Hôtel Verhaegen is an 18th century mansion turned into a beautifully restored hôtel particulier in the historical centre of Ghent.
How would you describe Graanmarkt 13 in a nutshell?
We always say that Graanmarkt 13 is the best-kept secret of Antwerp, Belgium. It’s a very quiet, calm and super-aesthetic, luxury vacation rental where people feel at ease.
The apartment reflects the lifestyle of my husband and I, which is expressed in every detail of the apartment. Quality is one of the most important elements of Graanmarkt 13.
What was your inspiration to create this vacation apartment?
The idea of creating and renting out the apartment at Graanmarkt 13 gradually developed over the years. The building was completely renovated ten years ago and while we already had developed a two-floored store and award-winning restaurant, we then were inspired by our architect to live upstairs. That is what we did for the following four years and then decided to move to a house with a garden with our growing family. We then converted the apartment into a vacation rental. We really loved living here and wanted to share this beautiful place with others. It is one of very few luxury vacation rentals in Antwerp.
How would you describe the atmosphere inside the apartment?
The interior design is very minimalistic but also very warm due to some of the materials that were used, such as a lot of wood. The rooftop, for example, is made of wood from the 18th century, resembling chalk painting. It’s very architectural, but still feels very warm.
In the apartment we’ve incorporated mostly art pieces by Antwerp-based artists and designers, all keeping with a very quiet and calm atmosphere, which is only enhanced by the amazing natural light coming into the different rooms.
To you personally, what’s so special about the whole experience of staying at the apartment?
We have had guests who have returned many times to this part of Belgium and then stayed at Graanmarkt 13. It’s a very inspiring place with an unusual concept. Our guests have an entire apartment to themselves, with breakfast brought to them in the morning. It is self-service but their needs are well taken care of.
How long would you recommend guests stay?
Because it’s a small city, you can see everything in two or three days by foot. We don’t have a minimum stay, so you can even stay at Graanmarkt 13 for only one night if you want.
What’s been the biggest reward to you personally about opening Graanmarkt 13?
We had this crazy idea when we were very young to create a place where people enter and are really amazed by the beauty of it. I think we truly have achieved that.
We receive many reviews about having created a very personal and special place. There are many similar concepts around the world, but our place is really different. People feel that personal touch and how we make it our daily goal to ensure their comfort. That makes me happy.