Set inside an iconic building that used to be the city’s head post office, 1898 the Post is a gem hidden in plain sight. It’s located between Korenmarkt Square and Graslei in the heart of Ghent, overlooking the riverfront and a bustling, cobbled stretch that houses holiday markets during the festive season. However, the hotel itself is a discreet hideaway. Guests enter through the quaint garden courtyard into a landing with a winding staircase (even with the elevator you’re in for a few steps—something to keep in mind when packing) and into a hallway with a small reception area. There is no grand lobby, which might be surprising given the neo-gothic grandeur of the facade itself but 1898 the Post likes to keep a low profile.
The hotel allows all the charm and quirks of the historic post office to shine without adding all sorts of fanfare—just sophisticated, immaculate finishes. Details large and small are aimed at reminding guests of the historic significance of the setting. The public spaces and rooms honor the original heritage of the building, which was first built to be ready for the 1913 World Expo, including soaring ceilings or hallways with sloped roofs.
Rooms are named after postal essentials: stamps, postcards, envelopes, letters, and carriages. Spacious suites show bookish beauty on a grander scale. Dark green walls, king-sized beds, antique furnishings, and heavy drape curtains or shutters exude elegance. The masculine hues, old wooden floor, and rotary phones give off old-timey office vibes—and that’s very much the point. Built-in bookcases are illuminated to spotlight tomes and antique objects. Framed photos of sketches of the original post office hang from the walls. Antique writing desks display paperweights, pencil boxes, and paper to write letters. Bathrooms have heated hexagon marble tiles, brushed pewter fixtures, and Guerlain toiletries. Many offer separate showers and soaking tubs. The scales look like something used to weigh packages back in the day.
The second floor has an honesty bar that feels more like a cozy study in a stately home than a hotel. It’s stocked with premium booze in crystal decanters and wine, so guests can pour a glass of something smooth and sink into an armchair, crack open a good book, or sit down at the writing desk and scroll across an actual sheet of paper.
Rather imbibe in a more social setting? Grab a seat at the Cobbler. The skilled bartenders mix up both classic and creative signature cocktails for thirsty patrons. The Kitchen is a warm, inviting spot for breakfast (in the morning, the smell of bacon wafts through the air) or a coffee break between emails. Given the setting, perhaps you might even consider skipping the electronic communication in favor of writing a physical letter or postcard, which the hotel will gladly send via snail mail.
Location: Ghent, Belgium
The Vibe: Neo-gothic post office turned heritage-filled hideaway.
Food + Drink: The Kitchen serves an American-style buffet breakfast as well as lunch, coffee, and afternoon tea with homemade pastries. If you’re in the mood for a stiff drink, that’s the Cobbler’s domain. There’s also a guest-only honesty bar on the second floor.
Amenities: bar; restaurant; courtyard; room service; minibar; Wi-Fi; meeting space
Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: Old-world details fit for the postmaster general.
5 Nearby Attractions: Gravensteen, Korenlei, Sint-Michielsbrug, Graffiti Street, Museum Arnold Vander Haeghen
Any Personal Neighborhood Recs? Ghent has a surprisingly robust vegan/vegetarian food scene. Some of the best spots are within a short walk of 1898 the Post. Go to WAY Plantbased Bakehouse for coffee and croissants or tahini brownies. Plus+ and Knol&Kool are both lovely for a casual lunch. Epiphany’s Kitchen is a stunningly beautiful restaurant with vintage vibes and healthy veggie-centric dishes. For Belgian fare (including some unexpected veg-friendly options) in a stylish space that oozes homespun charm, head a few doors down to Mémé Gusta. You’ll find a great eco-oriented shop called Just Hazel on the same street.
Rooms: 38 guestrooms. (We’re partial to the octagonal Tower Suite, which boasts 360-degree views of Ghent.)
Pricing: Rooms start at $170/night
Closest Airport: Brussels Airport
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