As well as being a major rising star in the gourmet world, the 5-star superior Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp is a sparkling diamond of hospitality nestled in the hidden Botanical Gardens. Following a challenging restoration scheme on a historic monastery site, the Botanic offers plenty of innovative spirit, as well as a profound sensitivity for environment, sustainability and heritage. The mission: to preserve the historic buildings’ legacy, which dates back to the 13th century, and giving it a new life 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, 1238 and Het Gebaar 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 14 meeting and conference rooms.
As well as forming the basis of Traditional European Medicine (TEM), medieval monastic medicine paved the way for modern herbalism’s scientific and holistic approach. Recent years have seen a growing desire for natural healing and holistic solutions. The mission, therefore, was to carry this tradition of monastic and natural healing into our own millennium, establishing it here in the diamond city of Antwerp. This is reflected in both infrastructure and treatment concept. The Botanic Health Spa combines nature – embodied by the Botanical Garden – with the attitude to wellbeing of a state-of-the-art spa. Its architectural concept evokes the historic greenhouse that once stood here, while looking into the future with its groundbreaking concept, facilities, products, treatments and sustainable energy management systems. The synergy between traditional medicine and science also underpins a unique solutions concept: Mylife Changer combines the best of TCM and TEM with the latest scientific findings. The concept is based on cosmeceuticals, manual therapy, device-based skin rejuvenation, dietary supplements and tonics.
While the monastery’s historic pharmacy is reborn as a niche botanic concept store featuring Saint Charles. 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 redefine luxury experiences and create unique moments that our guests will always remember.’