IPA Magazine-Luxury Travel Reviews

The Dominican Hotel

Refuge in The Throbbing Heart of Brussels

Dominican 1A former Dominican monastery and residence of French master painter Jacques-Louis David has been transformed into an elegant, luxurious cosmopolitan hotel with the feel of a serene, spiritual retreat.  Aptly named The Dominican, this urban sanctuary is located steps away from The Royal Theatre and Opera House “De La Monnaie,” and the historic guild houses of The Grand Place.

The 150 rooms and suites on six floors boast of exquisite contemporary design with acute attention to detail in every furnishing.  Rich, deep colors and fabrics are tastefully woven into carpets, bedding, lampshades, and seating areas. There is an eclectic mix of hues, stylish furniture, unique upholstery and luxurious materials, whether within rooms or bathrooms, from granite, marble and tile to cotton linens, wool and synthetics. Whether inside or outside the rooms, most  surrounding an inner courtyard, there is a serene, contemplative feeling one enjoys here, as from an agelong acquaintance with the past during moments of reflection.

The hotel was designed by the renowned Dutch firm of FG Stijl, with cutting edge architectural concept harmoniously blending with exquisite execution of function and artistry.  Soaring windows welcome warm light, while the artistry of skilled craftsmen shown in the metallic frames and detail work, tastefully blend the abbey’s past with the present. High ceilings, sweeping archways, majestic panels of glass and metal—it’s exquisitely breathtaking.  Soothing Gregorian chants waft through the elevator, evoking echoes from the past, the quietude of souls at peace. Here the spirit of old Europe and new Europe effortlessly coalesces into a new sensation of well being and peace.

The first thing one notices about The Dominican is that it is serenely quiet in front of the hotel.  Located just behind the “Monnaie” opera house, there is no hustle of cars or activity before the entrance.  It is as a former abbey must be.  Serene.  The stress of the world stops at the door.  As you enter through the glass doors, however, the effect changes.  Now you are in the midst of tranquility with elegance on a new level.   This is no monastic throwback to the days of austerity.  Instead, we see a new and lively rendition of the present drawing out the best of the past.  How do you make use of the best aspects of days gone by?  Capture its essence, draw from it, never imitate, and seek to innovate.  The Dominican achieves this with aplomb.

A 15th century Dominican Abbey once occupied this site.  Members of the Dominican order were known for their balance of being learned and Dominicanurban, yet mystical and contemplative.  They were able to strike that fine balance between being in the world yet not of the world.  The Dominican Hotel has found that balance, seamlessly integrating Brussels’ tradition, the building’s history and its contemporary design.

The 150 guestrooms—all non-smoking—each have an individual design, and are situated around a quiet inner courtyard.  Here the old cloister-like flavors of the past and new, contemporary designs are melded effortlessly in a luxurious environment.  The Dominican offers six room styles: Deluxe, Executive, Loft, The Dominican Loft, Suites and Studios.  All rooms, starting with the Deluxe rooms, include the following Room amenities: Complimentary WIFI, Air-conditioning, Telephone, Laptop safe, Minibar, Flat screen TV, 24-hour room service, Ironing facilities, Complimentary Nespresso coffee & tea, Rain shower or bath, Hairdryer, Bathrobe and Slippers.  The Dominican also offers guests an exclusive gym area to re-energize after a long day.  In the afternoon, after exploring Brussels, I found the Finnish sauna and Turkish steam bath near the gym area where I enjoyed several moments of relaxation.

The larger, more aristocratic rooms have many unique features.  The Loft rooms are situated at the front of The Dominican, providing a view of the old historical center of Brussels and the 19th-century neoclassic façade of the opera house and theater. There are several different suites.  Junior Suites offer beautiful views of The Dominican’s private courtyard.  There are two Executive Suites.  The Jacques-Louis Suite has separate sections for living and dining and is named after the painter who used to live and work in this precise area.  The Opera Suite also has a living room and dining room and offers a splendid view of Old Brussels and the Opera.  Both Executive Suites cover 66 square meters.  The Grand Place Suite offers a view of the Grote Markt and has all the rooms of the Executive Suites plus a kitchenette, occupying a total of 77 square meters.  Finally, the Dominican manages five studios located next to the hotel, providing the option of a longer stay for guests.  The minimum rental period for a studio is one month.  The Studios all have their own separate entrance and come with a fully equipped kitchen area.

On the main floor, adjacent to the inner courtyard, the Grand Lounge occupies the heart of The Dominican and serves as the ideal, intimate fine dining setting for up to 70 persons.  Exuding the splendor of high ceilings, soaring windows, stunning metalwork, and the warmth of natural light, the Grand Lounge is a fabulous place to join others in one of the most remarkable rooms of modern Brussels.  Breakfast is served here in the morning from 6:30-10:00 am on weekdays and from 7:00-11:00 am on weekends.  We enjoyed an exquisite buffet of juices, fruits, cereals, yoghurt, breads, pastries, meats, cheeses, and hot beverages.  We also ordered hot dishes brought to our table.  Breakfast is served at €27.  There is a weekly lunch menu starting at €26 (excluding drinks).

Three multi-functional meeting salons accommodate up to 300 persons for business conferences or social events.  Meeting suites can be transformed into contemporary banquet rooms where an extensive choice of beverages and cuisines prepared by gourmet chefs may be served.  The Dominican’s Lounge Bar is a traditional café with a lounge atmosphere offering an a la carte menu and creative beverages.

Brussels—the capital of Europe—is indeed a sumptuous city.  The Dominican Hotel strives to integrate Brussels’ rich traditions within an historic building transformed by superlative contemporary design.  For the ultimate in style and comfort, The Dominican Hotel in Brussels is a must for every luxury-conscious visitor to enjoy.

The Dominican

Rue Leopold/Leopoldstraat 9

1000 Brussels, Belgium

Tel.  0032 (0)2 203 08 08

Fax. 0032 (0)2 203 08 07

Website: www.thedominican.be

Email: info@thedominican.carlton.be

Reservations: reservations@thedominican.carlton.be

 

 

 

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