Billed as a sanctuary in the heart of Brussels, The Dominican is a relaxed and elegant refuge from the bustle of Europe's capital city. This is a hotel of intriguing contrasts, inside and out. Cutting-edge design echoes the rich and haunting history of the location, site of a 15th-century Dominican abbey. Soaring arched windows delineate the high-ceilinged courtyard restaurant, chic white leather lobby and stylish bar, yet each space feels intimate. Candles, cloisters and a signature fretwork design, reprised throughout the hotel, constantly evoke the monastic past, yet The Dominican feels light, bright and up to the minute. A member of the Design Hotels group, The Dominican, which incorporates the original façade of the home of French artist Jacques-Louis David, is tucked away behind La Monnaie opera house and a short stroll (past great shops) from the Grand Place. And thanks to the new high-speed Eurostar route from St Pancras, you can be checking in just two hours after leaving London.
Fat feather pillows and a plump duvet in crisp white linen contrast with the deep chocolate, cappuccino and aubergine tones of the richly textured decor to create a contemporary haven. Inspired mood lighting enhances the peaceful atmosphere. There's a flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, an iron, Nespresso machine and the smart bathroom has everything you need.
The food and drink
All of the dishes in the innovative Food Book, from an exquisite plate of dim sum (€6) to the decadent venison fillet with chocolate sauce (€27.50) are prepared on demand and available anywhere in the hotel (including your room), day or evening.
Public areas are wheelchair accessible and one room is modified for guests with disabilities. Hearing loop and Braille. Children welcome. No dogs.
Doubles from €150 (£112) per night at the weekend. Breakfast costs €27 per person. Eurostar (08705 186 186; eurostar.com) operates up to 10 services daily from St Pancras and Ebbsfleet International to Brussels. Return fares cost from £59.
The Dominican, Rue Léopold, 1000 Brussels, Belgium (00 32 2 203 08 08; thedominican.be).