Just a hop and a skip (for a toddler) from Brussel’s iconic Grand Place, Rocco Forte’s Hotel Amigo is heaven in a hotel.
We could put it down to the fact we were exhausted from a week of running around Europe, or the trauma of only just locating our Cologne to Brussels train one minute before departure at the über-complicated Cologne hauptbahnhof, but our arrival to the hotel was akin to arriving in the approximate vicinity of Cloud Nine. Our bags vanished so fast from our taxi that I momentarily thought we’d left them back on the platform in Cologne and the reception staff were ever-gracious as two bank cards were declined before a third passed the fiscal fitness test (obviously the result of some mad overspend the preceeding week in Europe!). Meanwhile, the concierge had our dinner arrangements all wrapped up before our toddler had a chance to consider his tired-of-travel options.
The impressive truth of the Rocco Forte hotels is that each of the 11 is chameleon in personality, with designs perfectly suited to each and every landscape they inhabit.
Peppered across Europe and with a handful to open across the Middle East in the next few years, in Manchester, the Rocco Forte brand is all glass and modern minimalism, while in Brussels, the personality transforms into an expression of local elegance, decor and diplomacy. There are no design ‘showpieces’ here, but rather Flemish tapestries and rugs that cover the walls and spread out across the historic flagstones in the entranceway…
Perhaps it is due to the hotel’s popularity with visiting celebrities and ambassadors that the vast majority of cars pulling up to the entrance had darkened windows and looked like they were seriously armoured, but this hotel is renown as Brussel’s hotel ‘host with the most’.
Dining in the hotel’s Bocconi restaurant is an elegant option, but equally, the heart of Brussels is on your doorstep at Hotel Amigo, so you can also opt to head out for authentic Belgian cuisine.
After dinner, the glorious reality is that you come home to a room with big comfy beds, huge bathtubs, a children’s pack of bathroom essentials, as well as a library of children’s DVDs, plus spectacular service, all of which ensures that those with a little jet lag (or simply travel exhaustion) will soon be cosily dreaming of their chocolate indulgence the following day!
Design Olga Polizzi, sister of Sir Rocco Forte, has taken the reins to create the distinctive designs for each of the 11 Rocco Forte hotels, and she delivers exceptional attention to detail as well as incredibly understated luxury with plenty of local Belgian touches.
Rooms The rooms start from 28 square metres and there are several Suites, some with interconnecting rooms, such as the TinTin Suite (particularly fab for families) or the uber-luxury Armand Blaton Suite with rooftop terrace. All rooms have a spacious marble bathroom with generous bathtub; work desk; sofa and coffee table; television; complimentary wi-fi; fax machine with private number; 24-hour room service; blackout screens on windows; and separate dressing area. Bathrooms include REN toiletries and a toiletries pack for children.
Eating Ristorante Bocconi is where breakfast is served, and Room Service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel’s location means that there are also plenty of options within a short walk of the hotel, however, for breakfast, we highly recommend the in-house offering which is so incredibly comprehensive and generous that we could have stayed all day just grazing and sitting at our circular banquette – which was perfect for containing our curious 18-month-old.
Facilities The hotel has a Fitness Centre with a range of machines for working out.