Bruges, the enchanting capital of West Flanders in northwest Belgium, is a storybook city with cobblestone lanes, canals, towering churches, and lively squares. Tucked away on a narrow lane in the Steenstraat Quarter sits Hotel de Orangerie, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
With its inviting atmosphere and a palpable sense of nostalgia, it’s easy to see why this picturesque canalside property is favored by so many leisure travelers looking for a comfortable home base to unwind between sampling Belgian beer, indulging in decadent chocolate, and admiring the beautiful Flemish architecture in Bruges.
A historic landmark in its own right, Hotel de Orangerie occupies a former Carthusian convent dating back to 1580. The heritage-steeped complex was later used as a carriage house, private home, and tearoom before being turned into a luxurious boutique hotel in the 1980s. Its cloistered legacy and connection to yesteryear aren’t entirely lost. Antiques, period-inspired accents, and saturated hues give the interiors vintage character.
There are 20 graceful bedrooms. While each is individually designed and filled with unique flourishes, all the sleeping quarters share the same refined feel with soft mood lighting, floral wall coverings, scalloped bedspreads, and old writing desks. Plush mattresses and silk-lined curtains allow jet-lagged travelers to sleep in a little longer. While the aesthetic certainly transports travelers back in time, amenities like Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and flat-screen televisions are quite modern. En-suite bathrooms with showers and Hermès toiletries bridge the gap between past and present.
Guests can roll out of bed and traipse downstairs for breakfast in the oak-paneled dining room that’s decorated with 17th-century portraits and a bespoke light installation. The buffet spread of muesli, yogurt, fresh-baked bread and pastries, Belgian waffles, eggs, and bacon provides ample belly-filling options to fuel up for sightseeing. Prefer to have the most important meal of the day delivered to your suite? It’s such a treat to leisure over a latte and some berry-topped Belgium pancakes in a snuggly robe.
After a few hours strolling around town, it’s definitely worth returning to the hotel for a relaxing respite in the form of afternoon tea on the terrace along the boat-lined canal or the elegant salon. When the thermometer dips and the forecast calls for rain, few places provide a more pleasant corner to sip an old fashioned by the fireplace.
For fans of all things merry and festive, it’s worth mentioning that Hotel de Orangerie is particularly magical during the holidays. The property pulls out all the stops to enchant travelers. Twinkling lights adorn the arched entry arch. The lobby transforms into a winter wonderland with trimmed trees, garlands, wreaths, and glittering baubles.
Location: Bruges, Belgium
The Vibe: Carthusian convent turned quaint canalside hotel.
Food + Drink: Breakfast is served in the stately dining room. Afternoon tea and cocktails are also available.
Amenities: dining room; bar/lounge; terrace; 24-hour room service; concierge; Wi-Fi; masseuse; childcare; laundry
Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: Afternoon tea with scones, clotted cream, artisanal jams, macaroons, pastries, and finger sandwiches in the garden.
5 Nearby Attractions: Markt Square, Boniface Bridge (Bonifaciusbrug), Steenstraat, Gruuthusemuseum, Beguinage “Ten Wijngaerde”
Any Personal Neighborhood Recs? Hotel De Orangerie is an excellent location for experiencing the many charms of Bruges. It’s next door to Brewery Bourgogne des Flandres and five minutes away from Bar Rose Red.
Rooms: 20 character-rich rooms and suites
Pricing: Rooms start at $150/night
Closest Airport: Brussels Airport
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