Weekend

The reincarnation of tradition

27. Oktober 2017

1898 The Post, Ghent – the luxury of a new hotel built to mirror the city

A stay in time

Ghent, 1898. The architect Louis Cloquet finalises his plans for a new building, the Central Post Office. It is to be built in the very heart of the city, between the ‘Quai aux Herbes’ (Graslei) and the Grain Market (Korenmarkt). As always, the architect has dedicated his passion and his talent to this project – his imagination has previously given birth to the Saint- Pierre station and the Saint-Michel bridge.

1909. The new Post Office, located in the birth city of Charles Quint, opens its doors and several years later, in 1913, hosts the World Expo.

Of neo-gothic inspiration, the eclectic architecture of this building with its various octagonal towers, also shows signs of neo-renaissance influence. The façade boasts one hundred escutcheons and statues evoking Belgium and its provinces but also the 23 heads of state in place. The main tower houses a magnificent clock rising to a proud 54 metres in height.

The Post Office quickly becomes a highly-frequented location, with post carriages and the first horse-drawn tramways running right by it. The postal centre of the town was becoming a hub.

The last service counter of the Post Office closed at the beginning of the next century, in 2001.

August 2017: 120 years after his final sketch was completed, Louis Cloquet’s masterpiece has seen the pinnacle of its conversion. The two upper floors will re-open in its new incarnation as a magnificent and unique hotel, of the kind has not known until now: the « 1898 The Post » will now see the light of day.

Lying at the confluence of the Lys and the Escaut, Ghent unveils itself over time. Seductive and welcoming, it has been described as one of the best-kept secrets of Europe. Indeed, Ghent can best be discovered slowly and is worth the wait.

The ‘1898 The Post’ is without a doubt the reincarnation of all the hotels that have come before it in this city of the Mystic Lamb, showing the same spirit, the same intimate beauty, revealing itself in each and every room.

Each of the thirty-eight rooms exude warmth, geniality and personality but each is unique and has its own story to tell.

The high ceilings and the dark green walls give a special elegance to the warmth exuded by each room. Large windows, the wood that is everywhere and an indirect light fill each room with a comfort such that you feel at home before you have even unpacked.

The antique furniture dating from the 20th Century stands harmoniously side by side with modern technology ensuring maximum comfort for the most demanding guests. Designed with flair and an eye for detail by the Zannier Hotel’s interior designer, these exceptional rooms show a rare elegance, reflecting geographical insight and aesthetic coherence, integrating naturally into the interior of this new hotel.

The rooms and suites in this hotel range from 20 to 65m2 in size and offer a stunning view of the city.

To stay in The Stamp (20 m2) with its sloping ceiling, king-size bed and marbled bathroom is to feel at home on the other side of the world. It has a spontaneous charm and life suddenly feels light as a feather. Those guests who wish to stay in a family room can take advantage of The Postcard (25m2) room, a splendid duplex with open bathroom on the second floor. The old wooden floors and the sloping ceilings only add to the inherent architectural heritage of the building.

If you are seeking something a little larger than a Stamp, you can opt for The Letter (22 to 30 m2), a room that welcomes you into a charming and relaxing space. The authentic wooden windows offer a splendid view over the medieval city in all its splendour.

Linen-covered sofas and armchairs, like in a coach of former times fill The Carriage rooms that open onto an open living room from where one can admire life on the Grain Market (Korenmarkt). Upstairs one finds the bedroom and open bathroom like a private cocoon where guests can rest in complete privacy. One of The Carriage rooms even has a private terrace and can offer the same intimacy outside. Ranging from 32 to 57 m2, the different suites would admirably suit couples with a child. Some boast a Romanesque view over the Saint-Michel bridge. We do recommend that you pause there a few minutes at dusk when the evening is at is gentlest.

The loft is 65 m2 and can be found in the roofs of the building. This is most certainly the ideal location for writers, artists and those who love to write and read. The room holds a desk, a bookcase, the comfort of an armchair where you can plunge into a story of former times. Everything is there for the magic of words to work their spell.

And finally, the love nest, perched over the city: the octagonal room, The Tower room, lying right at the top of the hotel in the south-east tower, and offering an unparalleled 360-degree view over the historic city. Romanticism is at its height here and will offer you unforgettable nights.

Coming out of the room, how can you not linger in the corridors of this unique hotel? Magnificent period furniture evokes the glorious days of the post offices of yesteryear andlining the walls one can admire the sketches of Louis Cloquet.

On the first floor, the open fire of the common area creates an atmosphere that is both serene and captivating – it is a wonderful place in which to relax or work unobtrusively. Time seems suspended. But look outside and you can absorb the bustle of downtown and feel the beating heart of this city.

On the same floor, „The Kitchen“ invites you to start the day with a delicious homemade, American buffet-style breakfast. Or you might want to order a light lunch made from fresh products and eaten in a delightfully relaxed atmosphere.

The wonderful open kitchen takes you right back home. The chef will prepare delicious dishes from grandmother’s recipe book in front of you, enhancing the relaxed atmosphere. Whether you are a hotel guest or a visitor curious to discover the charm behind the impressive natural stone facade, you might just choose to spend a quiet afternoon with a coffee or tea and a choice of local pastries. Just the ticket, exquisite!

The Honesty bar, specially designed and created for hotel guests, located on the second floor of the building in the tower overlooking the Grain Market, this area allows you to relax while making the most of what the city has to offer.

Zannier Hotels are designed by an in-house interior designer who looks at the smallest spaces and check the tiniest detail. It is a vision of perfection where nothing is left to chance. It is a thousand leagues from the standards generally kept by traditional hotel chains. Zannier Hotels generally opts for raw materials, natural colors and authentic objects. And behind each architectural decision and each bit of décor, lies that ever-present passion for the job. Many objects and antique furniture seem to have found their perfect place in the building and the space given to them just magnifies their innate charm.

It is, quite simply, a new way of living: pure, authentic, returning to essential values.

Images: Courtesy of  1898 The Post

1898thepost.com

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