in the hotel. We would then also put a table in the room for you and your companion to be able to eat on.
“Hopefully, all of the above is worst case scenario and will not be necessary. Your American Vaccine Card is also accepted in our hotel, we’ve had several Americans visiting us already, so we’re familiar with the card.
“We look very much forward welcoming you and wish you a lovely evening.”
Want more? Check out my Belgium Page for everything you need to know!
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