The Golden Age revisited: a curious collection of the Netherlands

The MSK is the home of over 60 Dutch paintings of the 17th century, een period the Netherlands themselves call ‘The Golden Age’. But how is this collection originated and formed and is everything what it seems? Until the end of 17th century you can find out in the MSK where they show this extraordinary collection to the public.
The MSK-collection is one of the most extraordinary collections of Dutch paintings outside of the Netherlands. She includes the work of masters like Frans Hals, Jan van Goyen, Willem Claesz. Heda, Albert Cuyp and Roelant Savery. Next to this the museum is in possession of some extreme rare pieces. By example they possess the only known work of AE Van Rabel of the precious ‘Het armenhuis van Utrecht’ by the hand of Joost Cornelis Droochsloot.

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Beside the rarity, the collection possesses some works that we might call curious. Some paintings were through the course of time painted over, edited, phenomena that we can detect nowadays by modern restauration techniques. Another example are paintings that seemed originally a part of a bigger painting, but were cut out and traded seperatly...

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The museum tells the story of this 17th century collection in an innovating way, by showing the paintings for the first time ‘in context’. Dishes, jugs and glass work are shown in the neighbourhood of still lifes. Next to paintings with animals hang images, stuffed birds and the shells that were model for the artist. The paintings are hung up in collages to the wall, like the once hung in the chambers of the rich elite.

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The museum offers next to this special exposition a beautiful courant collection where you can be amazed by different great painters like Breughel, Rubens, Mondriaan, et cetera. If you want more information of the MSK and it’s collection, click here. You can combine a visit to the MSK perfectly with a stay in Hotel Astoria. The Museum lies on 10 minutes walking distance through the cosy Citadel Park. For more information or to book a room in Hotel Astoria you can always visit our website.

Design Derby: The Netherlands ←→ Belgium (1815-2015)

Where is art the most fun…in Belgium or The Netherlands?

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In cooperation with Museum Boijmans the Ghent Design Museum tries to reveal 200 years of outstanding design from the Netherlands and Belgium. Over 500 carefully selected designer objects of all shapes en sizes were chronologically and in comparative perspective exposed for art lovers. Visitors can loose themselves in the great variety on designer objects, from delicate silver or glasswork to present-day furniture, fashion and graphical design.
This presentation is an absolute premiere in the comparison of art between both countries. From the elegant Belgian Art Nouveau to the tightened dutch variety and from our refined Belgian handcrafts till the more conceptual design of our Northern neighbours. The exposition gives the finest image of design in the past two hundred years and lets the best artists of the two Countries flex their artistic muscles.

De expo in Ghent chooses a game distribution designed by Robbrecht en Daem architects and the present design work is given extra attention in the theatrical 18th century Hotel de Coninck. Another peak of the exposition is the great wall painting of Eva Mouton where she gives her own willful idea of clichés between Belgians and Dutchmen.

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The expostion runs until the end of februari and is a unique opportunity to visit and enjoy Ghent. An excellent base for this intriguing activity is Hotel Astoria in the art quarter of Ghent. Departing from the hotel, there is an outstanding tram line to the Design Museum but also on foot you can reach the exposition by a cosy walk through the historical centre.
For more practical information on the Design Derby, click here.

Ghent restaurants join forces in an attempt to fight food waste

Earlier this week the city of Gent launched an initiative to fight food waste. 40 restaurants joined this project whereby customers can ask for their leftover food to be packed in a recyclable cardboard box. Some of these restaurants are within walking distance of our hotel. Still a bit peckish late at night? You can now enjoy your delicious leftovers in the comfort of your room.

In the footsteps of one of our guests

At the end of February, one of our guests visited our beautiful city. This resulted in some very nice pictures which we gladly share with you.
Are you in the mood for a brisk morning walk before breakfast? Or do you feel like putting your running shoes on? Or just enjoy the sun on a bench? This is all possible in the beautiful Citadel Park, one block away from our hotel.

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The Mistic Lamb is not present at the moment because of a major restoration, but the Saint Bavo Cathedral remains a beautiful, peaceful place with lots of treasures. You should certainly take a look inside!

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Got hungry from all that action, looking and admiring? Enjoy a delicious hot waffle!

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If you feel like discovering our city as well, feel welcome in our hotel where you can enjoy our delicious breakfast with lots of homemade goodies! @ Hotel Astoria

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TripAdvisor reward: Certificat of Excellence 2015

We are proud to announce that again this year our hotel is in the top 10 of all Ghent Hotels on TripAdvisor!
This morning we received our "Certificat of Excellence 2015".
Thank you to all TripAdvisor users that reviewed us!

Hotel Astoria, the centre of Flanders

The location of the city of Ghent, and of Hotel Astoria in particular, forms the perfect starting point to discover Flanders. The station of Ghent-Sint-Pieters is a 7-minute walk and is the gathering place for more than 100 trains, trams and buses departing every day to different destinations. Those who prefer not to walk to the station, can take tram 4 right next to the hotel which brings you in one stop in front of the station.
If you have fallen in love with the city of Ghent then a day pass is a must-have! With a day pass you can make use of all the buses and trams of De Lijn in Flanders. It costs €5 and it will become your best travel companion. If you are staying longer you can also by a three-day, five-day and seven-day pass. The day passes and 10-ride tickets are available at the hotel.


With 6 trains every hour you are in about 30 minutes in the medieval city of Bruges. A return ticket costs € 13 and is valid for one day. From the station of Bruges it’s a 20 minute walk along the Albert I park and the new concert hall to reach the historic heart of the city. Again, the day pass is valid and you can easily reach the centre by bus as well.


A bit further away you find the vibrant city of Antwerp! Three times an hour a train leaves from Gent-Sint-Pieters to bring you to Antwerp Central in one hour. A return ticket costs just under € 19 and the train stops at the beginning of the biggest shopping streets, Keyserlei and Meir, the diamond district and the Zoo. At the Franklin Rooseveltplaats dozens of buses stop to bring you, using the same day pass, to every corner of the city.


We end with the capital of Belgium, also the capital of Europe, which cannot be left out. Almost every 10 minutes a train goes from Ghent to Brussels, but there must be a number of things taken in consideration: do not travel at peak times for 9 am and between 16 pm and 18 pm, choose for the train with the least stops, which takes only 36 minutes. Brussels Central station is the closest to the main attractions and ensures you that you won’t need to use public transport. Unlike Flanders, the MIVB is responsible for all public transport, making a day pass from Ghent not valid.

CSI Gent instead of CSI Miami

You don’t want to discover Ghent with a traditional walking tour? Can it be a little more original, active, child friendly?
Fancy playing in a police series with friends or family? And would you rather be the good or the bad guy? Than the GPS game The Target is definitely something for you: suspense, action, strategic thinking and teamwork with the historic centre Gent as your playground. And afterwards you can chill at Hotel Astoria. You find more info on The Target.

Looking for an original gift?

Looking for a nice gift, or an indulging stay without a reason?
Sleeping and Wellness from €103 per person (rates are valid by 2 persons per room)

Book here!

Famous Ghent actors trick tourists in Ghent

The tourist office in Ghent launched a new campagn to promote Ghent as a superb city trip.

In eight short movies, a few famous actors make jokes with a group of tourists that visit Ghent. Below you can find some examples !













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