Currently in its soft-opening phase, the project for the 5-star superior Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp, nestled in the hidden Botanical Garden, was just as cosmic in its proportions. This challenging restoration scheme on the historic monastery site was implemented with plenty of innovative spirit, as well as profound sensitivity for the environment, sustainability and the historic building fabric. The mission: to preserve its legacy, which dates back to the 13th century, and breathe new life into it by focusing on its tradition of botanical study. Steeped in history, the hotel’s botanical tradition accompanies visitors on a journey into 14 incomparable worlds of experience, totalling 20,000sqm. Four fine-dining restaurants honour the culinary excellence of Leading Hotels of the World with, most notably, the spectacular return of Hertog Jan. Fine Fleur, Bar Bulot and 1238 offer a shared celebration of culinary experiences and authenticity. The atmospheric Henry’s Bar is an homage to the botanist Henri-Ferdinand van Heurck and embodies a successful association of tradition and modernity. This destination also offers numerous superb event locations, a 15th-century chapel and the Botanic Congress Centre’s 18 meeting and conference rooms.
The visionary concept of the Botanic Health Spa combines an understanding of ancient herbal and monastic remedies with traditional European and Chinese medicine. The monastery’s historic apothecary is reborn with Saint Charles becoming a leading botanic niche concept store. Those thirsting for nature and art drink their fill at the Granada Gallery, where Jochen Leën skilfully traces an arc to the city of diamonds. A good night’s sleep is found in spaces as unique as the destination itself. 108 rooms and suites are housed in five historic buildings, all of which have their own story to tell with the rebirth of their historic architecture, incomparable interiors, concierge and butler services and, of course, judiciously selected works of art. Resonant names offer a sense of each building’s uniqueness: Sint Joris, Monasterium, Sint-Elisabeth, Alnetum and Filips Van Marnix Huis … Another enigma is found in the Sanctuary’s cavernous depths: The Unprecedented is a VIP members-only Scotch whisky investors club. General Manager Marc Alofs was instrumental in the destination’s development. His distillation of the Botanic’s magic: ‘We believe that luxury is in the experience. Creating unique moments to make the Botanic the epicentre of hospitality is our mission.’