Home » News » He has been talking about since 2012, now the time has finally come: prestigious Marriott Hotel Antwerp open (Antwerp)

He has been talking about since 2012, now the time has finally come: prestigious Marriott Hotel Antwerp open (Antwerp)

As early as 2012 there was talk of a renovation of the Handelsbeurs and a new hotel and restaurant. Handelsbeurs are now alive and well, just like the Fiera restaurant in the adjacent Schippersbeurs. He has always been waiting for Sapphire House, a hotel in the prestigious Autograph Collection by Marriott Hotels.

“The afternoon is finally time,” says general manager Anne Ludmann, who always wore work clothes on Mondays and had some time for a tour.

It begins in the heart of the 17th century building, the beautiful spiral staircase next to the main entrance of the historic De Grooten Robijn building is topped by a chic trompe-l’oeil. The new main entry is that of the Department of Population since the last century.

For many years, entering the hotel was a well-known place where you, as a young parent, came to report a child. The cathedral looks into the background. © Jan Van der Perre

Until the year 2000, anyone who registered their child at the city registry office was required to enter this iron gate: for many in the most recognizable part of the hotel.

Plants open to everyone

Inside, the metamorphosis is complete. The counters in the service of the population, and earlier those of the predecessor of the Banque d’Anvers, made room for a small reception with a bar with plenty of space behind it.

The reception and the helmet monument make stairs.  The doors open on the bar.

The reception and the helmet monument make stairs. The doors open on the bar. © Jan Van der Perre

“A little further on you come to Plantǀn restaurant every day. But people can also eat in one of the two rooms on each side of the bar,” says Anne. “As of today, Plantǀn is open for breakfast, lunch, brunch, afternoon snacks and dinner, as well as for non-hotel guests.”

“Pathfinders can only visit Wildǀn gourmet restaurants in late June. It is housed in the oldest part of the building, where the first owners set up a luxurious ballroom. The adjacent patio was also finished, with a vertical garden against the wall of the Handelsbeurs. The delayed opening has a practical purpose. Anne Ludmann and her husband Bart De Pooter came only together with the Odyssey hotel operator. Odyssey took over the project from Borealis, who had to withdraw some projects due to the Corona crisis.

The bar: centrally located between lounge and restaurant.  Here, meetings and experiences are essential.

The bar: centrally located between lounge and restaurant. Here, meetings and experiences are essential. © Jan Van der Perre

“Unlike its predecessor, Odyssey considers the dining experience a very important hotel. That’s why we wanted to install an extra kitchen between Plantǀn and Wildǀn restaurants. Bart’s expertise naturally plays a role in that, ”says Anne.

Every room is different

We also met the first owner of the building on the first floor. The du Bois-Colen family set up a large nursery for their seven children. Today it is Suite 136, where the fireplace has been replaced by a mantelpiece and a gold leaf molding. The 75 m2 suite costs between 500 and 700 euros per night.

An ordinary room, like the smaller Emerald King (20 m²) is always big enough and costs 229 euros. “Overall prices are hard to come by, because literally every room is different,” says Anne Ludmann, who enjoys the whimsical character of the former patrician home. What is the same for each room: an open wardrobe. Stunning and innovative. But this way you certainly do not forget a piece of clothing.

Antwerp, Antwerp

Each room has a jewelry bag and two sapphires. Guests can change it for a drink at the bar. This is a nod to the Handelsbeurs next door. Anyone wishing can visit the hotel with Handelsbeurs and Tanguy Ottomer city guide, who has an exclusive agreement with the hotel.

The hotel has a partnership with Antwerp brands such as Kaai Bags.

The hotel has a partnership with Antwerp brands such as Kaai Bags. © Jan Van der Perre

Not the only link with Antwerp. The hotel displays Kaai handbags, Wouters & Hendrix jewelry and the reception staff wears Essential clothing. “We don’t sell anything from them, but show products from the Antwerp brand. Just as we don’t work plant-based because it sounds clean and modern, ”says Bart De Pooter. “We are committed to sustainability and produce nearby. We have coffee at Cook & Boon, tea at Café Couture and kombucha from Bron. Our wines are 60% Belgian, the staff clothes are durable and androgynous from Older-Paris and the work of photographer Marc Lagrange is presented.

Office agent Jessica Jie-Sam-Foek at Wildǀn Restaurant.  She put on an Essential ensemble.

Office agent Jessica Jie-Sam-Foek at Wildǀn Restaurant. She put on an Essential ensemble. © Jan Van der Perre

www.sapphirehouseantwerp.com

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