Hotel August Antwerp designed by architect: Vincent Van Duysen | The Aficionados

Ecclesiastical Cool

Hotel August Antwerp designed by architect: Vincent Van Duysen | The Aficionados

Ecclesiastical Cool

Hotel August Antwerp designed by architect: Vincent Van Duysen | The Aficionados

Ecclesiastical Cool

Courtyard Urban Garden Design | Hotel August Antwerp designed by architect: Vincent Van Duysen | The Aficionados

Intro

Hotel August Antwerp designed by architect: Vincent Van Duysen | The Aficionados

Hotel August is a design sanctum in the Flemish city of Antwerp, tucked within the so-called Green District (Het Groen Kwartier), a historically restored commune of old-school residences, hip ateliers, lofts and restaurants just ten minutes from downtown. 

August was designed by one of Belgium's most acclaimed architects, interior designers, and product designers, Vincent Van Duysen and owner, hotelier Mouche Van Hool of Antwerp's Hotel Julien fame. Their alchemy for design gives the hotel a seductive understated feel that is soberly cool, calm and measured – an urban bolthole of subtle monochromatic style edged in functional luxury. Step through the hallmark matt-black steel canopy entrance, and there's a palpable sense of soul and Van Duysen's signature directive of not too bold, nothing over-demanding of the space means the result is tranquil harmony, a haven reimagined.

Aptly named after the former Augustinian cloister and chapel, Hotel August resides within five interconnecting red-brick grand buildings: a private chapel, former nuns' living quarters, two townhouses and three walled gardens. The ornate settings and grounds were used previously by the Belgium military for convalescing soldiers, cared for by the nuns. 

As a listed building, Vincent Van Duysen was acutely cautious about harnessing the history, restoring the beautiful architectural bones of the building and using this as the base DNA to set the aesthetic tone within the hotel conversion. The outcome is a contemporary sanctum that revels in a composure achieved from both its heritage and hushed modern design. A desaturated colour palette is one of Vincent Van Duysen's trademarks, gleefully evident throughout Hotel August, whilst simultaneously staying true to its original scheme of muted hues. An immaculately restored hotel of considerable detail, touches of the past are showcased, like the revived tiles of the chapel floor, yet at its heart is statement centrepiece lighting from Flos and custom-designed Molteni&C furniture in moody blues and charcoal noir. A new imagining is created for this sacred space which holds so much atmosphere within its thick walls and ecclesiastical circle top windows. Outside, the gardens are spots for crafted cocktails and the natural swimming pond with adjoining Bamford spa add even more plus points for the urban explorer. 

Clasped to a burgeoning and boho-creative scene in Antwerp, Hotel August fits right into its locale in the Green District - a hotbed of artistic entrepreneurialism, characterised by rooftop gardens, artisan delis and bakeries, wine boutiques and breweries. So much more than a city crash pad, atmospheric and elegant Hotel August has put itself at the heart of an insider’s Antwerp, with a strong identity full of local experience and authentic heritage, created by trusted Antwerp aficionados of style. It feels at home in our straat.

Vincent Van Duysen was acutely cautious about harnessing the history, restoring the beautiful architectural bones of the building and using this as the base DNA

Rooms

Hotel August Antwerp designed by architect: Vincent Van Duysen | The Aficionados

You’ll find the bedrooms where the former nuns’ living quarters once were. The 44 rooms and suites are tasteful palettes of sage-green, creamy whites, marble, wood and tawny tones. Smooth wooden floors are topped with handwoven rugs, bathrooms glisten with glazed tiles and cult brand Le Labo toiletries and a mini bar provides the urban traveller with a tipple or two.

With nine different categories, the rooms reflect the diversity within the heritage building. Suites have added space where bathtubs reside in windows nooks; and living rooms give added surface area for that morning yoga, reading spot or convivial drinky location. We love the attic rooms, cosseted under the centuries-old wooden roof, plus the light-filled ‘authentic’ rooms have wide terraces, perfect for that pre-prandial vino.

Foodie

Chef Nick Bril | Hotel August Antwerp designed by architect: Vincent Van Duysen | The Aficionados Hotel August Antwerp designed by architect: Vincent Van Duysen | The Aficionados

Seasonal, local and innovative sums up the foodie offering at Hotel August, located in a city known for its epicurean delights. Nearby neighbours include perpetually booked The Jane, a two-Michelin starred restaurant which shares the same address within the military hospital. In fact, it also shares its chef - Nick Bril oversees both restaurants and curates the menus meaning you’re privy to one of Antwerp most exciting chefs, without the reservation hassles.

You can have lunch or dinner here in the restaurant that’s clasped around the former chapel, or simply a hand-crafted cocktail in the garden with a bar snack – tzatziki, burrata, flatbread and sardines. It’s definitely worth staying for dinner though and sampling Nick Bril’s cuisine – a carefully presented tasting menu might include green gazpacho, sea bass crudo and white asparagus.

Food By celebrity Chef Nick Bril | Hotel August Antwerp designed by architect: Vincent Van Duysen | The Aficionados

Wellness

Like a little secret, Hotel August has surprisingly excellent spa and wellness facilities. An added bonus for visitors to Antwerp is your own private facilities here at Hotel August. You can hire out the wellness area for an hour or two and enjoy the sauna, hammam, ice scrub, outdoor shower and finish with a relaxing dip in the pretty outdoor swimming pond, kept naturally beautifully with reed filtration.

Treatments and holistic therapies are on offer too, using upmarket spa products from Brit brand Bamford. Plump and smooth skin with a bio-active organic facial or indulge in an immersive full body treatment which includes a foot ritual, shiatsu, body massage and Indian head massage, guaranteed to send you into seventh heaven.

Location

You can find Hotel August a little out of town in the Het Groen Kwartier (the Green Quarter) on the site of a large 19th-century former military hospital complex. Just ten minutes will take you into town by taxi, although you’ll find the immediate environment to be worthy of a browse with its bakeries, cheese shops, florists and wine bars alongside Michelin-starred restaurants such as The Jane. It’s also in the vicinity of PAKT, a series of warehouses which is a hub for creative entrepreneurs and urban farmers to grow food on its rooftops.

A short stroll brings you to the Zurenborg area – with its stunning Art Nouveau and fin de siècle-style mansions and the famous De Koninck brewery, a family-run business that has been brewing beer since 1833. Further into central Antwerp you can enjoy designer shopping at Graanmarkt 13, visit the Cathedral of Our Lady and the diamond quarter plus make time for culture at the Museum of Fine Arts.

Owner

Munch Van Hool | Owner & Hotelier | Hotel August Antwerp designed by architect: Vincent Van Duysen | The Aficionados

Already ‘one to watch’ because of her success story with style haven Hotel Julien, also in Antwerp, this is Mouche Van Hool’s second hotel project in the city. Pairing with admired Antwerp architect Vincent Van Duysen, this design powerhouse team were destined to succeed.

Originally working in PR, Mouche and her husband, shipping lawyer Laurent De Scheemaecker took the plunge with their first hotel, converted from an old mansion and made their mark on the design hotel landscape of Antwerp with Hotel Julien standing out as a beacon for style-savvy travellers. It was inevitable that another project would turn their heads and the vibrancy of the Green District ignited their curiosity for a challenging project in this heritage listed building which would become Hotel August.

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