The Hotel, Brussels – inspirational, elegant and cosmopolitan – has just emerged from a two-year period of renovation. Located on the Boulevard de Waterloo in Brussels, The Hotel has become the premium landmark lodging-place of this European capital and is Business Destinations’ Best Business Hotel, Belgium, 2014. Guests are now treated to a total of 421 renovated rooms and suites, 12 completely new meeting rooms (of which eight are located on the top three floors), two ballrooms, a foyer on the first floor and a spa and fitness centre on the 23rd floor. The Restaurant by Pierre Balthazar has an innovative and creative culinary concept, and there is also a bar and lounge on the ground floor. The interior design throughout the property is inspirational, elegant and innovative. And no matter where you are in The Hotel, the view of the city is spectacular.
The exciting renovations began with the guest rooms in November 2011, designed by Spanish architecture agency GCA Arquitectes Associats. During the work, The Hotel remained open to guests. They ended in late 2013, with some small details in The Restaurant on the ground floor.
The most striking feature of the new rooms is the revolutionary layout
The most striking feature of the new rooms is the revolutionary layout. Gone are the obligatory desk, corner armchair, curtains, and traditional floor and table lamps. Today’s modern business traveller carries a smartphone or tablet, so there’s no point in cluttering up the room with a big, bulky desk. A leather sofa runs across the entire width of the room, in front of the window, accented with a practical, oval table. The space has been carefully optimised to provide the visitor with maximum utility, whether it’s to work, relax or simply enjoy a great view of Brussels.
Traditional curtains have been replaced with sliding semi-transparent panels that can filter in light if desired, while the room itself can also be electrically darkened. Another striking detail is the way in which the bathroom becomes part of the open-plan space. This contributes to the overall feeling of spaciousness, but also allows visitors to admire the fantastic views, even from the shower. Guests can choose from superior rooms, deluxe panorama rooms, 14 panorama suites, three suites splendour and The Suite.
The Hotel provides a unique experience, centred on its cosmopolitan identity. Details like fine Egyptian cotton bed linen, books and magazines about fashion and haute couture, free drinks in the minibar, luxury toiletries from CO Bigelow, and design objects in the suites elevates the whole experience.
Technology is vital to the modern business traveller. At The Hotel, guests can use the Mediahub to connect electronic devices (smartphone, tablet PC, digital camera, video camera, iPod, iPhone or games console) to their in-room television, providing instant access to music, videos, photos and games. Smartphones and tablets equipped with Bluetooth can also stream audio wirelessly through the TV.
Smartphone-carrying guests can use their device to unlock their room, and check in and out. There’s no need to wait in line at reception or bother with a keycard.
The Hotel app has been designed in conjunction with American company Intelity. It provides information about Brussels, and for anything connected with The Hotel – from ordering room service, an extra cushion or a wake-up call, to information about the location of a meeting, to booking a taxi or private chauffeur. The renovations provided the perfect opportunity to create an eco-friendly, energy-efficient set-up, and replace the heat, water, gas and electrical installations with more environmentally friendly solutions. The Hotel will be fitting a cogeneration system, which will recover waste heat and re-use it to supply most of the hotel’s heating needs. All incandescent lamps will be replaced with LED lighting, and the temperature in unoccupied rooms will be centrally controlled. These modifications will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent, a saving of 50 percent on total energy consumption compared to the previous management.
Recently, eight meeting rooms on the top floors (25th, 26th and 27th) have been given The Hotel makeover. They boast spectacular views as well as all the necessary business facilities, such as unlimited wi-fi, LCD projectors and built-in screens. The open foyer, which stretches the length of the building, and rooms which offer a practically 360-degree view, provide an ideal setting for fashionable and stylish events.
The Panorama Lounge on The Hotel’s 24th floor features beautiful view of Brussels. Guests staying in the deluxe panorama rooms and suites can take their breakfast here in the morning, and enjoy drinks and snacks throughout the day. Decorative bookcases hold a selection of lifestyle books.
Call into the The Urban Fitness and Spa on the 23rd floor if you are in need of relaxation or exercise. As well as a gym with ultra-modern cardio and power fitness equipment, the state-of-the-art fitness centre also boasts a spacious sauna, a steam room, two relaxation rooms and three rooms for massage, manicure and beauty treatments. The views from the sauna make the experience unique.
There are two spacious ballrooms and a foyer on the first floor of The Hotel, with a capacity of up to 400 people. The Park Ballroom overlooks the Egmont Park, while the Grand Ballroom is located on the side of the Boulevard de Waterloo and can be divided into three separate rooms. The stylish yet simple layout of the rooms suits any type of event.
On the ground floor, Pierre Balthazar, Culinary Director, has set up an innovative and international dining concept – The Restaurant. This original product takes guests on a delicious journey to France, Italy, Thailand and Belgium, via the imagination of international chefs. Collaborating closely with Pierre Balthazar, each chef used the same nine seasonal products to create two variations: a classic and a creative preparation.
The three chefs will come to Belgium 10 days per year to cook with Pierre Balthazar, putting on events and adapting dishes to the current season.
At the start of 2015 one international chef will be replaced by another, keeping the offering dynamic and introducing new cuisine. The view of the Parc d’Egmont from The Restaurant will allow guests to forget the urban hustle and bustle. The location of The Hotel on the fashionable Boulevard de Waterloo is and will always be unique. It is not without reason that world-renowned luxury lifestyle brands have established themselves on the Boulevard. The Hotel sees these brands as partners and potential clients and has installed eight cubic showcases in the bar, fitted to host mini exhibitions.
Starting next year, The Hotel will also have large showcases in the lobby and public areas, which will treat guests to haute couture-themed exhibitions. A fashion manager was especially recruited to strengthen the partnership with the international fashion world and to create a fashion agenda for 2014, emphasising The Hotel’s elegant and cosmopolitan character.