BACKSTORY: Beyoncé was a recent guest, but Hotel Amigo once accommodated less savory types, having served as a prison in the 16th century. It became a hotel in the 1950s, and by 2003, owner Rocco Forte had transformed the property into one of Brussels’ most prestigious hotels. Some of the original floor tiles can be seen in the lobby.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND OUTSIDE: The glorious historical hodgepodge of Grand Place, along with the city’s famous incontinent Manneken Pis. The curious “Little Man Pee” fountain has such a global following that it is dressed several times a week in costumes from around the world—Dracula, Uncle Sam and so on.
WHAT’S NEW: Marco Visinoni became executive chef at Ristorante Bocconi last year, introducing modern Italian cuisine with a Belgian flourish (if such a thing exists). Local produce is used to make dishes like casoncelli, a traditional veal ravioli, and vitello tonnato, outrageously tender cuts of veal jazzed up with a velvety tuna and caper medley.
DESIGN NOTES: Olga Polizzi, Rocco Forte Hotels’ design doyenne, has imbued the 154 rooms and 19 suites here with a refined but unpretentious aesthetic. Mosaic details, marble vanity tops, surrealist prints and Flemish tapestries capture Polizzi’s eclectic style, while Tintin figurines and prints show off her playful side.