The Steigenberger Wiltcher’s oozes history and has seen Brussels built up around it from its prime position on Avenue Louise. You simply cannot miss this grand art nouveau palatial hotel, its black balcony grates contrasting with the white façade that glistens in the midday sun, so have no fear that you will miss the Wiltcher’s as you walk by.
The canopy-covered entrance and red carpet that leads past the concierge desk and up the stairs to the expansive dark oak reception desk is no less sophisticated. Glistening chandeliers cast low lighting over the heavy leather armchairs as a receptionist checks you in.
This stylish property owes its very existence to a family of British migrants who bought the former home of Baron Joseph de Crawhez in 1913. Sydney Wiltcher bought the building and built the foundations of the hotel, and in 1925 he joined forces with Carlton hotels to establish the Wiltcher’s and Carlton hotel. Between 1935 and 1993, the Belgian pharmaceutical company L’Union Chimique Belge operated its HQ from the hotel, and in 1993 the building was refurbished and reopened as the Conrad Brussels. The hotel that we see today opened in 2015 after a two and a half year refurbishment undertaken by the German Steigenberger hotels company.
Brussels appeals to anyone who wants to experience medieval architecture and grand squares standing side-by-side with modern tower blocks and a bizarre statue of a urinating child. The Wiltcher’s appeals to travellers who want a luxurious base at the heart of the city from which to explore, attracting the gaze of envious locals and tourists as they catch a glimpse of you walking down the red carpet.
The Steigenberger Wiltcher’s is a destination in its own right, attracting locals and visitors to the city to the Loui Bar and Restaurant in search of tasty meals created by Executive Chef Nicolas Gadomski and his team, to the intimate library for a light meal or meeting, in-house Aspria spa, or the onsite Mary artisan chocolatier boutique. Choose somewhere quiet to relax and sit back with a glass of aged Trappist beer.
The 267 rooms at the Wiltcher’s are available in seven sizes, all of which are decorated in soothing neutral grey, white and brown tones, boast large floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking either Brussels or the interior courtyard, and come with large plasma TVs and Nespresso coffee machines. The rooms come in either superior, deluxe, junior suite, duplex suite, executive suite, presidential suite, or the enormous royal suite, with the royal suite offering 320 square metres of space, a meeting room for 12 people, an office with a large work desk, a living room with a fireplace and a kitchenette.
Large king size beds draped in rich cottons, glass coffee tables and suede armchairs, a leather futon and fresh orchids are common in each room. The bathrooms, complete with soft white towels, rainfall showers and designer toiletries are large with full-length mirrors and torch-style lighting. A fresh glass bottle of Chaudfontaine is provided every day and a small square of wrapped Mary artisan chocolate is left on the folded corner of the duvet every night.
Food and Drink
The Wiltcher’s has four places to eat onsite. Every morning a large buffet breakfast is served in the bright and spacious Café Wiltcher’s, with cold cuts, fresh breads, hot sausages, beans, mushrooms, bacon and tomatoes, dried fruit and nuts, and freshly-squeezed juices to choose from. Guests are offered champagne and honey cut from a honeycomb to accompany their breakfast. Snacks and small meals can be served throughout the day at La Terrasse in the Courtyard with the opulence and quiet of the interior courtyard for a backdrop.
For dinner, there are two choices, either the opulent Loui Bar and Restaurant with a large menu of French and Belgian classics prepared by Executive Chef Nicolas Gadomski and his team, each dish served with handcrafted cocktails or handpicked wines chosen by expert sommeliers, or The Library, a great place to relax with a book over a light meal or tartine and a tea, coffee, or power juice. In the afternoon, the Wiltcher’s pastry chef prepares delicious Belgian pastries for diners.