No, your mastery of languages hasn’t led you astray—“amigo” isn’t a French or Flemish word. Rather, when the Spanish controlled the city in the 16th century, they misunderstood the Flemish word for “prison,” and so the city jail earned its incongruously friendly nickname. Now one of Brussels’ premier luxury hotels, under the discerning eye of hotelier Sir Rocco Forte, the landmark has finally earned its name, welcoming celebrities, captains of industry, and international dignitaries into its refined space. Designed by Forte’s sister and longtime collaborator, Olga Polizzi, the hotel blends contemporary Italian and Belgian styles—clean-lined furnishings, velvets and Belgian linens in muted tones, soaring windows framed by heavy drapes—with distinctive Flemish classics like Magritte paintings and original flagstone floors. As impressive as it all is, especially when paired with its acclaimed fine-dining restaurant and popular bar, the real star is the view, which, from most rooms, includes the city’s famous town hall.
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Located just off the Grand Place, Brussels’ UNESCO-listed market square and the heart of the city, the Hotel Amigo sits amid the historic city center’s cobbled streets and many sights. The surrounding streets are lined with charming restaurants, cafés, and shops, including the iconic Maison Dandoy tearoom, the art nouveau–style Le Falstaff restaurant, and Delirium Café, a beer-lover’s destination with over 2,000 brews available, many domestic trappist brews. Also within a stone’s throw are the Brussels City Museum and the historic Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert arcade, still home to some of the city’s coolest shops and restaurants.
Need to Know
Rooms: 154 rooms, 19 suites. From $244. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Sleek and elegant, Ristorante Bocconi channels hotelier Sir Rocco Forte’s Italian roots with its acclaimed Italian cuisine, made with seasonal local produce. Bar Amigo is just as much a destination as the restaurant, attracting well-heeled locals for classic cocktails, power lunches, live music, and afternoon tea. In the warmer months, alfresco dining is available. Spa and gym details: The hotel does not have a spa, but it does have a modern gym, open 24 hours a day.
Who's it best for:Luxury lovers and business travelers who appreciate both modern design and history. Our favorite rooms: The penthouse-style Armand Blaton Suite is worth the splurge, with a private rooftop terrace that feels like an extension of the airy living room, a fully equipped kitchen, a working fireplace, paintings from the Blaton family’s private collection, and top-floor views of Brussels’ iconic town hall. In the land of Tintin: The Tintin rooms and suite, decorated with scenes from the iconic comics, are especially popular with families. The Tintin mural on the Rue de L’Etuve is also nearby, and the concierge can offer information on the Brussels Tintin Trail, which takes you past sights that appear in the books.