Meetings & Conventions: Newsline
This global center of the diamond trade welcomed the Provincial
Diamond Museum of Antwerp in May. The new facility bills itself as
a scientific institute dedicated to studying the history of the
Antwerp’s first fashion museum, the MoMu (which also goes by the
name ModeNatie), will open on Sept. 21, 2002, under the guidance of
the Flanders Fashion Institute. The 26,246- square-foot museum will
include 4,593 square feet of exhibit space and a 13,000-square-foot
archive library. The Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp was declared
“a piece of world heritage” by UNESCO. The museum, which chronicles
the history of typography, contains two of the oldest printing
presses in the world.
The Pallieter restaurant re-opened under new management in Damme,
nine miles outside of Bruges. The traditional Belgian restaurant
hosts groups of up to 100.
The Palace of Charles of Lorraine, former governor of the Belgian
low countries, was renovated and opened last year as a museum
celebrating the 18th century.
Hotel Amigo, just off the Grand Place, finished a $15 million
renovation in March 2002. As part of the project, the 177-room Sir
Rocco Forte-owned property opened a new restaurant, Le Verlaine, a
bar and a fitness center. The hotel’s 540-square-foot penthouse
suite includes a private kitchen and a dining room, as well as a
180-square-foot private roof terrace.
Also near the Grand Place, the 326-room Hotel Bedford added a
conference center. The new facility has 15 meeting rooms, including
the New Armstrong room, which can host up to 1,000 for cocktail
The Brussels Parliament building recently opened its ornate
Salle de Glaces room for public meetings. With hardwood floors and
18th-century decor, the room hosts up to 400.
The 454-room Tulip Inn Brussels Boulevard, near the city’s North
Station, finished extensive renovations last year.
The 254-room Hotel Atlanta in Brussels’ city center is now the
NH Atlanta. The property made the name change last year, following
renovations. Set between the Grand Place and the city’s North
Station, the hotel features a ninth-story restaurant and an outdoor
The 106-room Melia Hotel changed its name to the Hotel Chatelain
last year. This uptown property contains six meeting rooms that can
host up to 350.
The former Barsey Mayfair in uptown Brussels is now the Hyatt
Regency Brussels-Barsey. The 99-room hotel finished a complete
renovation of guest rooms last year under the guidance of interior
designer Jacques Garcia. Changes included a jewel-toned color
scheme and objets d’art. The hotel has banquet facilities for up to
60 as well as a solarium and a fitness center.
The former Swissôtel, next to the European Union Parliament
offices, became a Marriott Renaissance property early last year.
The 262-room hotel includes fitness and business centers.
Two more Marriott property are in the works, one a 190-room
Courtyard scheduled to open near Zaventem International Airport in
2004. Another hotel will open at the city’s stock exchange later
Offering upscale Belgian cuisine, the Belga Queen opened in
March in the heart of the city center. Group capacity for this
trendy restaurant, a former bank, is up to 200.
Plans for a Marriott property here have been canceled.
Compiled by Terence BakerGET
Along with Salamanca, Spain, Bruges was named this year’s Culture
Capital of Europe by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (a.k.a. UNESCO). Accordingly, the city is
hosting a number of yearlong art shows, including an exhibit of
Dutch painting featuring Jan Van Eyck. City passes for cultural
sites are available. (011) 3270-70-22-3302; www.visitbelgium.com
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