Nicknamed “the ardent city” for its fiery history, Liège packs churches, galleries and bars into its winding, ancient streets. The city’s reputation as a centre for culture and entertainment goes back centuries, with theatres, parties, museums, great food and a cheeky puppet mascot all symbols of this Wallonian city. An hour from Brussels by train, Liège feels warmer and more welcoming than the capital. Here are eight places to stay that showcase the city’s charms, bookable on Culture Trip.
This brutalist block on the curving Boulevard de la Sauvenière has good-sized rooms, wallpapered with a giant map of the city. There’s even a special Playerpad suite for gamers, with its own lounge, mega-screen, pinball and retro gaming machine or PS4, all likely to cheer up teens bored by too many art galleries. The Penta has a gym, an open-all-hours lounge and bar with billiard table, whilst breakfast is included. At other times, you can order herby duck risotto, the mighty Pentaburger or a citrus-infused crème brûlée. Better still, head off to explore the maze of pedestrianised lanes around the corner, full of fancy chocolate shops, Cuban cocktail bars and pizza vendors.
At the heart of this imposing U-shaped hotel with a spa on the Rue du Mont Saint-Martin are two 15th-century mansions whose sloping beams and arched windows make the historic rooms here so special. Eat confit rabbit with sage and champagne sabayon surrounded by ornate gilded wood and delicate murals. Drink draught Hoegaarden Rosée on the summer terrace, watching the sun set over the roofs and towers of Liège or under the vaulted brickwork of the Cave Bar. The hotel is just across the boulevard from the huge City Mirror cultural centre housed in a former bathhouse.
Arrive at Liège-Guillemins by train and step straight into the smart rooms of the modern Couronne: you couldn’t get closer to Santiago Calatrava’s sweeping, otherworldly steel and glass-roofed railway station without sleeping on the platform. Kick off a day’s business or sightseeing with a Spanish omelette or rich dark chocolate cake from the breakfast buffet and end it with local beers in the business-friendly bar. With dozens of neighbouring eateries in Rue des Guillemins, the hotel doesn’t bother having its own restaurant, but staff are happy to recommend quality spots nearby.
At the junction of three old cobbled streets, this 19th-century mansion is part of the jumble of gables and windows that give Liège so much character. Art lovers Serge Schoonbroodt and Guido Vonk bought the house in 2009 and have restored it without destroying its individuality. Sloping attic ceilings, a balcony, tiled floors, carved wood or painted bricks make each of the three rooms totally different, each filled with treasures from the flea market. The organic breakfasts are as thoughtful as the decor, with fluffy omelettes, fresh crispy rolls and pastries.
This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Nana Van De Poel.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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