Home for the holidays? Enjoy some festive fun in Brussels hotels
Christmas in the capital of Europe offers much more than mulled wine and mince pies. And after sampling the delights of one of Europe’s most famous Christmas markets, you can warm up in one of Brussels’ inviting hotels from big name chains to cosy boutique gems – many offering a whole programme of yuletide excitement.
Th classic location for a room with a view – and what a vista… this gargantuan 27-storey place to stay is celebrating Christmas in ‘Nordic Wonders’ mode, with fir trees everywhere. Celebrate in style and treat yourself to the ‘not so secret Santa’ package. On offer until 7 January, it provides a birds’ eye view of the city in a festively decorated deluxe Panorama corner room. Guests will find a bottle of champagne and goodies including Elisabeth chocolates and Nuxe wellness products under a special Christmas tree. A breakfast buffet and parking (if needed) is included. And if you are staying for New Year, tempting menus at The Iris restaurant include lemongrass gyoza, crispy karaage (Japanese-style fried chicken) and oysters. Boulevard de Waterloo 38
Overlooking Brussels’ famous square in the EU quarter, also popular for chip lovers: the 1948-founded Maison Antoine is reputed to have the best fries in the capital, the Sofitel exudes the magic of Christmas. Visitors this year will be amazed by the surrealist, sparkling six-metre Christmas ‘tree’ (almost a chandelier) made from 4,000 golden origami birds hanging from the lobby ceiling (pictured, main image). Its creator, Belgian designer Charles Kaisin, has works gracing Tokyo Palace, Kyoto Art Center and the Galéries Royales Saint-Hubert. Special packages include stays in festively decorated rooms with Diptyque luxury products and Neuhaus gifts and welcome cocktails. You can also experience the high-class cooking of star chefs Gabriele Petrucci and Jean-Philippe Watteyne at the 1040 restaurant. Indulge in delicious local products including a truffle and potato starter featuring 10 Walloon varieties of the humble vegetable, Durbuy goat’s cheese risotto, North Sea turbot and Ardennes pheasant, not forgetting patisserie supremo Nicolas Arnaud’s Christmas log. Place Jourdan 1 (Etterbeek)
Minutes away from Brussels’ hidden botanical gardens – a lush wonderland stretching from Place Rogier to Botanique cultural centre – this hotel’s design reflects the surrounding greenery. In keeping with this green feel, Hotel Indigo’s SERRA restaurant offers healthy plant or animal-based fare in its garden kitchen. Prices for seasonal menus, courtesy of chef Etienne Mahieu, start from €45 for the four-course plant-based Christmas Eve dinner. Or why not enjoy a €109 festive package including a five-course New Year’s Eve dinner, party and overnight stay, or a special 22 December Ukrainian Christmas Dinner with proceeds going to charity. Alternatively, sample Christmas-inspired dishes, cocktails and chocolates at the Christmas Day brunch. Place Charles Rogier 80 (Saint-Josse-ten-Noode)
Steigenberger Wiltcher’s Hotel
From waffles to wellness, Christmas at Wiltcher’s has it all. Its Fairy Festive Season features a waffle factory with its own chocolate fountain and popcorn maker and a Taittinger vintage champagne alpine chalet on its huge winter terrace. The magic starts as you enter the hotel’s ‘Fairy Christmas Forest’ which goes from the lobby to Loui Cocktail Bar for some festive drinks. If you stay for dinner, seasonal options include a six-course Christmas dinner and a Christmas Brunch buffet. For ultimate luxury, you can enjoy the New Year’s Eve ‘La Canne en Ville’ Gala Dinner. Courtesy of Michelin-starred chef Kevin Lejeune and his team, it is followed by a ‘wild’ party and DJ set. And on the morning after, what could be better than relaxing at the wonderful Aspria Spa – that’s offering special treatment rates until 27 February. Avenue Louise 71 (Ixelles)
In the heart of the EU bubble, minutes from Schuman square, indulge in Christmas cheer at the luxurious Martins Hotel Brussels Centre. Until 8 January you can take advantage of the ‘Martins Sweet Winter’ seasonal offer. Starting from €149 for a room for two, this stay comes complete with a buffet breakfast and free access to the spa, sauna and swimming pool. Icing on the Christmas cake, you also get a welcome glass of homemade honey wine from the company’s own beehives and a special Martins EU Brussels coloured snood. Rue Charlemagne 80, 1000
For something a little different, Brussels abounds with boutique hotels, which allow for a more intimate Christmas experience. All beautifully decorated, take your pick from 1920s glamour at the Scott Hotel – think Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ – to the lush green vibes of Urban Yard. Or why not escape to Japan at minimalist Yadoya with its charming Japanese terrace garden or to Scandinavia with the cool and cosy Hotel Hygge? Famous Belgian designer Michel Penneman created all four of these special places in which to rest or enjoy a festive drink.