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When we think of Brussels, we think about the European Union, beer and chocolate. Never had we thought of the city, although scenic and somewhat quirky with its love of surrealism, as the headquarters of cool. And then in 2009 along came the 29-room Vintage Hotel (a former home for the elderly), that's in a great location close to swish shopping street, Avenue Louise. Suddenly the "it" factor went way up.
Now, in 2012, the hotelís added a symbol of pure 1950s Americana: a refurbed vintage 1958 Airstream trailer that has all of the mod-cons one expects.Yes, Brussels has discovered "glamping" !
We got a peek at this eccentric hotel and the Airstream Room (known as "Hazel") parked in the hotelís courtyard. Hazel is outfitted with a double bed, shower and WC, a separate seating area, WiFi, a flat-screen TV and air conditioning. (BTW, itís the only room at the hotel thatís air conditioned.)
The Times' T Magazine takes a deeper look inside the hotel, including its beanbag-outfitted roofdeck, mod lounge and appropriately vibrant breakfast buffet. There's not a review, per se, but they do state something we absolutely agree with, and that's the fact that Brussels suffers from a lack of cool hotels like this. The Pantone is filling a need there, and its rooms from $137 including free WiFi are hopefully a hit.
Fast Company reported yesterday on a very new type of designer hotel--The Pantone Hotel in Brussels. Yes, Pantone as in the company that created a precise-color matching system by which all designers of anything live and dye by.
The company, while extremely well-known in its industry, is looking to reach out to real consumers. Hence, The Pantone Hotel.
Designed by Belgian interior designer Michel Penneman and Belgian architect Olivier Hannaert, each of the hotel's 59 rooms, which range from $84 to $184 a night, is inspired by different Pantone color palettes. On-site Pantone Color consultants are apparently available for "color consultations and educational seminars on color psychology and trends."
But what we love, absolutely love, is that guests can choose their room at check-in based on their MOOD. It's like a Mood Ring Hotel!
Mirror, mirror, on the wall--or at least hanging in the bathroom in the NH Brussels hotel. Apparently we're not the fairest of them all, but this mirror still has a friendly message for us:
I see a lot of faces and I have never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful.
The nice part is that guest reviews make the NH Brussels sound like one of the best hotels in town, so we probably would be smiling at this mirror. And more so now that we've discovered a stay at this place won't break the bank, with rooms starting at Ä64.50 (a strangely not-rounded price but that's what the hotel's own website promises; it's less than $85).
If the mirrors are so complimentary about our beautiful smiling faces, then we're just wondering what the staff will have to say about our great dress sense and gorgeous luggage, too. And who said Belgium was only good for the chocolate?
Holy crap. Dozens of police raided the Conrad Hotel Brussels (which has been called the "most exclusive" hotel in the city) and freed 17 people who were being held as slaves by a royal family living in the hotel.
The Telegraph had the scoop:
The operation was triggered by the apparent escape of a maid who was among 20 servants working for the widow of a senior royal figure from the United Arab Emirates and her four daughters who have rented the entire fourth floor of the hotel for the last year.
The servants, dubbed "slaves" in the Belgian media, allegedly had to be at the service of the Arab royals 24 hours a day and had their passport taken away on arrival in Belgium. The women were reportedly not allowed to leave the hotel and their monthly salaries were as low as £80 a month.
Insane, right? The investigation is still going on, and no charges have been brought against the royal family yet.