It’s always appreciated when a hotel truly delves into its historic past. This is precisely what has been accomplished by The Royal Snail, a modern boutique hotel situated along the Meuse river in Namur, a city in Wallonia in southern Belgium. Designed by local architectural firm BURO5 in collaboration with Parisian studio Muzeo, this unique property belongs to the Design Hotels collection.
A small luxury hotel, The Royal Snail is the first of its kind in the capital city of Namur and features just 30 rooms with ten various themes. The name and several interior works are derived from the city’s symbol of the snail. Local artisans helped craft the furnishings, artwork and linens.
Interestingly, the hotel’s owner, Vincent Dardenne set out to open a six-room bed-and-breakfast when the opportunity to acquire the three connecting buildings presented itself. As a result, this contemporary destination features an on-site restaurant, two meeting spaces, wellness spa, swimming pool and tiered gardens providing an inviting atmosphere for both leisure and business travelers.
From the street entrance, guests and visitors are greeted with a striking facade painted deep charcoal with classic dormer windows, natural-hued brickwork and elegant trimmings all contrasted by a vibrant living green wall. The restaurant, L’Agathopède is open to the public and sits on the ground floor boasting upscale cuisine in a decidedly modern ambiance of deep woods, rich tones and eccentric lighting.
The lobby is richly-appointed with stone, wood and velvet with jewel-tones of amethyst and light ruby adding color to the otherwise ebony backdrop. An incredible installation of glossy, graphic ribbons runs across the ceiling creating a dimensional aura.
The pool courtyard is exquisite with various levels, landscaped gardens, a large dining deck and a rectangular pool that embodies ultra-cool design. With a multi-colored tiled mosaic reading, “The Swimming Pool” this feature is clad with a glass wall providing guests with an underwater peek–love it!
Rooms range from singles to suites with each one being light-filled and abundant with sleek modern design in a comfortable setting. Some accommodations feature private terraces, while all offer either river or city views. Throw pillows on beds feature the iconic snail logo, while graphic wall murals are fascinating, illusional and sometimes avant-garde, depicting scalloped, photographic, confetti and cloud designs. Artwork and photography is just as provocative and fun. Some rooms boast a glass partition between the sleeping area and bathroom which provides a sense of extended spaciousness.
The Royal Snail is a modern boutique hotel which simultaneously stands out, yet blends elegantly within the historic city it thrives within.