Review: 1898 The Post

Positioned on Ghent’s Graslei quay on the bank of the River Leie in a former Post Office building, this imposing, neo-Gothic structure is hard to miss

Location:Perfectly positioned on Ghent’s Graslei quay on the bank of the River Leie in a former Post Office building. Although this imposing, neo-Gothic structure is hard to miss, its unassuming entrance could be. Wandering through a wrought-iron gate and down a shaded courtyard lined with potted plants, you’ll feel like you’re stumbling across one of Ghent’s best-kept secret.

First impressions: A sleek, glass door at the end of the courtyard slides open to reveal a winding staircase (and lift), transporting guests to the first floor. Here, a bustling bar called The Cobbler acts as the hub of the hotel, complete with cosy corners, low-slung armchairs and old-world trinkets. A reception desk run by friendly staff also awaits. My room, a light and lofty ‘Letter’ duplex, soars nearly ten feet high, with a grand window offering views of Korenmarkt square. Hues of greens and pastel purple complement wooden floorboards and furniture; a marble bathroom stocked with Le Labo Santal 33 products takes centre stage; and antique keepsakes are arranged about the room.

The facts: Opened in August 2017 following a two-year renovation of the site by owners Zannier Hotels, 1898 The Post breathes new life into the former Post Office, which was built, as the name suggests, in 1898 ahead of the 1913 World Expo in Ghent. The property’s 38 rooms celebrate their heritage, with titles like Stamp, Postcard and Envelope denoting the five room types. Seven suites are also in the mix, including the romantic, octagonal-shaped Tower Suite which resides in its own stone-walled turret. The hotel features two bars: The Cobbler is open to the public for drinks, nibbles and afternoon tea, while after hours, the guests-only Honesty Bar is unmanned and stocked only with wine and hard spirits.

 

Explore: Landmarks like the city’s three cathedrals and medieval castle lie minutes away on foot, as do a host of river-side cafes, brasseries and bars. Gent-Sint-Pieters station is a 15-minute tram ride away, connecting guests with the Eurostar.

Wow: The Cobbler is the beating heart of this boutique hotel. Talented bar staff proffer an imaginative cocktail menu, but are at their happiest when creating a tailor-made tipple. At breakfast, the bar changes guise, with a buffet of meats, cheeses, fresh fruit and cereals. Help yourself or choose from a selection of delicious made-to-order hot dishes. 

Book it: Rates start at €180 per room per night including city tax but excluding breakfast. zannierhotels.com

Erica Bush