Belgium’s capital of cool has an exciting new crash pad. With a simple moniker of “August,” the new hotel was designed as a happening social pub for the local in-crowd. Opened in April in Antwerp, it’s housed inside an old Augustinian monastery in the Het Groen Kwartier, or Green Quarter— a former 19th century military hospital complex converted into a pedestrian-only luxury development.
August was the first-ever hotel project for famous Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen, who transformed five heritage-listed buildings, including walled gardens. The idea was “to respect the historical DNA of the site” while “upgrading the premises to its new function as a modern hotel”— to quote the architect’s website. “One can still sense the sober, understated life of the convent nuns.”
There’s lots to please both visitors and locals. Set in the former nuns’ private chapel, carefully restored, the bar and lounge is decorated with oversized taupe and gray sofas. Tuck into tempting small plates here or outside on the heated terrace, leading to the gardens. The hotel’s modern brasserie is overseen by chef Nick Bril of The Jane, a two-star Michelin restaurant nearby. After dinner, check out the hotel library, stocked with volumes. And then there’s the dedicated wellness area, complete with sauna, hammam, and hot stone therapy room. Treatments use Bamford products, and there’s also a swimming pond with a self-filtering reed bed.
Staying the night? Choose from one of the 44 guest rooms, starting with the “Intimate” category, which has the same dimensions of the original convent chambers, and continuing up to the spacious Suite. August is a member of Design Hotels.