Simply Sunday – oh says the gal, what a delight to find a classic hotel that had fallen on hard times but now, thanks to lots of love and attention, is restored to glory. This is the case of Brussels’ Steigenberger Wiltcher’s. In its immediate past, as the first-ever Conrad property, nurtured by Clem Barter, it was part of Virtuoso. Now, owned by AXA, leased to and managed by Deutsche Hospitality, it has resumed its place in that supreme network of the world’s top luxury advisors.
I was thrilled to see how German designers Bost Tassilo have brought back elements of Art Deco into the 267-room hotel (old city photos hang on walls in geometric mirrored frames). I also salute GM Michel Cottray for attracting local cognoscenti back to Sundays’ Champagne brunches, publicised via local radio. In addition, he has dared to turn the former gastronomic restaurant into a cigar lounge, exclusive to hotel guests and 60 local members. Now dine as we did, in Loui leather-and-wood bar, on real food – see my tartare – or, frankly, whatever you feel like. This is today’s luxury, and it makes business sense.