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Travel: Inside Botanic Sanctuary, Where its Historic Charm Meets Modern City Luxury

Once an old monastery, Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp showcases how history shapes the present

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By Kimberley Schoeman  | May 2, 2024 | Travel Leisure

Both opulent and historic, the Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp is a five star hotel that carries centuries of heritage behind its ancient walls as a former monastery in the heart of the Belgian city. Magnificently restored, this 15th century gem today is home to Michelin-Star gourmet restaurants, a health spa and club, a restored 19th century apothecary, and 108 rooms.

As seasoned international travellers, our editors are always on the hunt for new hotels on our radars that are not only beautiful, comfortable, and expertly accommodating, but are doing things differently.

Be Our Guest

Stepping into the hotel’s monastic tranquillity, guests enter a world of luxury where it is clear that craftsmanship, innovation and ecology are elegantly stitched together with tradition, and a botanical garden, which offers refuge.

Image courtesy of Botanic Sanctuary.

While walking through the heavenly scented Monastery Garden, you are sure to see giggling children at play, friends chatting, and the members of the hotel’s culinary team sourcing herbs like rosemary, juniper, basil, thyme, chamomile, and mint. Not only are these herbs essential to many of the world-class dishes served, but carry the ability to heal and soothe.

Saint Charles Store in the restored apothecary at Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp. Photography by Hugo Thomassen.

Elegance in Every Corner

As guests explore the hotel’s grounds and restored historic buildings, one can’t help but marvel at the series of sophisticated spaces. From drinks at Henry’s Bar and fine meals at 1238 Restaurant, to spa treatments at the Botanic Health Spa, designed by star spa architect Heinz Schletterer.

The Sauna at the Botanic Health Spa. Photography by Hugo Thomassen.

Through design, the hotel’s structure’s glass, wood and stone building is one of the new transformations to the former old monastery complex. Inside the zen-like and calming spa, the fragrant building paired with soothing visual simplicity is underlaid by sophisticated technology that helps conserve the natural resources the spa uses.

No two out of the 108 rooms are the same. Via soft textures and neutral tones, each inspires a sense of wellbeing and delight, privacy and security. The rooms’ elegant contemporary furnishings and design elements harmonise magically mingle with the historic monastery’s original centuries-old buildings.

The sittng area of the Diamond Suite. Image courtesy of Botanic Sanctuary.
Cocoon in the lavish fabrics of a luxurious bed in one of the hotel’s private suites. Image courtesy of Botanic Sanctuary.
Enjoy personal moments in this home-away-from home sitting area in the Family Duplex. Image courtesy of Botanic Sanctuary.

A primary bedroom in the Family Duplex. Image courtesy of Botanic Sanctuary.