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Martin's Patershof 3.5

Mechelen, Antwerp Province, Flanders

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Housed in a neo-Gothic church loaded with atmospheric architectural details
  • Central location in Mechelen, halfway between Brussels and Antwerp
  • Contemporary rooms with flat-screen TVs and espresso machines, some with architectural flourishes
  • Attractive contemporary decor throughout that complements neo-Gothic architecture 
  • Generous conference room space 
  • Scenic breakfast room with full buffet of hot and cold items
  • Lobby bar with wide selection of Belgian beers
  • Bike rentals available
  • 24-hour room service
  • Laundry service and dry cleaning
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Some rooms lack architectural details
  • Bathrooms are compact
  • No full restaurant 
  • No fitness center 
  • Breakfast not included in room rates

Bottom Line

Martin's Patershof is a historic neo-Gothic church converted into a scenic upper-middle-range hotel. The 79 rooms range from suites with vaulted ceilings and stained-glass windows to cozy chambers with fewer architectural flourishes. Its central location is great for tourists who want to stroll to the historic sites of Mechelen. A breakfast room set around the church's alter serves a full buffet (for a fee) and the lobby bar serves Belgan beers, but there's no full restaurant. Rental bikes, free Wi-Fi, meeting spaces, and room service are also on offer.

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Scene

An urbane hotel with a neo-Gothic exterior and contemporary interior

From the outside, Martin’s Patershof still looks like the neo-Gothic church it once was, with a rose window, steeples, and towers. Only small details suggest otherwise. And while this Franciscan church’s interior has been thoroughly updated, it still has the austere grandeur that comes with vaulted ceiling, stained-glass windows, and stone columns. Roll-arm red benches, velvet armchairs, and black-lacquered tables adds contemporary luxury to the lobby, restaurant and bar. Still, it’s the wide, ribbed columns from the original structure that unexpectedly punctuate the interior and make it distinctive.

The breakfast room, a dimly lit space with high ceilings set in the church’s former altar, can be a serene way to start the day. The meeting rooms, which handle from 10 to 50 people, cater to business clientele, often coming from Brussels and Antwerp. Martin’s Bar, close to the lobby, serves an impressively wide selection of Belgian beers. A relaxing, open-air courtyard shaded by triangular tarps is furnished with gray woven patio furniture and square white planters.

Location

On a quiet, residential block of Mechelen walking distance to Grote Markt

Martin’s Patershof is on a quiet, residential street surrounded by small apartment buildings. Centrally located, it’s about a 10-minute walk to Grote Markt, the great market square of Antwerp’s old city quarter; St. Rumbold’s Cathedral, which dates back to the 14th century; and several other historic sites. Down the block from the hotel is a collection of cafes, restaurants and boutiques that offer a break from the cloistered environment. The train station is a 15-minute walk away. 

Approximately a 30-minute drive from Brussels, a 20-minute drive from the Brussels Airport, and a 25-minute drive from Antwerp, the hotel is easily accessed from several major locations. Note, for those traveling by car, one of the most challenging parts of getting to the hotel is navigating Mechelen’s one-way streets on the final leg of the journey.

Rooms

Rooms with a variety of architectural features, all with modern decor and flat-screen TVs 

Guest rooms vary greatly in terms of their space and architectural highlights. Cozy Rooms, located in the former convent, are streamlined with none of the neo-Gothic details present in others. But Charming Rooms, Great Rooms, and Suites feature stained-glass windows plus alcoves and columns or arched ceilings. The Best of the Home Suite has the most elaborate architecture with floor-length stained-glass windows and a vaulted ceiling -- a romantic setting for couples. All rooms are decorated with contemporary furniture in dark hues, slate-colored bedding, coffee-colored wall-to-wall carpeting, and velvet chairs or chaises. And despite the historic setting, modern amenities abound including flat-screen TVs, espresso machines, and minibars. Bathrobes and slippers are also tucked into wardrobes. White-tile bathrooms are compact but outfitted with hairdryers, heated towel racks, toiletries, and shower/tub combos. Some rooms have whirlpool tubs.

Features

Atmospheric breakfast room and bar, plus a meeting room and bike rentals

Arguably, Martin’s Patershof's best feature may be the hotel’s architecture, but there are a few more benefits to the hotel beyond its backdrop. The dark and broody breakfast room, with its backlit alter, serves a full breakfast buffet (not included in standard room rates). The lobby bar gives another scenic spot to gather for drinks and light snacks. For those planning a large meeting, the hotel has three spaces suitable for 10 to 50 attendees. Since bicycles are one of the best ways to get through the winding streets of Mechelen, the hotel rents them to guests. For those planning a longer stay, laundry service and dry cleaning are both available. Room service is offered 24 hours. And there's free WI-FI throughout. Guests in wheelchairs will be happy to know the historic building has been retrofitted to accommodate people with mobility issues.

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Address

Karmelietenstraat 4, Mechelen, Antwerp Province 2800, Belgium

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