Pantone Hotel

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Address: Place Lois 1, Brussels, 1060, Belgium

Star rating:
3 star hotel

4.6

Grab the chance to stay in a world first!

Pantone’s standardised colour-matching system is used by designers and printers the world over, but this is the first time the concept has ever been applied to a hotel. And what a success it’s been: the 61-room Pantone Hotel has won several awards — including Travel + Leisure magazine’s 2011 Best Design Hotel (with fewer than 100 rooms) Award — since opening its doors in May 2010. The once-decrepit building was bought by Israeli brothers Avi and Ilan Haim, who brought in designer Michel Penneman and architect Olivier Hannaert — who together came up with the concept. It’s bright, breezy and exciting to say you've stayed in a world first!

Location
4.5
90%
Eating/drinking
4
90%
Leisure facilities
n/a
90%
Service
4.6
90%
Value for money
4.5
90%
Bedrooms
3.8
90%
Public areas
3
90%

Location

In line with its trendy image, the hotel is based in the chic Ixelles district south of the city centre. It’s a two-minute walk to the fashionable Avenue Louise and an easy ten-minute walk to Louise metro station and the Palais de Justice.

Bedrooms

The basic premise is that all the rooms are a blank canvas of white walls and linen, with long-haired black carpet (beware asthma sufferers), in order to draw attention to the panel photograph mounted above each bed - which lights up at night. Taken by Belgian photographer Victor Levy, these photographs feature an obscure Brussels’ site magnified many times to emphasise the pure pantone colours — arty, eh? All the bedrooms on the same floor feature the same subject taken in a slightly different way. For example, on the ‘red’ floor the photos feature different details of a railway bridge near Bruxelles Midi train station.

Each floor has its own colour (1= blue, 2=green, 3=purple, 4=yellow, 5= orange, 6 = red, 7 = bronze) and they keep bookings as flexible as possible, so when you check in they can ask you what colour/mood you’re in and assign you to a floor accordingly. Notice the Pantone-coloured lights in the halls!

Rooms ending in six (ie: 106, 206, 306, 406, 506 and 606) all sit at the corner of the building and, as a result, have panoramic views and a small terrace. Room 606, however, is a special one: the bathroom is small and only has a shower, but unlike the others it has an enormous terrace with superb views. Meanwhile, the rooms on the top floor — 801 and 802 — are different. They don’t follow the pantone theme; instead, the side walls slide open and you have rooftop views across the Lower Town. Depending on demand, these rooms aren’t offered in summer and, instead, the area is converted into a rooftop bar for all the clients.

Public areas

They’re limited to just the reception, breakfast room and a small lobby. The Pantone bikes on display at reception are for sale — for a cool 750 euros. The lift is fun: the back panel is made of Perspex and as you ascend the coloured dots on the back wall change to match the colour of the floor.

Eating and drinking

The hotel only serves breakfast (which costs an extra 15 euros; served 7—10am Monday—Friday, 7.30—11am Saturday—Sunday), but it makes a real effort: in addition to the standard ‘continental’ breakfast fair, there are muffins, Belgian waffles, scrambled egg and chopped-up bacon, as well as quality teas/coffees all served in pantone-coloured mugs and a wall-mounted projector screening the morning news.

Leisure facilities

Free WiFi is available throughout the building (you’ll be given card with the code on at reception when checking in) and there are two meeting rooms in the basement kitted out with all the mod-cons.

Service

Reception is manned by a team of three or four young staff all wearing Pantone-coloured shirts/jumpers — perhaps that was just a coincidence when I visited. They seemed quite shy conversing in English, but were kind and polite.

Who stays there

Pantone fans(!)/design students, young couples and suave businessmen.

Price advice

The further you book in advance, the cheaper the room. Also, from Friday—Sunday the hotel offers ‘weekend break’ and ‘romantic escape’ deals. The first (based on a minimum two-night stay) costs 109 euros/night and includes a bottle of Prosecco and two Pantone tea cups; the second costs 99 euros/night includes a bottle of Prosecco, complimentary breakfast for two and two Pantone mugs.

Amenities

  • High-Speed Internet

Recommended for

  • Backpackers / Students
  • Business travellers
  • Couples
  • Families with teenagers
  • Singles
  • Trendiness
  • Design and architecture

Pros & Cons

  • Attention to detail: Pantone-coloured sugar in your coffee anyone?
  • Location, location, location
  • Disabled-traveller friendly
  • There’s no proper bar in winter: drinks are bought from the makeshift ‘soft bar’ at reception. However, there are plans to convert one of the meeting rooms in the basement
  • You have to pay extra for breakfast
  • Not all rooms have baths – ask if you want one
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