The Best Hotels in Brussels, Belgium
Belgium's hip, historic, bilingual capital is nothing if not diverse—a vibrant mashup of Art Nouveau architecture, 60s-era apartment blocks, a futuristic downtown, and scores of museums that honor its patchwork past. The city's best hotels are just as varied, from a chic 1900s townhouse in residential Châtelain to a grande dame in the bustling city center, here's where to check in now.
Hôtel des Galeries
Its 19th-century digs inside the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert might be old, but Hotel des Galeries is all about the new. Pieces from top Belgian designers—carpets from Toulemonde Bochart, tables from Sylvain Willenz—give every space a unique, contemporary feel, while the 20 guest rooms feel like modern homes-within-a-home thanks to their parquet floors, skylights, shuttered windows, and freestanding bathtubs. (The stellar city views don’t hurt.) The mood continues at the restaurant, where the city’s creative set convene over wooden tables and seasonal bistro fare like cheese croquettes, pork loin confit, and grilled sea bream near an open kitchen. Bonus: the location inside the old Galeries shopping arcade, just a short stroll from the Grand Place, can’t be beat.
Odette en Ville
One of the most stylish sleeps in all of Brussels, Odette en Ville, in residential Châtelain, feels like the dressed-up home of one of your designer friends. The 20s-era townhouse is as chic as they come, all blacks, whites, and grays with cooler-than-thou hang-out spots (we can’t decide which we like better—the lounge’s Instagrammable “library books” wallpaper and Chesterfield sofas or the bar’s black-and-white framed photographs of jazz artists and railway stations). As for the guest rooms, there are only eight, reached via a wrought-iron staircase and done up with linen headboards, dark carpets and walls, and beautiful veined marble sinks. Make time for the candlelit restaurant, which continues to wow with its unpretentious French country cooking.
It’s all in the name at Hotel Hygge, where architect Michel Penneman (the man behind Brussels’ energetic Pantone hotel) took a far more serene (read: Scandinavian) approach to urban living. Stylish, simple guest rooms feature soothing blue-and-white fabrics and wallpaper, wooden headboards, and playful bathroom tiling—though they can barely fit double twin beds and a work desk. Their small size, in actuality, was intentional: communal spaces here serve a bigger purpose as gathering spots for relaxation and community building. We especially love the dining room, which is bright and charming with midcentury furniture and drop pendant lights that make breakfast cozy—despite the high ceilings and ornate fireplace.
Seeing the city’s grandest hotel sitting on the same stretch of street as fast-food chicken restaurants and currency exchanges is a bit of a shock, but modern day Brussels hasn’t yet taken over Hotel Metropole. This is probably because it’s owned by the same brewing family that purchased the building during the 1890s. Walking into Hotel Metropole's lobby is like stepping back into the Belle Époque era, when stained glass windows, high ceilings, and ornate marble and gilt flourishes were the style of the day. The guest rooms are lavish and spacious but a little more subdued, with classic furniture and plush half-canopy beds. You get more than you pay for here—and that includes the luxury of choice. A modern French restaurant, a Belle Epoque bar, a sidewalk café, and a garden decorated with frescoes and sculptures all make a case for never wanting to leave.
A colonnaded cloister and original stone floors are all that remains of the 15th-century Dominican monastery that once stood at this very spot. In truth, The Dominican actually borrows more from the Napoleonic years of its most recent famous resident, French painter Jacques-Louis David. You’ll see that Empire Style in the hotel’s high archways and various ironwork as well as its stately, individually designed guest rooms, which are decorated in rich fabrics and classical paintings and overlook the Opera House (when not facing the interior garden). The Grand Lounge is the place to be during breakfast and dinner (think North Sea shrimp croquettes and beef burgers), though it’s the sky-lit Lounge Bar that guests often conclude the night in.
Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo
Only a hotel as old as Hotel Amigo could carve out an address so close to the Grand Place. Just don’t let its age fool you: British designer Olga Polizzi has completely reimagined the interior with her signature take on old-meets-new. You’ll see 18th-century Flemish tapestries and flea market antiques sharing the same space with Italian leather headboards, for example, alongside a heady dose of Belgian art (Magritte and Broodthaers prints are everywhere). Being within walking distance of the best restaurants, bars, and shops in Brussels can come at a price—one guests are still happy to continue spending at Ristorante Bocconi (it offers an excellent Italian menu) as well as the sophisticated Bar A, known for its cocktails and live music.
Made in Louise
Despite the city’s rules surrounding heritage-listed buildings, this 1911 family-owned townhouse is utterly chic. Every space is as stylish as the last, from the conservatory-style breakfast room to the honesty bar to the pool room, where guests can catch up on their reading or coffee between rounds of billiards. A winding staircase leads to art-filled guest rooms upstairs, where stripes dominate the walls and fabrics and antiques are often accompanied by original fireplaces. If you’re looking for more space to spread out, however, it’s best to book one of the 10 rooms in the satellite “Cottage,” which overlook the courtyard’s giant chess set and come with kitchenettes.
For a no-fuss luxury stay, we’re adding the palatial Steigenberger Wiltcher's to the list, whose Art Nouveau façade—all black iron balconies and white stone on fashionable Avenue Louise—is just a taste of what lies inside. Originally built in 1925, a 2015 renovation brought back the hotel’s luster: spacious guest rooms, with their rain showers, tufted headboards and armchairs, and elegant taupe-gray-and-cream color palettes, are neat and polished; a sexy library lounge made for apéritifs or digestifs; an on-site artisan chocolatier when you want to take indulgence to the next level; and, of course, the clubby Loui Bar and Restaurant—the place to go for fine-dining, weekend jazz, and, when the weather is warm, views of the neighborhood from its terrace.
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