The boutique hotels of Brussels - a design perspective

Hilary Lancaster By Hilary Lancaster
Uploaded 14 April 2013

Known for its current of creativity and energy the Brussels boutique hotel scene is now becoming known for its art or design hotels - unique and not always small, but certainly showing a trend for personalisation and creating a strong theme within.

Hotel Bloom has heaps of arty integrity, so much so that once a year they open up the hotel for young international artists to experiment on the subject of 'blooming'. Eighteen rooms were left untouched for these annual exhibitions. The separate dedicated 'artbloom' website is a unique and very worthwhile idea.

Another favourite for having a strong concept and intelligent design is the Pantone Hotel. Creative use of the Pantone colour concept runs throughout from the bikes in the reception to the unique photography by Belgian photographer Victor Levy in the bedrooms, the intense colour-coded corridors and in various forms of stripes, spots, panels, lights, seats, blankets set onto a white 'canvas' backdrop.

Two other properties that are also well-designed and thought through but would fall into a less urban category and more of 'boutique noire' category are Odette en Ville and Be Manos. Both are dark and intimate though Be Manos is much more spacious with every room around 30m2. Odette en Ville is classy and luxurious with Italian marble and fur throws and heavy rich curtains while Be Manos is slicker, clean lined, and masculine though both sexes enjoy the atmosphere.

The others on our list are also interesting and some more in the budget categories are Ibis Styles White Hotel (bright clean creative new budget line all zen white!), Hotel Café Pacific (the latest design hotel, contemporary and chic), Hotel St Gery (small, warm and cosy), Vintage Hotel (trendy, colourful with lots of bright patterned wallpaper), BMax 69 (quirky artwork and proud of it), Hotel de Coup de Coeur (French charm and lovely original tiled entrance space), Aloft by Starwood (Hip and Urban and a great party place), Monty Hotel (small - some designer furniture),

See them all in visuals on our pinterest site.

Our top 3 summary is:

Rooms: 305
Design features: Each room has a different fresco, all are painted onto the white backdrop and all have the brand colour green carpet so you can choose what you prefer. The public areas are lively with an in-house DJ that complements the design of the bar and restaurant and breakfast area.
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Rooms : 59
Design features: With a stunning exterior, the 'hotel of colours' delights the eye with quirky ideas such as colourful loo paper... even the sugar is multi-coloured. The rooms, themed by colour are minimalist with a feature wall above the bed defining the style of the room. The hotel was designed by Michel Penneman and Olivier Hannaert who also designed the Vintage Hotel and Ibis Styles.
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Rooms : 60
Design features: The restaurant has a green theme with padded banquette seating and plastic 60's style chairs and is a strong feature of the hotel and also known for serving good food! The public areas in general have a 1960's feel too which contrast with the rooms. The rooms are monochromatic with dark striped carpet, almost black walls, linear furniture with black glossy details and the occasional wall artwork. Comfortable and spacious.
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