Great news for the Belgian hotel industry: one of its flagships, ‘1898 The Post’, has been recognised as one of the 500 best hotels in the world. Readers of Travel+Leisure, the largest travel media brand in the United States, gave the former Ghent post office, which became a hotel in 2017, such an enviable position in this prestigious ranking.
Every year, more than 8 million people vote for their favourite destinations, resorts and city hotels. Based on the results of the World’s Best Awards survey, Travel+Leisure highlights the 500 best hotels in the world. Each prestigious edition of these awards becomes a source of confidence and choice for millions of enthusiastic travellers . But is it any wonder that 1898 The Post is one of the lucky ones?
With its 38 rooms and suites (from 20 to some 65m²), the former Hotel des Postes et des Télégraphes is a place as magical as it is mythical. It offers its guests breathtaking views of Ghent’s city centre. Behind the neo-gothic façade in natural stone, the elegant decoration in the style of the 1900’s and the furniture made up of unique antiques combine purity, comfort and authenticity.
With its restaurant “The Kitchen” for a special breakfast and trendy bar “The Cobbler”, the hotel “1898 The Post” is an invitation to discover Ghent, this mysterious, seductive and welcoming city located at the confluence of the Lys and the Scheldt. Ghent is revealed gently. It is explored step by step. “1898 The Post” is in the spirit of the city of the mystic Lamb. The hotel reflects its intimate beauty, which can be discovered from room to room, thus paying homage to the original premises. Sloping ceilings, old wooden floors, marble bathrooms, authentic skylights, period furniture evoking the glorious era of the Post Office, linen sofas and armchairs, a turret with a 360-degree view of the historic center… All of these elements enhance the architectural heritage of the place and make nights and stays at “1898 The Post” unforgettable moments of sharing and remembering.
“1898 The Post is an outstanding example of successful conversion. This beautiful story in a nutshell? In 1898, the architect Louis Cloquet used his passion and talent to complete the plans for a new building: the Hotel des Postes et des Télégraphes. The “building was erected in the very heart of the city, between the “Graslei” and the “Korenmarkt”. In 1909, this new post office was built, ready to welcome the excitement of the Universal Exhibition that was to be held in Charles V’s native city in 1913.
The eclectic architecture of the building, with its many octagonal towers, was inspired by the neo-gothic style and also reveals influences of the neo-renaissance style. The façade, decorated with a hundred or so coats of arms and statues, evokes Belgium, its provinces and the 23 heads of state in office. The main tower houses a magnificent clock and stands proudly at 54 metres high.
The post office quickly became a busy place. Postillions and the first horse-drawn trams rubbed shoulders here. The town’s postal centre developed over the decades. The last post office was closed in 2001.
In August 2017, 120 years after Louis Cloquet’s last sketch, his work reached the apotheosis of its conversion. “1898 The Post” was born. The two upper floors were opened up to the people of Ghent and the rest of the world in the form of a unique hotel.
The city of Ghent now has a new high-end accommodation in its image, in a place full of history. Five years later, it is listed among the 500 best hotels in the world.