Antwerp, Belgium boasts one of the largest diamond markets in the world, and, thanks to the Antwerp 6, a group of 6 fashion designers who graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts over 20 years ago, it is also an incubator that sets the stage for European style. Antwerp is a mix of Renaissance, Baroque and contemporary design and The Hotel De Witte Lelie, ( White Lilly) which is in the center of town, just down the road from the Antwerp Market Square and Ann Demeulemeester’s fantastic flagship store, is the embodiment of the combination of these aesthetics. The hotel consists of three 17th century canal house’s joined together and completely restored in 1993 with eleven rooms and suites. It is traditional in its bones; the white facade, high ceilings with gorgeous ornamental crown moldings, original marble fireplaces, hard wood floors…. and contemporary in its furnishings and art, Yves Klein blue massive sofa, giant abstract canvas’ on big wall areas, big white area rugs and of vases of the “fleur d’hôtel”, the white lilly are intermittently placed through out the premise. There is a beautiful courtyard which serves a delicious breakfast, not to be missed, and in the evening a cocktail in the Bronze Bar is also a must, a visual feast in this mono chromatic highly decorated room.
Excellent personal service by an invisible staff gives one a private and intimate experience in a hotel built on the idea of uncomplicated sophistication.