If you like big hotel chains. Or swimming pools. Or spas and gyms. I’m afraid this place is not for you. Feel free to walk on by.
But. If you like a place that feels tucked away and family run. And original and totally charming. Then bingo! You’ve hit the jackpot!
Made in Louise (named after the area in which it resides) is a beyond-beautiful boutique hotel in Brussels. It’s a world away from the identikit, business trip hotels you seem to find so many of in this city.
Read on to discover what made Made in Louise feel so special…
Made in Louise sits a few roads back from the famous Avenue Louise in the Châtelain district. The area is renowned for its designer brands and Art Nouveau architecture.
It’s chic and upmarket but buzzing with cool restaurants and bars too. Knees to Chin, Grizzly and La Quincaillerie were a few of my faves.
The district feels residential rather than touristy, which I really liked. The weekend was actually strangely quiet. Like one of those Vanilla Sky moments when Tom Cruise comes up from the underground garage to find a completely empty New York street.
Too obscure? For non-Cruise fans, let me translate – the area is quiet. But by midday things are hotting up. So you never feel like you’re hanging out in the middle of nowhere.
Louise metro station, along with tram and bus lines, is just 10 minutes’ walk away. But if you’d rather soak up the street scene as you cross the city, it only takes 25 minutes to wander over to the Grand Place and Brussels centre.
Walking through the front door, you immediately sense that Made in Louise has been quirkily and lovingly designed. The hotel is set within a typical Brussels townhouse but it’s been updated at the hands of the Duchateau family to bring it into the 21st century.
The reception area has these incredibly high ceilings and a grand staircase that you can see winding its way to the top of the building. Design is mainly monochrome with shades of grey, which is a lot more exciting and inviting than it sounds.
And the welcome is as you’d expect from a place that’s family run (brother and sister are in charge of the show while mum takes care of the interior design). I felt like I was visiting the house of an old friend. Every interaction feels genuine. And the whole vibe has been carefully crafted to make guests feel right at home.
The 48 rooms at Made in Louise are all individually designed. (You can see a selection in the photos below.) But there’s a design theme that links them all together.
Expect some beautiful statement wallpaper. So beautiful, in fact, that I suggested to the hotel owners that they open a shop downstairs selling the stuff. There’s also a contemporary bathroom, wooden blackout shutters and high speed Wi-Fi.
Rooms range from Cosy (just a single bed) up to the spacious Executive. I stayed in a Charming room, which falls somewhere in the middle.
There was air-conditioning. Thank God! As temperatures didn’t drop below 30 degrees for the whole of my visit. A bathroom with tub and rainfall shower. And a view out onto the courtyard. The room just felt incredibly comfortable and well thought out. So thumbs up to mum!
Breakfast at Made in Louise isn’t anything out of the ordinary. You can tuck into cereals, pastries, fruit and eggs. Or Belgian cheeses and charcuterie if you can get your head (and taste buds) around breakfasting like a European.
But everything is super tasty. It’s all homemade, local and organic where possible. And it’s served up in the hotel’s little conservatory, which is airy and bright and overlooks the pretty courtyard garden.
In the spirit of a family-run place, there are plenty of fun and welcoming communal spaces to chill out in.
The courtyard garden has a couple of tables, great for supping on your morning coffee (or something stronger come the pm). And a giant chessboard if you want to hone your strategy and improve your upper arm strength at the same time.
Inside, there’s a bar with an open fireplace (if you happen to be travelling to Brussels when temperatures aren’t rivalling the Sahara). A room with a pool table. And an honesty bar / shop area where you can load up on snacks, drinks and Belgian beer.
Stumble upon an old record player and you’re welcome to pick your own tunes to play from the vinyl selection. This place is uber laid back. A real home away from home.
The guys at Made in Louise just love chucking in little
extras to make your stay more comfortable.
There’s a 24 hour reception, a concierge (for all your ticket booking, reservation making needs), and discounts available on the city’s Billy Bike rental scheme.
Guests are given a list of restaurants and bars, all recommended by the Duchateau family team. And if you want to indulge in room service, meals are available from a variety of local restaurants.
Creative. Comfortable. And makes you feel like one of the family. I’m definitely going back to this one.