You can be faced with tough choices trying to decide where to stay in Antwerp. Do you opt to stay in the heart of the medieval centre? Or do you opt for the trendy Het Zuid, the 19th century quarter with its museums, galleries, hip bars and eateries? Do you want a really private hotel? Or are you one of those people who actually prefers a hotel that offers a few social spaces? Well, with Hotel O, you can have it all.
Another of the more recent arrivals interested only in sophisticated and design-conscious visitors, Hotel O has two properties in Antwerp. The larger is in a renovated 19th century building overlooking the Royal Museum of Fine Arts and has 16 rooms. Its street-level Brasserie Nero –where guest breakfasts are served¬– is a popular hangout with the local trendies. It even has a natty little gift shop in the lobby selling hip design objects and fashion accessories by local designers. Here, there is a greater choice of rooms from standard doubles through to sensuous suites.
By contrast, the smaller property practically beside the cathedral –open for less than a year– has far fewer rooms. Nonetheless, it too has a fashionable onsite bar-café that doubles as a breakfast room. There is also an onsite bookshop, giving you something to read while you take your coffee in Bar O.
Together with all the little touches that one would want for an enjoyable stay, what both premises share is Jo Peeters. The vaunted Belgian architect, who is known for his skills as a designer of bars, restaurants and elegant houses, has overseen it all. And, as a result, the accommodations in Hotel O are definitely something special. They are also incredibly varied, offering something for all tastes.
Combining design classics and furniture of his own design, Peeters has effectively approached the project as a kind of planning for types; as if he were imagining the ideal hotel rooms to appeal to the full spectrum of contemporary sophisticates. Thus, there are the Eco Rooms with their monastic neutral shades, natural materials and eco-friendly wooden whirlpool baths. There are the Sensual Rooms, dominated by black and feeling every bit as wickedly indulgent as the rich dark chocolate for which Belgium is famous. And there are other options that walk a less specific line. All share the elaboration of a contemporary lifestyle that is about celebrating luxury, even when the aesthetic is pared down.
All rooms include WiFi, flat screen TV’s, unique top-of-the-range showers or bathrooms, luxury toiletries.