The Hoxton, Brussels opened in May 2023, marking the brand’s entry into Belgium, hot off the heels of its debut in Germany in Berlin’s Charlottenburg district.
The Hoxton brand is part of Ennismore, in which Accor holds a majority stake, and launched in London’s Shoreditch in 2006. It currently has 12 properties open across Europe and North America, with recent openings including The Hoxton, Shepherd’s Bush in London. This August the brand will open its second hotel in Amsterdam, located in the city’s Eastern Docklands.
I visited as part of a trip with Eurostar to celebrate the brand’s launch of The Good Rate, a sustainable initiative which rewards guests who choose to travel by rail while staying at two or more of its hotels. Guests will see £20/US$20/€20 deducted from their stay at each location if they travel between the properties by train.
Where is it?
The hotel occupies 12 floors of the 22-storey brutalist Victoria Tower in the city’s Northern Quarter, which was once home to IBM’s European headquarters.
The Hoxton’s co-working brand Working From will open a four-floor outpost in the hotel in late August, marking the brand’s third location – there are existing venues in Chicago and London’s Southwark.
The Hoxton brings life to this rather high-rise-heavy business district, with the added greenery of the city’s beautiful botanical gardens on its doorstep. The hotel is also a 15-minute walk to the city centre and a ten-minute tram or metro ride to Brussels Midi Train Station, where you can catch the Eurostar to London St Pancras.
What's it like?
The brutalist exterior is offset with leafy botanical interiors – a nod to the neighbouring gardens – and retro 1970s décor. While a medley of colourful clashing patterns, graphic rugs and geometric shapes might seem at odds on paper, the design is well executed by AIME Studios and creates an inspirational backdrop for stays and remote work.
As with the other Hoxton properties, the entrance doesn’t quite feel like a hotel but rather has an inviting lounge-like feel, with vintage furniture from Belgian brocantes and antique stores populated by remote workers on their laptops and friends catching up over a drink from the café/bar on the right-hand side. Plus, there’s a nook to the left of the entrance which offers a quieter area for those hard at work – until night falls, that is, and the space becomes a buzzy drinks reception.
Straight ahead, however, is the most impressive space, with a staircase descending into a double-height lobby with a dazzling diner-style bar at its centre. The split-level lobby is a feat of design, promising a lively atmosphere day to night.
The design also nods to the location, featuring bespoke murals by Brussels-based artists, while a gallery showcases local artists and creatives – Bieke Buckinx’s pop art-style paintings of everyday objects are on display until August. The colourful graphic keycards depicting areas in Brussels also make for a lovely keepsake. In-room city guides are well curated and the shop sells products from local artisans.
Check-in takes place by the entrance and The Hoxton has an excellent flexi arrangement which allows guests to check-in and out whenever they like, free of charge (as long as they provide this information 72 hours in advance). This is particularly useful for business travellers in need of a quiet workspace and shower – or those arriving by sleeper train bright and early.
The 198 rooms are located across nine floors, though it isn’t that easy to reach them due to the temperamental lifts which are a little too smart for their own sake. Guests must input their floor (or the rooftop and lobby) into a tablet affixed to the wall, and will then be guided to the correct lift. During busy periods this can get rather confusing, with everyone trying to go to different floors at the same time. Plus, once you’re in the lift you can’t choose another floor – so there’s no room for any mistakes.
Rooms come in three categories: Cosy (20 sqm), Roomy (23-26 sqm) and Biggy (32 sqm). The former two include a coffee table, while the largest room has a well-equipped walnut wooden desk and lounge area – ideal for a business traveller. I enjoyed working in the light-filled room, with USB and EU sockets ideally placed below the desk and beside the bed. Roomy categories also have a corner configuration, which is a beautiful option for those after staggering panoramic views over the cityscape and plenty of natural light.
Much like the public spaces, the rooms feature 70s-inspired furnishings in a colour palette of pinks, blues and ochre, a retro Roberts radio that plays as you enter, floral light fixtures and patterned details. Exposed concrete mouldings framing the floor-to-ceiling windows remind guests of the brutalist heritage, but furnishings are far more plush – expect bright velvet sofas, relaxing armchairs and sumptuous beds with striped headboards.
I had a peaceful night’s sleep thanks to a margarita nightcap and great blackout blinds – plus quiet hallways and soft closing doors (although so soft that I had to physically shut mine otherwise it didn’t click). Lights are easy to use, with both switches and a master dimmer light, and the air con was at a perfect level.
Bathrooms, meanwhile, are pretty in pink with terrazzo floors, large-size Blank amenities and a soothing walk-in shower with deep blue tiles (or a round bath in certain Roomy rooms).
Amenities across all categories include high-speed wifi, a safe, open wardrobe, large TV, mini fridge with complimentary bottles of water and milk (you can buy snacks and merch at reception), tea and coffee, a kettle, hairdryer, and The Hoxton-branded mugs.
Food and drink
The rhyming Cantina Valentina offers Peruvian-inspired fare all day long on the lower ground section of the split-level lobby, with its location behind the bar giving it a buzzy feel. Running alongside this is a beautiful terrace, which looks like something from the Côte d’Azur, and is open April-September. Menu highlights include zingy sea bass ceviche, crispy wontons oozing with melted cheese (tequeño) and silky fried aubergine with a spicy glaze and refreshing yoghurt.
Breakfast here also has its roots in Lima, and I loved the huevos al aji (€10) – eggs any style (mine were perfectly poached) on sourdough with a fiery red salsa. Rooms also include a breakfast bag which you can fill in and hang on the door the night prior, should you be in a rush.
For loftier views, head to the 22nd floor to enjoy sweeping rooftop views of the city and Mexican cuisine at taqueria Tope – complete with cacti, terracotta-hued walls and wicker furnishings. This was rented out for an event during our visit, but is normally open daily for tacos and cocktails.
Service at these venues was quite slow during our visit, especially for drinks orders, though these teething problems are symptomatic of opening week.
The Hoxton’s meetings and events space, The Apartment, is located just off the lobby via a staircase. This is a flexible space with a central pantry area, dining tables and lounge spaces – all with the retro design palette.
The co-working Working From outpost will occupy four floors when it opens, featuring open desks, studios, breakout spaces and communal pantries on each floor – plus regular events programming.
The hotel has partnered with e-bike specialists Cowboy so guests can explore the city sustainably.
The Hoxton, Brussels is a wonderful addition to the Belgian capital’s business district, complete with comfortable remote work spaces, inventive South American cuisine and retro art-filled interiors.
- Best for Fashionable interiors with plenty of local elements
- Don’t miss Spicy margaritas on the foliage-packed rooftop terrace
- Price Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in July started from €283 for a Biggy room (€188 for entry level)
- Contact Square Victoria Régina 1, 1210 Brussels, Belgium; +32 2 883 81 00; thehoxton.com