1050 Travel Guide
For a capital city, Brussels doesn't have many grande dame hotels. One exception is the Beaux Arts style Wiltcher’s, which was built in 1911 on the posh Avenue Louise, was later used as an office building, then became a Conrad and was taken over by German chain Steigenberger in January 2013. Steigenberger announced a gradual two-year renovation when it took over - and now, nearly $8m later, the changes are now pretty much finished. So what’s changed?
Hotel gyms. One is normally enough - in fact, sometimes we don’t even get one. But two? Two is definitely out of the ordinary.
The photo above (cropped to avoid showing sweaty guests) is the normal hotel gym at the Wiltcher’s, a Steigenberger Hotel and one of Brussels’ grande dame properties. On the second floor, it’s a decent place with Technogym equipment and a good selection of machines.
But it’s not a patch on this one:
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The Hotel d’Angleterre in Copenhagen, part of Leading Hotels of the World, re-opened its doors in May after two years of renos. After being cosseted behind scaffolding during the reno, it felt like we were unwrapping a present when we walked in. What struck us immediately was the hotel’s chic elegance that is so often the trademark of Parisian hotels. The fact that Copenhagen’s hottest hotel bar is found here, and it’s a champagne bar to boot, only added to the feeling that we must be in Paris. And – oh wait – the hotel’s name IS Angleterre, which is French for England....
A tad disoriented? Pay no mind; let yourself appreciate the fact that you’re in Copenhagen, surrounded by lush purple flowers and furniture, modern art and beautiful people, in a lovely hotel that offers warm and friendly service.
Hotel d’Angleterre currently has 35 rooms and suites, with 55 more in the works. The rooms really are a hotel lover’s dream, whether you’re a technophile or a custom comfort nut: There is Bang & Olufsen A/V equipment in each room; beds are the Swedish luxury brand, Dux; the custom hotel scent is by Danish brand, Laura Bonné (whose cosmeceuticals are also used in the spa), and the high-tech Swiss Geberit douche toilets have more buttons on their remotes than do the TVs. The rooms even have butler cupboards -- leave your shoes to be shined and they’ll magically disappear and reappear again without any human interaction whatsoever, so continue to dance naked in your room if that’s your thing. Plenty of pics below!
Hotel News / Hotel Openings / Hotel Reopenings / Hotel Renovations / Conrad Hotels / Brussels Hotels / Belgium Hotels / → All Tags
On January 1, the former Hotel Conrad in Brussels changed hands and reopened as the Steigenberger Grandhotel. We don’t hear much about the brand in North America, so here’s the scoop. They’re a Germany-based group that manages 81 hotels all over Germany and in Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Egypt and now Belgium. This includes their upper mid-range hotel brand, InterCity Hotels and the higher-end Steigenberger Hotels.
The hotel is located on the swishy Avenue Louise with its high-end boutiques and restaurants. We had the chance to get a look inside the hotel this past summer when it was still a Conrad and then, as now, the hotel falls into the deluxe category. It has an old-school glam feel to it with a great “gentlemen’s club” type bar and lounge. There’s even a smoking lounge if that’s your thing which, as you know, is quite scarce these days. Their restaurant, Cafe Wiltshire, has a lovely terrace overlooking the hotel’s courtyard.
Cubicle Dreamin' is a feature in which we ask the hotel mavens to take some time out of their busy work day, surf the Internet, and tell us what hotel they wish they could beam themselves to right that very second--all on the slave driving companies dime, of course. Oh, like these people aren't surfing aimlessly anyway--at least now their purposeless clicking will be cobbled together into useful hotel stories--we hope. Have a destination hotel you are just dying to leave your cube for? Send the story our way.
In this episode, Hotel Maven Amanda K visits Latvia...in her mind. Enjoy.
In the Latvian capital of Riga, a very special Christmas market will run right through until December 27. Given my firm adoration of European Christmas markets, then a good choice will be a grand hotel situated right next to the markets, like the Grand Palace Hotel Riga.
As well as winning awards as Latvia's leading hotel from 2003 to 2007, the Grand Palace Hotel in Riga has just the right charm to make it a great Christmas destination. I quite like the sound of the Winter Saver Package they're currently offering which includes three nights' accommodation in a deluxe room, airport transfers, a three-course dinner in their restaurant, and for the perfect Christmas spirit, hot mulled wine from the Pils Bar--this package will cost US$630. Perhaps that'll be my Christmas present for myself.
· Which Christmas Market Has Witches? [Jaunted]
· Hotels in Riga [HotelChatter]
· Travel Stories in Riga [HotelChatter]
A trusted Belgian source tells us that when Bill Clinton heads to the EU capital he heads straight to the Conrad Brussels. Why does Bubba heart the Conrad?
Maybe it is the Lamborghini's out front, maybe it is the "talent" lurking in the concierge department, or maybe it is just the big rooms and comfy beds.
One recent reviewer might offer some clues to the Bill's Conrad fetish:
I enjoyed the very spacious room, with a great view of the city.
Room service of is very prompt when attending to your orders, and the food is delicious.
Big rooms, prompt food, tasty grub--now if only this place had a cigar bar...
· Belgium Field Trip [Jaunted]
· Hotel Conrad [TripAdvisor]
· Conrad Hotel Guests Drive Lamborghinis So Top That [HotelChatter]