Abandoned since 2007, the prestigious Astoria hotel will be brought to life and it is set to reopen in the summer of 2024, under the management of the Corinthia Group.
1. Belle Époque
Built at the request of King Léopold II in 1910, the Astoria, on Rue Royale was the top address in the city, while the Belle Époque was still reigning in the European continent. The iconic monument attracted a long list of high-profile guests down the years, including Winston Churchill, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol, among others.
2. Demise and resurrection
In 2007, the prestigious hotel closed its doors and was sold to Global Hotels and Resorts, a group reportedly managed by the Saudi Arabian Sheikh Mohamed El-Khereji. By 2010, work had started on the hotel’s expansion. However, the construction work was never fully completed and in 2016, the Corinthia Group acquired the property.
After years of construction, the structural work is finished and the finishing touches will be added to transform it into the new flagship of luxury hotels in Brussels. The iconic hotel will feature 126-rooms, including 37 suites, some with 350m², and two restaurants — a brasserie and a gastronomic restaurant with a renowned Belgian chef. The hotel will also offer a large spa in the basement.
“Here on the ground floor, all the decorations will be redone identically,” said Pierre Jangoux, Project Manager for the Corinthia Group.
There are some skylights here that are closed for the moment. They are going to be redone with stained glass windows.Pierre Jangoux, Project Manager for the Corinthia Group
3. Heritage and modernity
The project has been led by renowned Belgian architect Francis Metzger, and collaboratively carried out by construction firms Jansen and Herpain. When discussing his renovation plans, Metzger looked back at the history of Hotel Astoria, noting that the project aims at balancing respect for heritage and modernity.
We have to bring the building into the 21st century and at the same time work on the memory of a place that has welcomed all the crowned heads of the world for almost a century, but which no longer meets today’s luxury standards.Francis Metzger, Belgian architect
Booking prices have not been disclosed by the managers involved in the project, however, the Astoria hotel will target a wealthy clientele and rates are expected to be at least €500 to €1,000 per night.
“The American market is important for us, but so are the English, French, Dutch and Germans, not to mention a certain number of Middle Eastern customers,” said Edward Leenders, the manager of the Corinthia Grand Hotel Astoria Brussels, adding that they also hope to attract local customers.
Back in 2020, the Corinthia Group said that an estimated 40-60 million euros would be invested to add new rooms and modernize the hotel. However, the management did not disclose the full investment made to bring back the Astoria, since the cost had to be revised upwards, due to the pandemic and inflation.