The Big Six: Belgian boutique hotels

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Concept Hotel, Brussels

The Concept Hotel challenges the idea that style and affordability rarely meet on a central city square. Poised on the edge of the Grand-Place, it impresses with elegant, vintage-inspired décor. Antique mirrors, distressed wood, muted colours, period detailing and curios combine for a refined but homely setting, all a short stroll from museums, shops and restaurants. The owners can also suggest the best places to visit.

Concept Hotel, 39 Grand-Place, Brussels (00 32 474 03 2470; www.concepthotel.be). Doubles start at €120, including breakfast.

Angels on the Waterfront, Ghent

A short tram-ride from the Korenmarkt takes you to this tranquil riverside address, where interior designer Ann Willems has created two luxurious guestrooms inside a 1900 mansion. The result is a sophisticated retreat away from the city centre, where rich colours in the bedrooms are set against white lace and bright white woodwork, with balconies overlooking the river Schelde. The bathrooms are equally impressive, with antique claw-foot tubs, marble fittings and a chandelier in one.

Engelen Aan De Waterkant, 30 Ter Platen, Ghent (00 32 476 402 523; engelenaandewaterkant.be). Doubles start at €135, B&B.

Sofie Lachaert B&B, Tielrode

Designer Sofie Lachaert opened this small B&B in a shipyard's office, next to her art gallery in the small town of Tielrode. Her keen eye for design is manifest – the spare, white background is decorated with statement furniture by Belgian designers, including a wooden bathtub in one of the bathrooms. A complimentary minibar with Belgian beers, the use of an iPad and breakfast served in the gallery, with cutlery designed by the artists, adds to the creative feel.

Lachaert, 30 St Jozefstraat, Tielrode (00 32 3 711 1963; lachaert.com). Doubles start at €140, including breakfast.

Hotel Julien, Antwerp

Located in the hub of Belgian fashion and design, Hotel Julien is big on sleek sophistication. Two old, brick buildings have been revived with limed oak, glass panels, calming colours, Eames chairs, modern bathtubs and high-end photography. A spa, bar and restaurant complete the appeal.

Hotel Julien, 24 Korte Nieuwstraat, Antwerp (00 32 3 229 0600; hotel-julien.com). Doubles from €195, B&B.

Boulevard Leopold, Antwerp

This 19th-century building now houses an elegant B&B in the Jewish quarter, where three bedrooms and two apartments display homely comforts: antique furniture, soft linens, warm lighting and espresso machines. Breakfast is a continental spread featuring home-baked bread.

Boulevard Leopold, 135 Belgielei, Antwerp (00 32 3 225 5218; boulevard-leopold.be). Doubles start at €110, B&B.

Odette en Ville, Brussels

This 1920s former residence offers an intimate retreat in the capital's Chatelain quarter. Bedrooms have a masculine edge, while dark styling in the sitting room hints at a gentlemen's club. Expect upmarket brasserie fare in the restaurant and Marcel Wanders tables in the lounge.

Odette en Ville, 25 rue de Chatelain, Brussels (00 32 2 640 2626; chez-odette.com). Doubles from €250, room only.

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