The iconic Hotel Astoria in Brussels is set to reopen by next year at the latest after being closed for the past 17 years.
The luxury hotel was originally built in 1909 at the request of King Leopold II in time for the Brussels International Exposition the following year. It hosted numerous illustrious figures throughout its history including Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower, David Ben-Gurion, Salvador Dali, and James Joyce.
The Astoria closed in 2007 after being purchased by a Saudi hotel group which subsequently undertook renovations that were never completed. In 2016, it was bought by Maltese group Corinthia Hotels and has been undergoing extensive renovations ever since, La Libre Belgique reports.
The revamped hotel, which will reopen under the name "Corinthia Grand Hotel Astoria Brussels", will feature 126 rooms (including 37 suites), a bar, a spa, and two restaurants. According to RTBF, room rates are expected to range from €500 to €1,000 per night.
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According to Pierre Jangoux, the hotel's lead project manager, the Astoria will (much like before) aim to attract wealthy international clients. "The American market is important for us but also the English, the French, the Dutch, the Germans, as well as some clients from the Middle East," he told RTBF.
However, Jangoux also noted that the hotel will aim to entice local residents as well: "We hope to meet the people of Brussels here soon as before."