Die Swaene, Bruges, Belgium Review
Die Swaene is the quintessential small European luxury hotel and fits perfectly into the narrow cobblestone streets and centuries-old buildings that surround it.
WHERE IS IT?
Located in the city center, this small romantic hotel overlooks the picturesque tree-lined Groenerei canal. It’s in the heart of Bruges (Brugge in Flemish, Brügge in German) and minutes away from museums and other sites. The hotel has 30 guest rooms, all individually decorated. The lounge is the restored Guild Hall of the Tailors and dates back to 1779.
My room was a bit small and full of lace with a beautiful view towards the street and canal.
The bed was small but comfortable and, despite facing the street, the room was very quiet. There are several renovated rooms in the hotel’s annex across the street next to the restaurant and parking area.
Die Swaene’s restaurant, located across the street near the hotel’s parking area, is in a 17th century vaulted room and offered a menu specializing in seafood and regional cuisine accompanied by friendly and unpretentious service.
Breakfast in the hotel’s ground floor dining room was a simple but ample buffet with a choice of ham, cheese, salmon, yogurt, fresh and dried fruit, and a nice selection of breads and rolls. Orders for egg dishes were taken at the table.
The desk was small but, since there was no Internet access in the room, it really didn’t matter. Since my stay was largely during a weekend and in addition to my meeting my plans were mostly to see the city, I didn’t live or die by not having Internet access but it was limited to the lobby and first floor salon and never worked in the salon and worked only part of the time in the lobby. When asked, one of the managers smiled and said that it must be “something in the air.”
Die Swaene, a beautiful small luxury hotel run more like an inn, is a wonderful setting to meet but perhaps not to work in if you require Internet access. Nonetheless, it is the perfect hideaway for business meetings and romantic journeys.
–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.