It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Antwerp, so whenever I get the opportunity, I try to go. Last time, I stayed at Hotel Julien, a four-star hotel located right in the center, between the Meir and the historic center.
Hotel Julien is design luxury hotel, nested in two XVIth century houses, right by an old church. When you enter the hotel, you immediately feel the old soul of the place, but what you see is a lot of design furniture and elements that blend in just perfectly.
The staff is genuinely nice and helpful, and there’s a collection of design/inspiration/travel books at the reception that you can borrow if you want to have a read in the amazing living room with a coffee. The common areas, lobby, living room, bar, and dining room, are decorated with a perfect selection of design items, wooden floors and fresh flowers. To bring in some light, there’s a huge bay window at the back of the living room, with quite a lot of greenery for a super relaxing effect.
Going all the way up, you’ll find yourself on the rooftop terrace with design chairs and a perfect view on the cathedral. Slight disappointment here, Hotel Julien’s rooftop is very pretty but has no bar, so we had to say goodbye to our plans of having a coffee with a view.
Downstairs, in the converted cellar, you’ll find the spa. It’s pretty incredible, when you go down the stairs, you immediately feel more zen thanks to the dim lights and the nice smells. I booked a “back rub therapy” and it was 30 minutes of pure relaxation.
Finally… The room. We had a “mood room“, so the most basic one. It was very nice and all, but I couldn’t shake off the feeling that it had a business hotel vibe, so quite the opposite of what you’re looking for when booking a boutique design hotel like Hotel Julien. It was also very small, same goes for the bathroom, and there was no coffee or tea machine. I feel that when you pay 180€ for a room (breakfast not included), you could expect a little bit more, either in terms of design and decoration efforts or in terms of services. On the bright side, the bed was amazing and the windows open on the little courtyard and the relaxing sound of its water fountain.
So, despite the little hickups I mentioned, I’d definitely recommend this hotel: it’s gorgeous and very well located, and it’s a little haven of peace in the middle of the city. The amazing decoration and the spa are a definite plus, but make sure you book the “dreamer” or “experience” room to really make the most out of your stay in this beautiful hotel.
If you’re interested in this topic, you might also like “Where to sleep in Ubud: Bisma Eight probably the best hotel in Bali“, “Where to sleep in Stockholm: Miss Clara Hotel review” and “36 hours in Delft and The Hague“
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