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Legendary Hotel Metropole closing its doors – probably forever

19:07 22/04/2020

A legendary hotel and Brussels landmark is closing its doors: The Hotel Metropole cannot weather the corona crisis storm, it has announced. The five-star hotel, known for its plush interior and art nouveau elegance, cites the current crisis as the last straw in a series of blows to its business.

Even those who have never stayed in the 250-room hotel on Place De Brouckère are familiar with its famous café. Both residents and tourists were fond of having a drink amid the luxurious atmosphere.

The 125-year-old hotel was hurt by the dip in tourism following the 2015-16 terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels and always claimed to be beleaguered by the establishment of the pedestrian zone. It will now close at least temporarily, and likely for good.

“Due to structural difficulties over the last five years and the current economic situation, we no longer have the financial resources to guarantee our activities,” the hotel told Bruzz in a statement. “We are considering stopping definitively.”

Oldest hotel in capital

The privately owned hotel has started the Renault procedure, the legally required consultation process when a business lets workers go. There are 129 employees at the Metropole, who will be represented by unions in talks with management.

“The works on the pedestrian zone and the metro station have had a major impact on our activities,” said the hotel. “We were not accessible to vehicles for several months and were confronted with a construction zone outside our doors and noise nuisance for a long period of time. We were simply no longer an attractive option for individuals or event organisers.”

The Café Metropole opened in 1890, and the hotel followed four years later. It was the first hotel in Brussels to have both electricity and central heating. It was the only 19th-century hotel still operating in the capital and the only five star hotel that was not part of an international chain.

Photo courtesy Infotourism.be

Written by Lisa Bradshaw

Comments

Frank Lee

Another business killed by government interference, and not the last one.

Apr 23, 2020 11:00
shirley.foxcastle

What a shame! The entrance hall is magnificent - a turn-of-the-century eclectic palace! I stayed there once for work and the room was very plain - a disappointment. That was 35 years ago, though. Maybe it's been spruced up since... The bar is also magnificent, apart from some later 50s touches that look out of place. The waiters wear long aprons, as I recall, and are rather haughty, as often in such establishments.

Apr 23, 2020 15:04