Minimalism has its place—but not at Hotel De Witte Lelie, part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. This boutique gem in Belgium’s coolest city takes a more eye-popping approach. Guided by the idea that where you stay on holiday should inspire passion and creativity, the Ann Dierick-designed interiors dazzle. Not full-blown maximalism—because it’s exceptionally well edited—though it definitely flirts with that aesthetic sensibility. The property is simultaneously eclectic and curated. There’s lots to ooh and ahh over in every space. The patterns, colors, and art create a vibrant energy with plenty of whimsy.
The 10-key hotel still retains the residential feel of its past life. The spacious lobby—complete with black-and-white checkered floors, a crystal chandelier, and a large, plush, rouge sofa—seems more like the foyer of a grand mansion. Guests can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee next to the fireplace on the leopard sofas in sitting room to the right during check-in, or really any time. There’s a salon with yet another fireplace, pop art photos, velvet seating, and a wooden chess board table. Through a tiled corridor with a spiral staircase sits the open kitchen where the jack-of-all-trades staff members whip up eggs and avocado toast in the morning for visitors who sip coffee and gawk at the unexpected combination of gilded wallpaper and original beams. The pocket-sized bar gives off private club vibes. During the warmer months, the leafy courtyard is also a lovely spot to unwind.
The ground floor feels like an impeccably decorated house with different character-rich areas to socialize or just kick back. Upstairs, the rooms and suites are packed with distinct personality and charm. Classic rooms are the most subdued (at least for the moment—we’re heard chatter of plans to add some extra pizzaz soon) with white-washed walls, but don’t skimp on thoughtful details such as exposed beams and fuzzy rugs. Deluxe rooms punch up the wow factor with attention-grabbing wallpaper, chromatic paint jobs, and colorful bedspreads. Some flaunt original spiral staircases. Deluxe room #10 boasts a neon pink mirror that’s basically tailor made for selfies as well as a show-stopping tiled balcony—the only one at Hotel De Witte Lelie. Even more spectacular, the two luxury suites command attention with wall-to-wall injections of color and pattern, from carpets to wall coverings.
The 965-square-foot presidential suite—which is widely regarded as the most beautiful place to snooze in Antwerp—pairs contemporary and classical Louis XIV-influenced elements such as a curved leather sofa, bauble wall light installation, a brocade bedspread, and gilded embellishments.
Bathrooms are equally unique. Most feature separate walk-in showers and baths. Andy Warhol-inspired wallpaper depicting the face of Marilyn Monroe or Muhammad Ali cover the walls in a couple. Pink glass fish hangs from the ceiling in luxury suite #9. Another shows off attention-grabbing floral wallpaper and an enormous wooden soaking tub. The tile work is quite magnificent across the board and all are stocked with Penhaligons toiletries.
Just like staying at a fabulous Flemish friend’s abode, warm hospitality permeates the experience of a sojourn at Hotel de Witte Lelie. Guests even ring the bell to enter each time, so they’re always greeted by a friendly face—and, of course, the absolute dreamiest design.
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
The Vibe: Flemish high-fashion set inside a trio of converted 17th-century gabled houses.
Food + Drink: Guests have the pleasure of savoring a Belgian breakfast spread with fruit, pastries, cheese, and eggs made-to-order in the darling dining room next to the open kitchen. There’s also a tiny bar with top-shelf spirits tucked on the other side of the lobby.
Amenities: Concierge; Wi-Fi; free minibar; breakfast; bar; laundry service
Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: It’s the epitome of a small boutique hotel—intimate and exceptionally designed with thoughtful, personalized service.
5 Nearby Attractions: Grote Markt, Rubens House, Diamond District, Plantin-Moretus Museum, Schuttershofstraat
Any Personal Neighborhood Recs? Nearby Ernest Bistro does traditional French-Belgian dishes really well. Less than a block away, you’ll find straight-outta-Israel hummus at Shuk. Sweet tooth? The wide array of chocolate and candied fruit confections at Elisa Pralines will certainly satisfy any sugar craving. Have a Roll makes scrumptious cinnamon rolls that just so happen to be vegan. Visbistro Mojo is 20 minutes away, so not exactly in the neighborhood. But it’s worth the walk for the best seafood in Antwerp.
Rooms: 10 individually designed rooms and suites overflowing with character
Pricing: Rooms start at $280/night
Closest Airport: Antwerp International Airport
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