Aerial Antwerp

Gay Antwerp Antwerp City Guide

Curation by Bastiaan Ellen, words by Casey Siemasko

A visit to Antwerp is akin to a workshop on the creative spirit. Long a city of artists and dreamers, Antwerp continually pushes boundaries in fashion, architecture, and entertainment—earning its slogan as ‘atypical’ for all the right reasons. Home to the renowned Royal Academy of Fine Arts (and global trendsetters the Antwerp 6), prestigious fashion graduates are further evolving the city’s diverse design culture by choosing to stay in Antwerp to develop their distinctive concept shops (rather than depart for more obvious locales.) Architecturally, Antwerp offers an interesting juxtaposition of styles, from its prominent riverside fortress to Rococo and Art Nouveau buildings to the ultra-contemporary MAS museum. It’s hardly any surprise then that Antwerp brings its innovative air to the entertainment scene, whether via world-famous festivals like Tomorrowland or pulsating underground clubs and live music venues. It all adds up to an imaginative, open-minded bunch who know how to have a good time in great style—and a captivating gay Antwerp getaway for you. Looking for the ultimate Antwerp gay guide? Mr Hudson has got you covered.

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The best hotels in Antwerp

Let’s start this gay Amsterdam travel guide with a roundup of the best hotels in Antwerp. Hotel De Witte Lelie epitomizes everything we love about Antwerp. It’s splashy and eccentric without trying too hard, weaving together a mosaic of styles and sensual colours throughout its eleven character-driven rooms. The boutique B&B is actually a connection of three 17th-century townhouses and is conveniently located in Antwerp’s cobbled medieval centre. For a splurge fit for royalty, the Presidential Suite gets inspiration from Louis XIV with its crystal chandeliers, open fireplace, and opulent gold details. Surrounding a peaceful garden courtyard, Hotel Julien also creatively merges two historic homes into a luxurious getaway in the heart of Antwerp. In parallel to the city’s striking juxtaposition of old and new, rooms are modern and elegant without sacrificing their historical roots. Exposed wood beams, Carrara marble bathrooms and limited edition Gallery 51 photographs feature throughout the space.

Continuing with the theme of historic homes turned luxury boutique hotels, no mention of where to stay in Antwerp would be complete without de Gulde Schoen. This storied 14th-century house was once the Florentine-inspired palace of banker Jeronimo Frescobaldi. After changing hands a few times throughout the centuries, the historic landmark is now a collection of nine ritzy suites awash with next-level amenities. Whether it’s private butler-service drinks in your room or a custom curation of boutiques and cafes, de Gulde Schoen is serious about its concierge services. Set in a restored former church parsonage, Hotel le Tissu is an elegant small hotel tucked away on a tree-lined street near Antwerp’s state park. Start your day with breakfast in the vintage wine cellar or relax with an afternoon cocktail on the sun-dappled terrace. It’s unpretentious sophistication in the centre of the world’s most famed diamond district.

A recent addition to the hip and happening ‘t Eilandje neighbourhood, hotel U Eat & Sleep offers a prime location near Antwerp’s old docks, where floating boats in a glimmering marina remind us this is Europe’s second largest port city. While you won’t find many swearing sailors these days, there is a myriad of quaint restaurants and bars nearby, along with the newly minted MAS museum (an Antwerp must-see.) Hotel U Eat & Sleep delivers everything its name suggests; expect a contemporary interior, warm ruby and gold accents, and a bright terrace with lovely marina views.

Hotel U Eat & Sleep

Hotel U Eat & Sleep

Hotel U Eat & Sleep

Hotel U Eat & Sleep

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