ANTWERP: Botanic Sanctuary

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Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp

 

Opening September 2021

 

The history of the Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp begins in 1238, when the Sint-Elisabeth hospital moved to the present site (known as the alnetum or alder grove) which, at that time, was still outside the city gates. The chapel and Gothic infirmary were added in the 15th century; a second infirmary, the altar in the earlier infirmary, and some residential buildings followed in the 16th century. The 17th century saw the construction of the Klooster and Pastorie. These were refurbished in 1822. It was common for convent brothers and sisters to grow vegetables and herbs, both as food and to provide remedies for the sick.

In the 16th century, the famous apothecary Pieter Coudenberg established a garden next to the hospital and introduced many new plants because of their medicinal properties. This garden is considered the precursor of the current Botanical Garden. Coudenberg’s garden fell into disrepair, but was revived in the 19th century by the hospital’s chief surgeon Claude Louis Sommé and its head pharmacist Francois Verbert. The garden became a listed space in 1950. Following various extensions and additions, the first and top floors of the monastery were converted into hotel rooms in the 1990s.

 

ROOMS & SUITES

The 109 rooms and suites being carved out of a 15th-century monastery are spread across five historic buildings: Klooster, Pastorie, Sint-Joris, Sint-Elisabeth and the ancient Marnix Huis. Accommodation ranges from Comfort, Deluxe, Junior Suites and Suites to Botanic Spa Suites and Botanic Garden Suites. No two rooms are alike as they have been skilfully integrated into the fabric of the historic building’s monastic complex. They exude timeless luxury brought about by a wabi-sabi approach to interior design: serene, beautiful and spiritual. The hotel’s exalted status is reflected in superior furnishings, equipment and amenities; the suites, for instance, feature wine cabinets. The views open onto the courtyard, spa or Monastery Gardens, adding to the guests’ comfort by offering welcome green relief from the city’s hustle and bustle.

The unique Botanic Spa Suites and Botanic Garden Suites provide a private spa treatment space in a serene setting, as well as a sauna and Jacuzzi, and the latest, top-brand gym equipment. Botanic Spa Suites are the largest hotel accommodation available in the whole of Flanders, offering up to 180 m2. All Spa and Botanic Garden Suites are fitted with air filter and disinfection systems as well as an oxygen enrichment system and air humidity regulator. Allergens such as pollen, dust and other environmental toxins are eliminated whilst over 99% of all viruses and bacteria in the air are killed. The pioneering, registered-trademark system also protects against electrosmog and harmful radiation. A heartbeat reduction and relaxation system, as well as aromatherapy and colour therapy reduce heart rate, leading to deep relaxation and a night of restful sleep.

 

THE BOTANIC SPA – FACILITIES

Star spa-architect Heinz Schletterer has been commissioned to create Belgium’s leading destination spa where botanical wellbeing is central. Hidden away in Antwerp’s Botanical Garden, the pioneering spa presents the latest innovation in eco and sustainable design by focusing on next-generation technologies to conserve natural resources and contribute to environmental sustainability. The harmonious balance of wood, natural stone and glass craft an architecture with both sustainable functionality and an elegant aesthetic, which is unique in character and performance. The 1,000 m2 spa spreading across three floors includes an 18 m panoramic swimming pool set within an extensive space that features a fireplace, infrared loungers, waterbeds and cocooning spaces. The sauna area contains a historically-inspired steam room, a panoramic Finnish sauna with guided herbal infusions, a thermal zone with Kneipp walk, ice fountain, salt and mineral sauna, textile sauna, Jacuzzi and botanical shower experiences. The ground-floor spa foyer and the pre and post-treatment waiting lounge on the first floor each feature a vitamin and herbal bar offering drinks, water and natural bio-substances to help boost the immune system. The second-floor Spa Bistro overlooks the pool so guests can enjoy the view as well as two types of cuisine – spa cuisine with superfoods and local snacks – or detox options.

Treatment room interiors are contemporary and superbly appointed, featuring wood, stone and generous, floor- to-ceiling windows. The glazing and materials used mirror the monastic story of the older buildings and the green spaces in the complex, providing a sense of simplicity, authenticity and a love of nature. The treatment area comprises eight treatment rooms, two private double spa suites and a magnificent treatment space set in the private and secluded garden. A conservatory with relaxation gallery offers the perfect environment for pre and post-treatment rest.

Super modern and exclusive: the business fitness club offers the latest, top-brand, high-tech equipment. The innovative membership programmes encompass group exercise sessions, personal coaching, after business workouts, presentations and lectures. Members and guests can also purchase food supplements to further support their training. Top coaching and personal training help them reach their fitness objectives and improve overallwellbeing with the latest methods and analytic systems.

 

Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp
Leopoldstraat 26
2000 Antwerp
Belgium
Tel. +32 3 269 00 00
www.botanicantwerp.be