How do you define “home”? Is it a fancy house? A luxurious apartment with a killer view? Or is it much more than that? For us, “home” does not relate to things, but to people. To moments, feelings and experiences that make your heart beat faster.
You can feel at home in the middle of a tropical forest, on an empty beach – watching the sunrise and sunset – or on a snowy mountain peak as long as you’re surrounded by the right people, doing what you love. You can also feel at home in a foreign city, thousands of miles away from your residence. This Spring, Made in Louise hotel made us feel at home for two days in the heart of Brussels’ Art Nouveau district. The hotel has an interesting story behind it. Mélanie and Martin Dechateau are brother and sister, inseparable, driven by the same passion for the trade and both graduates of the Lausanne Hotel school. Believing in the “hospitality with a difference” concept, in 2011 they bought the old hotel Louise. Together with their mother, who’s an interior designer, they’ve renovated the hotel, with respect for the style and charm of this 20th century Brussels townhouse.
Location and architecture
We’ve said it before and will say it again: we’re huge fans of boutique and design hotels, properties where the accent falls on personalized service and not on how huge the building is, how glitzy or how many rooms it has. We like properties where the owners and staff seem to know you for ages and, upon check-out, you end up considering them as your second family. Hotels where the cozy, intimate ambiance and the service with a genuine smile, make you think about returning there as soon as possible.
A 5-minute walk from the Metro Louise (3 stops from the Midi station) and a 15-minute walk from the European Parliament, Made in Louise – name related to the neighbourhood where it’s located – is a typically Brussels townhouse from the 20th century. Drive fast past Rue Veydt 40 and chances are you’ll miss this lovely hotel – a little gem hidden in the middle of Brussels – nestled between the adjacent buildings. At night, mood lighting reveals the hotel’s facade and elegant architecture.
It’s all in the numbers: 48, 9, 10+
Discerning travellers who opt for a stay at Made in Louise will find 48 comfortable rooms, each with its own character, a warm and welcoming atmosphere exuding the Belgian-style art of living. The hotel’s staff comprises 9 members, but don’t let this number fool you. As you know, “strong essences are kept in small bottles” and this also applies when it comes to the quality service you get from the hotel’s staff. If you’re a frequent traveller, you’ll sense right away after checking-in that Made in Louise is run by someone experienced in the hospitality industry. Martin, the owner and General Manager, has over 10 years experience with leading global hotel chains and his expertise is clearly visible in every corner of the property.
The interior exudes good taste, with a nice mix of colors, and has some clever design details meant to further highlight the cool ambiance: a carpet in the lobby with ruler-like design, the small fireplace, a white billiard table and the giant chess board found in the hotel’s courtyard. From the fonts used on the walls to indicate the room numbers to the quotes found at the reception and in other public spaces, everything has been carefully thought out and nothing has been left to chance. We loved the funny sentence written on the rollerball pens found in the room: “I don’t have a bad handwriting. I have my own font.” Nice one!
Other details which make for a pleasant stay and are in-line with the philosophy behind this boutique hotel: contemporary furniture, colorful wallpapers adorning the rooms’ walls, windows with wooden shutters and fluffy carpets. Some rooms boast large windows opening onto the leafy courtyard, while others have views of the Art Nouveau district. Sometimes the bathroom is hidden in a cupboard, sometimes small stairs lead up to it, but every time spacious beds with 100% cotton sheets await guests at the end of a long day spent exploring Brussels.
Cosy, Charming or Executive?
The “Cosy” rooms (12-14 sqm) are suitable for one guest, boast a bathroom with walk-in shower and overlook the courtyard or the street. For double occupancy you can choose the “Comfort” rooms (14-16 sqm), also overlooking the courtyard or the street, featuring a bathroom with bathtub and shower. How about “Charming”? These double superior rooms (20-23 sqm) boast a double bed 160 cm or twin beds (subject to availability) and the possibility to add a baby cot. If you opt for an “Executive” room (24-26 sqm, suitable for max 3 persons), you’ll get a double bed of 180 cm or twin beds, the possibility to add a baby cot, a large bathroom with bathtub or walk-in rain shower and views overlooking the courtyard or the street.
Yumminess on the menu
Belgian delicacies and beers have taken the world by storm, so expect to find plenty of these during your Made in Louise stay. The buffet breakfast is served in the bright loggia overlooking the courtyard and only ultra-fresh products – as much as possible homemade, local and organic – are used. The hotel’s 24-hour snack bar boasts gluten-free sweet and savoury snacks. If you feel like going out for lunch or dinner, there are several restaurants close by, suited to all tastes and diets. If not, you can order food from Brussels’ best restaurants and have it delivered at the hotel bar or right in the comfort of your own room. Made in Bar is the perfect place to try out some Belgian craft beers together with friends – old or new – while telling cool travel stories. You can also drink wine by the glass and natural and organic drinks.
HOME is where the heart is
In 2017, Made in Louise had a 9.3 score on Booking.com – Guest Review Awards. Also last year, the hotel was a winner at Travellers’ Choice TripAdvisor and got a 5.4 out of 6 score on HolidayCheck. After we’ve spent two days at this Brussels property we highly recommend, it was crystal clear why it received these accolades. No wonder regular guests have their favorite rooms when checking-in at this exquisite boutique hotel. A place where the “HOME” word which welcomes you at the Reception represents more than just four letters. It stands for a well-kept promise.