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That Time When EDM Took Over Europe's Staidest City's Business Hotels

Where: Brussels, Belgium
July 25, 2014 at 10:00 AM | by | Comments (0)


Not your usual hotel doorpeople

What happens when you hold an upmarket music festival in a place with no accommodation just outside a major hotel town or city? Neon everywhere and flower headdresses in totally unthinkable hotels, that’s what.

Yes, if you thought Coachella was bad enough unique for colonizing Palm Springs, you clearly haven’t heard of Tomorrowland, a gargantuan EDM festival that takes place in Boom, an appropriately named town 20 miles outside of Brussels, over two weekends: this and last.

Boom doesn’t really have any hotels, which is where Brussels comes in. For two weekends of the year, the supposedly staid (it’s not, but more on that another time) centre of the European Union is full of dayglo, and three of the city’s poshest hotels get done up as rave accommodation, having been bought up by the festival for the exclusive use of their guests.

Take The Hotel, the European Union's hotel of choice for businessmen, diplomats, and President Obama, where we’ve spent the last few days. Normally, it’s full of suits; this weekend, it’s awash with fairy wings, bro baseball caps and t-shirts that read “Fuck off reality, we’re going to Tomorrowland”. The lifts are paved with fake grass instead of the normal marble, and there are butterflies and flowers 'embroidered' all over the lobby.

Just across the road from The Hotel is the Sofitel Brussels Le Louise. Boring chain hotel? Not today!

We sneaked in to find flowers over the front door, an Alice in Wonderland/Tomorrowland-themed breakfast room, and psychedelic juices laced with things like Sichuan pepper by the check-in desk.

The other hotel taking part is the Hotel Bloom!, a little further north. The hotel was closed to outsiders today, but from the looks of their Instagram location feed, they’re handling things pretty much the same.

Guests who’ve booked one of the themed hotels through Tomorrowland get special welcome packs in their rooms printed apples, anyone?), while Tomorrowland stewards are on hand in psychedelic costumes to get people to and from the festival.

We’re not sure even Obama caused this much organized chaos when he was here. In the meantime, wish us luck for that inevitable moment tonight when our neighbours realise the boozefilled minibars at The Hotel are free....

[Photos: Julia Buckley for HotelChatter]

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