Ghent Marriott Hotel is situated on the Korenlei, in the historic centre of Ghent and opened its doors March 20, 2007. The hotel has 150 comfortable guest rooms and suites. There are nine meeting rooms, Poppi Coffee & Wine Bar, Brixx Cellar Lounge and an American Steakhouse, Midtown Grill, with terrace and view over the river Lys and the historical façades of the Graslei.
There is free WiFi. Guests can park in the parking garage under the hotel.
The hotel has long been considered the top of European in the field of hospitality and was rewarded by Trip Advisor as the best hotel in Belgium.
- 150 unique guest rooms & suites with luxury bedding
- Elegant 90 square metre Presidential Suite with balcony and view over the river
- Midtowngrill steakhouse with Private Dining Room
- 500 square metres of newly renovated venue space with natural daylight
- Customised banquet menus for private events, luncheons, dinner parties and business meetings
- 24-hour room service
- Concierge service
- 24-hour business centre
- Complimentary high-speed WiFi access throughout the hotel
- Complimentary use of the 24-hour fitness centre
- Parking garage
- Valet parking available
BACK IN TIME: 17 JANUARY 1769, CORENLEY GHENT by Bert Van Thilborgh
The sailor Franciscus Bogaert is drinking a large pint of Fortune beer and is playing dice with dockhands Cornelius Maes and Severinus Verhaghen at The Dear Inn on the Koornmarkt. Fortune beer was well-known in the 17th century as the best beer of Flanders, and since the Middle Ages had been brewed by Huize de Fortune located on the Corenley in Ghent. Bogaert promises his mates that they will have a job the next day unloading his ship full of grain if they can beat him at the game of dice. Gambling and drinking beer could be a truly dangerous pastime in the 18th century, since it often escalated into verbal and physical violence so that the city of watchmen had to intervene to prevent further mischief… .
One could feel the tension in the air. Ghent faced increasing competition from nearby cities, which threatened its ancient privileges. The medieval staple duty on grain as well as the transit shipment of products from the New World were put under pressure by the Austrian empress, who sought to enhance and centralize her authority over her subjects. Prosperous tradesmen also found themselves having to fight for their existence, and the rivalry between sailors was brutal. Seemingly, the prosperous Korenlei and Graslei did not suffer from these pressures. The splendor of the medieval stone houses and the bustling port remains the symbol of the economic power and influence which this part of the city radiated for its residents and the streams of visitors to Ghent.
Bogaert cursed when he lost the dice game, but in the end didn’t take it that hard. The ship would have to be unloaded the next day in any case. “Maes and Verhaghen are certainly not the worst filibusters among dockworkers”, thought Captain Bogaert to himself, although their reputation as troublemakers seemed to follow them wherever they went. Bogaert wanted to go home, but wavered a moment and turned back in order to pay a visit to the Swaene, a brothel where many sailors and tradesmen sought some rest and recreation with woman of loose moral. He felt like making love to the blond Amelia that night. That would bring much-needed relaxation, for he knew that his days as a prosperous mariner were numbered if the aldermen of the town of Loze would effectuate their plan to introduce the new shipping regulation.
After his visit to the Swaene, Bogaert headed for home at last, but on the bridge across the Leie, he took one last look back to admire and reflect on the beautiful buildings on the Korenlei. He was anxious and worried about rioting in the city, for that was part and parcel of daily life in those days. His attention was drawn to the house on the Korenlei bearing the name of The City of Tournai (De Stad Doornik). Built of white sandstone, this lovely house had 5 storeys. He had wanted to buy it at one time and turn it into an inn, since Ghent was increasingly drawing visitors from other towns in Flanders. Frenchmen, Austrian diplomats and English ambassadors also regularly came to the city on business and for negotiations. The tasty Fortune beer, the scrumptious food prepared by his wife Stefania would undeniably be much appreciated by his guests. But the idea did not materialize because of his busy career in shipping and his cares and concerns at the time. “One day it may yet come to pass,” mumbled Franciscus Bogaert.
Still in January 1769, there was unrest in Ghent. During riots on Shrove Tuesday, 7 February 1769, Franciscus Bogaert was attacked and was suddenly stabbed during the clashed. He did not survive the attack and his assailant was never found. The Bogaert family would have to sell its ships in the economic crisis that broke out after the new shipping regulation of November 1769 came into effect. For the family, this marked the end of centuries business at the old port of Ghent, which soon thereafter gradually fell into decay.
The Fortune brewery would also share in those misfortunes, and both the brewery and the beer disappeared from the scene in Ghent. The other buildings on the Korenlei such as The Swaene, The Stad Doornik and The Rode Molen went to seed in the 19th and 20th centuries. They were renovated a few times, with varying degrees of success… until Marriott Hotels caught sight of the jewels not long after the bicentennial. Marriott worked with a renowned Gentian architectural firm to merge the properties into a single unit and modernize them while preserving their historical character. The result is the brand-new Ghent Marriott hotel with a contemporary touch thanks to the fabulous glass dome and the revival of an age-old tradition. The Ghent Marriott fulfilled the dream of mariner Franciscus Bogaert as he contemplated this remarkable building while standing on the bridge over the River Leie…
More information about the old port of Ghent and the historical buildings that are now part of the Ghent Marriott can be found in: J. Decavele, R. De Herdt and N. Decorte, Gent op de wateren en naar de zee, Mercatorfonds, Ghent, 1976.
Inventaris van het Cultuurbezit in België. Architectuur/Part 4na. City of Ghent.
The story is based on events that happened in January 1769 in and around the old port of Ghent, of which the present-day Korenlei and Graslei formed the core.
Join our family
The Ghent Marriott Hotel, Midtown Grill and the Poppi Coffee & Wine Bar are looking for passionate people to join our team!
We are looking for experienced people who have the hospitality-DNA and who believe customer satisfaction is the most important. Are you someone like that or do you know anyone with those values? Then please take a look at our vacancies and do not hesitate to contact us.
Send your application to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +32-9-269 77 34.