Friday, 11 November 2016

Hotel Review: Louise Sur Coer, Brussels


Last weekend, I quietly slipped away to Brussels for the weekend. I say quietly as I barely mentioned my trip via social media which is unusual for me; I love to explore the globe and take you guys with me on my travels. But sometimes you just need a proper break to spend some quality time with people without the interruption of social media. I think that’s what they call a digital detox and after switching off for a couple of days, I wholeheartedly recommend it. Aside from having a self-imposed restraining order from your phone, the most important ingredient for a proper break is somewhere indulgent and delicious to stay holed up. The hotel I stayed in was utter perfection so I just have to share it with you.
 
Louise Sur Coer is one of the most beautiful little hotels I have had the pleasure of calling home. The brainchild of renowned artist Dimitri Parimeros, Louise Sur Coer is situated in an1874 townhouse a short walk from the centre of Brussels. Dimitri has spent the last 5 years painstakingly renovated the house with incredible attention to detail. He has personally sourced each piece of furniture and painting from across Belgium, the hotel also features a number of his sculptures and paintings. Set across 4 floors, each floor is themed around a different period; the ground floor is inspired by the regency era and features wood panelling and a beautiful working marble fireplace, the floor I stayed on is themed around the decadent 1930s.


 Despite arriving in Brussels at around 10am, Dimitri made sure our room was ready for us to check in on arrival and even prepared a delicious breakfast feast for us. He chatted to us about the property and how he came to open Louise Sur Coer, explaining his journey from artist residing in Paris to Brussel hotelier and showing us key pieces in the living area and dining room. He also chatted to us about our time in Brussels and put together an amazing walking itinerary from the hotel complete with restaurant suggestions and places he loved as a local – better than any guidebook or blog. He was so kind and welcoming; it felt like staying with a friend rather than in a hotel.
 
As mentioned, the floor we stayed on was themed around the 1930s and the room I stayed in is the exquisite art deco-themed “Van Huffel” room, named after the architect Albert van Huffel. A stunning black marble fireplace dominates the large bedroom and the mantel piece is topped with an art deco mirror which Dimitri designed himself. The gold accents, wood floor and cosy soft furnishings create a snug, homely feel.

 
A glass cabinet in the corner conceals the entrance to the spectacular bathroom; just give the cabinet a tug to reveal stairs with an ironwork bannister which open up to the biggest bathroom you’re likely to find in a hotel. The bathroom’s focal point is the beautiful roll-top bath and walk-in rainforest shower which is encased in beautiful stained glass. The art deco features carry through from the bedroom, with a beautiful mirror and bronze decal above the bathtub.


 
The main downside of the hotel is that it’s so sumptuously snug that you won’t want to leave. During our two day stay, we only managed to tear ourselves away once, for a brief walk through Brussels to get some food. Other than that, we stayed happily cocooned in our lavish little haven. An indoor picnic and dinner delivery via Uber Eats won over heading out to check out the restaurants that Dimitri suggested. I often feel a bit stir-crazy if I spend much time cooped up in hotel rooms in Europe as they’re usually tiny, but the Van Huffel room was super spacious, it felt like the perfect size to spend the weekend snuggled up with plenty of room.
 
Hotels, especially in Europe, can be really hit and miss, with tiny rooms, miniscule bathrooms, nondescript designs and very impersonal service. This is why I prefer to stay in small, boutique hotels rather than generic hotel chains – I love getting a feel of the place I’m visiting. Even in the context of boutique design hotels, Louise Sur Coer hotel is a really special find. The entire property has been hand curated by Dimitri and it feels like the setting for a Gucci campaign rather than a hotel that you can stay in. The best part is that the hotel only opened a few months ago so it’s very much under the radar so it’s just our little secret. I have a feeling people are going to catch on to this little gem pretty quickly.
 
Rooms start at 135euros a night, the Van Huffel room is from 145euros. For more information, visit the Louise Sur Coer website or email Dimitri at contact@louisesurcour.be.

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