Carshalton, United Kingdom
July 2, 2006
After I had booked this hotel, I read a rather critical review of the Azalea (on another website I hasten to add) which set me worrying as to whether I had made the right choice of hotel. Shame on me for that as the hotel was great, and the review I’d read was nothing like the experience we had there. The negative review had mentioned that the hotel’s fixtures and fittings were shabby. Well, one person’s shabby is another person’s ‘lived in’! I found the eclectic mix of furniture in the public areas—bar, breakfast room, foyer—charming. They gave the hotel character, rather than the uniform but antiseptic furniture found in some chain hotels. Shabby also has connotations of being unclean, well that is not true. The room we stayed in was very clean, tidy, and with an indulgently comfy bed. Marvellous for resting tired feet, tummies, and heads after a day of walking, eating, and drinking in Bruges!
Breakfast is served in two rooms, both with a kind of Regency feel to them. One—with a glass chandelier—overlooks the canal while the other, smoking room, has striped wallpaper and stained glass windows that overlook the street. Breakfast itself is a mixture of cheeses, meats, bread, pastries, preserves, fruit, cereal, scrambled eggs, and bacon. Quite delicious! There is also a small bar and terrace, open from 7:00pm, which like the breakfast room overlooks the canal. A lovely place to start your evening with an aperitif or round it off with a nightcap. What can often make the difference between a nice hotel and a terrific one is the service and at the Azalea this was excellent. Everyone we spoke to or had dealings with were friendly, helpful, and made you feel at ease. I would have no hesitation in recommending the Azalea, particularly to people who enjoy small, family style hotels, and would certainly stay there again. Great location, less than 10 minutes walk to the Markt, less than 5 minutes to the nearest shopping streets, canal side setting, quiet street
From journal Bruges - The Epitome of Charm