Even a Brussels native would be forgiven for thinking, at first glance, that the Dominican is a historic building. After all, the façade incorporates many of the features that existed when renowned 19th-century French painter Jacques-Louis David lived at this address. And, inside, the site’s former incarnation as a 15th-century Dominican monastery appears in such details as the courtyard colonnade and original stone floors in the serene Monastery Corridor. The soaring ceilings, oversized windows, and ornate ironwork of the Grand Lounge and its adjacent bar call to mind the grand cafés of early 20th-century Europe, while rooms are adorned with vibrant paintings of classical subjects, like those by David and his contemporaries.
As historic as it all is, though, there’s no doubt that the Dominican is a modern hotel. The contemporary decor harmoniously complements its surroundings, and each of the 150 luxurious rooms has been individually designed. Many afford views of the impressive La Monnaie, the city’s opera house, located next door. The lounge is one of Brussels’ hottest spots for everything from power lunches to date nights, and the gym even has a private boxing room.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
Just a few cobbled blocks north of the Grand Place, Brussels’ UNESCO-listed market square and the heart of the city, the Dominican is ideally located amid the winding streets of Brussels’ historic center, within walking distance of nearly every major sight. The surrounding area is filled with iconic shops, restaurants, bars, and cafés, including the century-old À la Morte Subite café and the art nouveau–style Le Falstaff restaurant. Also within a stone’s throw are the Brussels City Museum and the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, one of Europe’s oldest shopping arcades, still home to many of the city’s coolest shops and restaurants.
Need to Know
Rooms: 150 rooms, five suites. From $155. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: An elegant salon with one foot each in Belgium’s decadent past and sleek present, the Grand Lounge serves an internationally inspired, locally sourced menu for lunch and dinner; in the warmer months, diners spill out onto the breezy courtyard terrace. Stretching from the lobby through to the courtyard, the Lounge Bar attracts discerning locals, hotel guests, and knowledgeable out-of-towners with its creative cocktails and extensive wine list; coffee, tea, and fresh juices are available at all hours. The hotel also prides itself on its distinctive Dominican Food Book menu, from which guests can order in any of the hotel’s common spaces, whenever the kitchen is open. Spa and gym details: In addition to a state-of-the-art gym that has a dedicated boxing room as well as all the requisite equipment, the hotel also has a wellness area with a Finnish sauna and a Turkish steam room.
Who's it best for:Discerning couples with a taste for boutique luxury and rich history. Our favorite rooms:An homage to the renowned 19th-century French painter of the same name who once resided at this address, the decadent Jacques-Louis David Suite is decorated with replicas of his paintings, has its own impressive staircase, and overlooks the Belgian national opera house, La Monnaie, through floor-to-ceiling windows. Extra perks: While all of the rooms are decadent in their own way, the Suites and Executive and Loft Rooms include free minibars and free video on demand for especially luxurious stays.