Hotel Review: Room National, Antwerp

Last week I was in Antwerp as I was a speaker at The Blogworks, which was an interesting day of presentations, debates and workshops for Belgium’s budding fashion bloggers. Even though I was a speaker, I actually learned a thing or two myself. It’s really such a great concept and I am proud to have been part of the first ever edition – and I really do hope there will be many more to come!

But anyway, so I was in Antwerp. Despite being from Belgium originally, Antwerp was a little bit far for me to go sleep at home, so I had to stay in a hotel. I’ve never really been a tourist in my own country, so this is a brand new experience for me, and so I enlisted the help of my fellow Belgian bloggers and journalists, who lead me to Room National, an modern B&B at the heart of Antwerp. Pretty much on top of the MoMu (Mode Museum), concept store Renaissance, Dries Van Noten and many many more, this is a fashion & design lover’s dream.

In fact, Room National is actually a creation by fashion lovers: sisters Vera and Violetta Pepa (one a designer, the other a stylist) created the 3 rooms with architect Jo Peeters. Room 01 is a minimalistic white studio, Room 70 is a warmer, Seventies inspired studio, and Room 69 – mine – is a completely gold room.

Other than a neon red light above the front door, you would never guess the amazingness that lies behind it. My room, 69, was the gold one: The walls are gold, except for one which features a very large blown up B&W picture. The decorations were all, you guessed it, gold. Anywhere else, this would be tacky, but in this moody, lush room, it somehow worked. The bathroom (white, before you ask), is small but perfectly formed. As B&B’s go, this is by far the most original one I’ve ever had the pleasure of staying at. If the design is not enough to impress you, then small details like Jules Destrooper cookies (if you’re Belgian, you’ll understand how excited this made me), free wifi, lovely toiletries and a cd player with Radiohead ready to rock probably will.

In the end I paid less for a great night’s sleep than one of the generic hotel chains I originally looked at, and I actually felt like I’d experienced something special. Sadly I wasn’t there long enough to do some shopping (although I did have delicious dinner at the Italian restaurant in Renaissance), but next time I’m on a shopping trip in Antwerp, this is where I want to be based.

P.S. My pictures are very dark and perhaps not the best, but I got there when it was dark and left before the sun got up… damn you, winter.

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