Staying in the Hotel Gent Clock Tower

“What time is it?”

I instinctively glanced down at my watch yet again while my boyfriend grinned from ear to ear. Got me again.

Yes, we were staying in a hotel room with possibly the biggest clock in the world and I was still using my little wrist watch to tell the time.

The hotel room, designed by Tazu Rous, is built around the clock tower at St Peter’s Railway Station in Ghent, Belgium. The clock, originally built in 1912, stands at 75ft high and has been an iconic landmark in Ghent ever since.

So why build a hotel room around it?

Tazu Rous, a Japanese artist, turns iconic monuments into public spaces while challenging spacial perceptions. He was asked to create something unique for the TRACK exhibition which sees the entire city being taken over by contemporary art.

When Rous arrived in Europe he noticed that some of our excessively huge landmarks have actually become so familiar that we barely notice them at all. A tourist may look up in awe and take a photo or two but we quickly become used to these monuments and fail to recognise their splendour.  Rous creates spaces that put monuments so out of context that we can’t help but see it in all its glory with fresh eyes and a new perspective.

Staying in the clock hotel

Yea, we were kind of excited…

Being so close to such an icon was incredible but actually sleeping next to it was something else. Weirdly, I kept forgetting it was a clock. It is such a ridiculously enormous thing to have in the centre of a hotel room that it started to feel more like a wall separating the areas of the room.

A lot of people have asked me if it was difficult to sleep next it and it wasn’t at all. In fact, I had one of the best sleeps I’ve had in ages which was probably helped by an evening of extensive Belgium beer tasting (research!) and being wrapped up in luxuriously soft Egyptian cotton.

We slept with the balcony doors open, safe in the knowledge that baddies couldn’t get us at 23 metres high, and were able to enjoy the sparkly night views over the city and then gentle hum of a sleepy city.

Thankfully, the clock didn’t tick or chime but it did feel a little like I was being watched from every angle in the room. I’m not sure if this comes from childhood stories of friendly faces in clocks that chatter and sing (yes, I was a massive Beauty and the Beast fan) or if it was because we were so high up and in such a focal point in the city that I felt sure everyone must be watching.

In reality, the room actually looks pretty ugly from the outside while it’s surrounded by scaffolding and plain white walls. This is a shame but it makes it feel even more special once you get inside.

The hotel room will be there for a limited amount of time and the room was fully booked for the entire duration within 30 minutes. You can visit it between 12-6pm and if you’re in Ghent I would definitely recommend it, not only for the unique opportunity to see the clock up close but also to see the incredible views across the city.

The gorgeous view from the balcony

 

 

TheTravelHack

Monica is the founder and editor of Fujiidenki. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a professional blogger and has travelled around the world in search of stylish adventure travel.Monica has recently had her second baby and is determined to prove that travelling with a baby is possible!



SHOWHIDE Comments (23)
    1. I’m not sure but the artist has done it in a couple of places now. There was one in Liverpool around a statue of Queen Victoria. Hopefully they will do it again because I’d love to see. Would be incredible if they did it around Big Ben!

  1. I’m so glad it didn’t tick – that would be like Chinese water torture lol! It’s so cool though, incredible that you stayed here! xx

  2. This looks so amazing! Would have no idea from the look of it on the outside, that it would look so beautiful inside.
    They should definitely use this idea in more hotel rooms 🙂

  3. If you take a look at the second to last photo you can see a staircase all the way around the scaffolding. I think there were about 300 and odd stairs to get up it! A good way to work off all the Belgium waffles and chocolate we ate!

  4. This is amazing! You’re right though, it DOES look fugly from the outside. Would never expect that it would be that pretty – and have that great of a view – judging only from the exterior.

    By the way, great taste in Disney movies 😉

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Fujiidenki

Fujiidenki is a blog about stylish adventure travel and affordable luxury.

We believe luxurious travel can be affordable and isn't just for the rich. Follow along with our worldwide adventures as we share our trips and tips for incredible travel experiences on a modest budget.