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Hotel Julien - Comfortable minimalism in Antwerp
One of the great things about Antwerp is how walkable the city is. For that very reason, make sure you stay at a hotel that's right in the middle of the action -- such as Hotel Julien, which is located at Korte Nieuwstraat 24, just a hop and a skip from tons of local attractions including De Kathedraal and plenty of bars and restaurants, and about a 15 minute walk from the train station.
The mood at Hotel Julien is very Zen. The peaceful Flemish setting includes a comfortable sitting room with a fireplace, an uncomplicated courtyard and an unmistakably homey front desk lined with bookshelves. The service is friendly and helpful, but I found it strange that when I mentioned I'd be leaving for my flight in the early AM, they insisted on checking me out the night before. Nevertheless, the nice touches shone through, such as their readiness with maps and the slip detailing the next day's weather left on my pillow at night.
The decor in the rooms is minimalist and chic with pale wood and whites and greys making the whole thing very light and cool feeling. Everything is hidden, from the TV to the toilet paper, which comes magically out of a side slot in the sink stand. Wifi and a delicious breakfast are included in your stay, and as with any city-center hotels, convenience stores are nearby in every direction if you'd rather not raid your minibar.
I'd recommend Hotel Julien to travelers who want things to be easy and relaxing at the hotel -- but don't intend to spend a lot of time there. The downstairs feels very much like a home, but the rooms, while lovely, offer very little to look at. Prices at Hotel Julien start at approximately $250 and include breakfast.
My visit to Antwerp was sponsored by Tourism Antwerp and Cool Capitals, but the opinions expressed in the article are 100% my own.