The Radisson Blu brand may be known for its Scandinavian midcentury design, but the Royal Hotel, in the heart of Brussels, has a far older pedigree. In the soaring atrium at the heart of the art deco–inspired building sit the remains of the city’s first wall, originally constructed in the 12th century. This dichotomy between old and new persists throughout the luxury hotel, itself pulled in two directions as a business-focused hotel on the edge of the city’s historic center. The greenhouse-style restaurant and lounge surrounding the Romanesque wall have an Old World elegance to them, contrasting harmoniously with the sleek modernity of the glass ceiling and soaring geometric walls. Different rooms channel different parts of the hotel’s identity, some outfitted with midcentury Danish design–inspired furnishings, others with the wood and leather of a slick urban loft. Even the Michelin-starred restaurant vacillates, its decor taking inspiration from a refined 1930s private club while its cuisine reimagines Belgian seafood in avant garde ways.
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On the northern edge of Brussels’ historic center, the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel is within a stone’s throw of all the city’s major sights—as well as its business district. The landmark Grand Place, the heart of the city and a UNESCO-listed market square, is just a few minutes away through the winding cobbled streets, lined with restaurants, cafés, bars, and shops. Iconic spots such as À la Morte Subite, a café over 100 years old, and Delirium Café, a beer-lover’s paradise with over 2,000 brews available, are just around the corner. Don’t miss the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, one of Europe’s oldest shopping arcades, still home to some of the city’s coolest shops and restaurants.
Need to Know
Rooms: 281 rooms, 22 suites. From $255. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: An impressive breakfast spread is served daily in the rough-wood–paneled PebbleWood Corner. The garden-inspired Atrium offers a seafood-focused menu alongside a top-notch wine list in its airy dining room and elegant, art deco–inspired lounge, surrounding the medieval Romanesque wall around which the hotel was built. The standout is the two Michelin-starred Sea Grill Restaurant, which highlights the freshest local seafood with inventive takes on traditional Belgian dishes in a refined and atmospheric dining room. Spa and gym details: On the hotel’s top floor, there’s a modern, fully equipped gym with a separate sauna; massages can be booked through the concierge.
Who's it best for:Luxury and business travelers who appreciate midcentury design. Our favorite rooms: Rooms and suites have four different themes: Urban, Maritime, At Home, and New York Mansion. While the New York Mansion rooms best channel the Radisson Blu chain’s midcentury-modern roots in their Scandinavian style and turquoise hues, the Urban rooms are the most recently renovated, adopting the luxe-industrial look of a city loft, complete with leather accents and distinctive modern artwork. Ambassador Suites are among the most comfortable rooms, with separate living and dining areas, ideal for both entertaining and longer stays. Special perks: Business Class Rooms and higher all include access to the Business Class Corner private lounge, as well as free breakfast.