The Dominican Hotel, Brussels

The Dominican Hotel contradicts many one’s assumptions about Brussels and the hotels there. The venue has a focus on design, art and history and is set on the site of a 15th century Dominican abbey, which later was home to the famous neoclassical painter Jacques-Louis David.

Located in the centre of Brussels, this accommodation is part of the Design Hotel group featuring the ideas of the renowned Amsterdam brand FGStijl. The interior is a modern renovation and revitalisation of the original architecture, specifically the cloisters. There are 150 rooms to choose from, a popular buzzy bar and three meeting rooms to fulfil the needs of business guests. The hotel is a short walk from the main station, and moments away from the shops and eateries of Brussels.

The rooms are centred round a quiet inner courtyard. Walking to our room, I noticed a fully equipped gym (ideal for jet-lagged visitors) and striking photography and artwork on the walls. We soon arrived at our door, and stepped inside to find a dark grey and green interior. Our double room was small but well arranged, the decor felt a little dated but was comfortable and had everything we needed for a night away from home.

The patterned carpet is a motif which runs through the hotel in different colour schemes. Aside from this decoration surprisingly I couldn’t spot many other design features in the room. Alongside the giant bed there was a coffee machine, TV and desk. A petite bathroom was functional but in good working order with a super powerful shower and the Spa Collection toiletries.

As it was our first morning in Belgium we couldn’t resist a plate of sugary waffles for breakfast. Along with a cup of coffee and fresh exotic fruit, we were set up for a day of sightseeing and chocolate shopping ahead!

More information and book a stay here.

Thoroughly Modern Milly travelled with Eurostar.

·         Eurostar operates up to 9 daily services from London St Pancras International to Brussels with return fares from £69.

·         Tickets to any Belgium station start from £79.

·         Fastest London-Brussels journey time is 2 hours.

·         Tickets are available from or 03432 186 186.

Customers travelling by Eurostar can enjoy a range of benefits including:

•         Seamless city centre to city centre travel, with stations located in the heart of our destinations

•         Fast and convenient check-in – passengers are requested to arrive only 30 minutes before departure

•         The extra baggage allowance you get on Eurostar vs planes (Eurostar offers each person 2 bags/suitcases and 1 piece hand luggage)

•         No queues or baggage reclaim upon arrival – simply take your bag with you on board

•         Comfort and space on board to work or unwind

Hotel Lamee, Vienna

There are plenty of grand and expensive hotels to choose from in Vienna, but I chose to stay at a smaller, more characterful hotel while in the city for a short weekend break. Hotel Lamee is a stylish boutique venue, one of the hand-picked design hotels in the city. Arriving into Vienna international airport late at night we were relieved to discover how quick and easy the taxi ride to Lamee was. Just steps away from the iconic St Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansplatz), Hotel Lamee and its nearby sister hotel Topazz are very centrally located and ideal for business or pleasure trips. From the hotel it was easy walking distance to the major sites, shops and cafes.

We were in Room 62, a glamorous and stylish double room. The room was cosy and comforting, filled with luxurious materials: satin, velvet and silk. Decorated in rich reds and creamy golden hues it certainly had a regal look. In the main space a huge bed with plumped pillows took precedence in the centre of the room. Beneath the windows a small coffee table and two armchairs were ideal for relaxing. Through the glass partition wall the indulgent bathroom included a big marble bath, “his and hers” sinks and a shower room. A circular mirror offered light on the wall. Fluffy towelling robes hung temptingly on the walls. Initially we assumed there was no TV, but eventually we found the cinematic flat screen that rose from the leather piece of furniture at the foot of the bed.

We slept soundly, enjoyed numerous hot baths and really took advantage of this lavish living space. My only issue was the temperature system, which seemed to really struggle to regulate the room. We were far too hot at times and the air-conditioning unit refused to cooperate despite the kind efforts of the staff. Eventually we resorted to opening the window to let in some cold fresh air.

Breakfast is served in an intimate dining room on the first floor. A selection of pastries and cereals were available as well as more filling hot a la carte dishes. The food was tasty and fresh, and the eggs and bacon got a particularly good review from my friend. We spent the early mornings here, flicking through guide books and sipping strong coffee and orange juice. We didn’t have time to sample the other food and drink venues on site but they come highly recommended. On the ground floor Bloom café offers Austrian dishes eco-friendly wine. Spilling out onto the street it is a buzzing eatery to sit at with friends. At the top of the building the rooftop garden offers amazing views over the city, sit and enjoy a drink whilst looking at Vienna from another perspective.

With sumptuous bedrooms and luxurious amenities, Lamee Hotel is a lovely place to return to after a long day exploring the streets of Vienna.

More information and book a stay at Hotel Lamee here.

Many thanks to the Vienna Tourist Board for their help with this trip.

Georges Hotel, Istanbul

After a stint in the business district of town, I was pleased to return to Galata, the home of the Georges Hotel. Lugging our bags up steep cobbled streets, we wondered where and when we might find this hidden gem. There were no signs on the street, no signs on doors to indicate such an establishment. I went to ask a smartly dressed waiter who was dawdling in what looked like a dark clothes shop. Rather than offering useful directions, he wrying smiled and stepped aside welcoming us to the Georges.

This discreet design hotel is set out in an unconventional way. You enter through the restaurant, Le Fumoir, a lovely little French affair which sadly seemed empty throughout our stay. The lavish red carpet, flickering candlelight and exposed brickwork make the whole room rather sultry and macabre. A heavy velvet curtain is pulled to one side to allow guests to ascend the slim building to their prospective bedrooms.

Although the rooms number from 1 to 21 there are just 20 rooms, number 13 is omitted, apparently this is to cater for superstitious tourists, which I found amusing. Each room is designed and decorated in a contemporary but local style, modern handmade furnishings add character and charm to the simple elegant rooms. We didn’t have to go far to find our homely abode, room 8 on the first floor. I initially noticed the glossy wooden flooring and the ornate blue tiling in the tiny adjoining bathroom. The colours and materials are carefully selected for the finest quality and comfort. The bed looked like a huge white cushion it was so plump and tightly bound in a crisp white sheet. A small cream leather topped desk and stool were neatly arranged with inspiring magazines and stationery.

A thin curtain on one side of the room pulled aside to reveal a balcony overlooking the street below. Although the space was limited, the Georges rooms are equipped with every luxury gadget your could need, I particularly appreciated the Nespresso machine. Spending time in our lovely little room was a welcome break from the busy touristy streets. My only qualm with the room was that it was a little dark in the evenings when the daylight faded.

Breakfast is served in the most idyllic of settings, the rooftop overlooking the city beneath the blazing sun. Each morning we picked at a delightful assortment of food: fresh fruit and crunchy French toast with honey was received greedily and gratefully. Good Western coffee is hard to find in Istanbul but the Georges knows how to cater for tourists serving up a delicious cappuccino.

The location and the chic design are enough to persuade any visitor to pick Georges Hotel for their luxury holiday accommodation, but it is the ‘above and beyond’ thoughtful service that ensures guests return year after year.

More information and book a stay at Georges Hotel here: