One of the newest additions to the global Autograph Collection of Marriott is the Sapphire House Antwerp. It is a vegan boutique hotel with a distinctive and independent character, offering unique and enriching experiences. The hotel took great pride in receiving the ‘Best New Sustainable Hotel’ award in 2023 and the green Michelin Star for its restaurant, WILDn (more about that later). These awards affirm the hotel’s values and underscore its purpose, proving that luxury and sustainability coexist.
Located in a historical building in the heart of Antwerp, the hotel leaves a lasting impression. It is the centre of the diamond industry, famous for its legacy of fine arts. It’s a treasure with so much charm, beauty and culture that leaves the guests speechless. Imagine travelling through time, starting from 1531, when the iconic Handelsbeurs, the world’s first stock exchange, was settled at its current location adjacent to the hotel. Then the building was owned by the wealthy Du Bois family and was known as: “De Grooten Robijn” (The Great Ruby). Around 1750, they transformed it into a hotel, becoming the headquarters of Banque d’Anvers in 1829. After some reconstruction and extension works in the last century, it opened its doors in May 2022 as part of the Marriott family, keeping in its name the preciousness of this unexpected place. Its intriguing origins reveal a past filled with trade and art reflected nowadays in each impactful detail.
The hotel offers sophisticated and elegant areas: guests can relax at the lobby bar or indulge in the sofas at the Ottomer Library. Moreover, they can train at the fully equipped 24/7 gym or join a tour starting from the Trading Booth, the city’s Golden Age emblem. The unique 139 lavish rooms and suites showcase bespoke design blended with authentic details and offer an unforgettable stay in a comfortable and luxurious atmosphere, where also furry friends up to 20kg are welcome. Each modern room features a gemstone hue defined by fine amenities, such as Gemology Cosmetics Paris, feather-free pillows and duvets and a complimentary alcohol-free minibar.
The unique 139 lavish rooms and suites showcase bespoke design blended with authentic details and offer an unforgettable stay in a comfortable and luxurious atmosphere.
In such a monumental setting, the property has decided to offer a complete plant-based high-end experience that includes the meals at the two new restaurants and the room service, proving that luxury and sustainability can go hand in hand. WILDn, located in the hotel’s oldest room, is Antwerp’s first vegan fine-dining restaurant. Like an oasis in the city centre, PLANTn, the casual version of the restaurant, is devoted to snacks and drinks, served on a beautiful patio open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Both locations are available for hotel guests and the public, who are welcome to experience these new heights of plant-based cuisine. From May to the end of September, Summer by PLANTn&WILDn is a pop-up concept inspired by the gastronomic cuisine of restaurant WILDn, where the chef Bart de Pooter continues to surprise with delicious snacks and drinks throughout all day.
A culinary entrepreneur who won the Entrepreneur of the Year 2023 Award by Gault&Millau, the chef delights the palates with the tastiest seasonal creations and plays with fermentations and pickling into a never-ending research, redefining culinary excellence every single day. In an elegantly revamped Belle Époque interior, the glitzy, glammed-up restaurant, awarded with the Green Michelin Star 2023, proposes colourful dishes made of simple ingredients, such as wild herbs and flowers, elevated into something heavenly thanks to balance, simplicity and pureness.
The ability of the chef and the evolution of this type of cuisine converge into delicious courses that have nothing to envy to the traditional ways of eating. In a world constantly worried about the origin of food and animal welfare, making such a bold statement equals a real contribution to the planet’s health and sets a virtuous model for other hospitality players.
Chef de Pooter is in many ways a pioneer driven by his talent, vision and foresight: he was the first Belgian chef to put his name to two Michelin starred restaurant “Pastorale” in the country and one of the first chefs to venture to Asia in 2007 when it was still not so popular in the world of gastronomy like it is today. He takes his inspiration from his origins, rooted less than 20 kilometres far away from the city hustle and bustle in the area between the three rivers Rupel, Nete and Schelde in Flanders, where he owns 12 hectares of land offered for free to local farmers. Thanks to his sustainable and ethical project, he shows that ecological agriculture can be profitable by aiming for diversity, cooperation and integration with the population. He guarantees the purchase of the products and expects a commitment to live in the region and production that can satisfy the different levels of his restaurants.
Besides luxury, personalized service, and an unforgettable setting, Sapphire House is also greatly appreciated for the finger-licking vegan breakfast, a particular moment of the day when a combination of buffet and hot signature dishes arrive at the table. A ban on single-use plastic and a zero-waste policy contribute to sustainability. An inviting scent of backed vegan croissants and bread rolls awakens guests, accompanied by freshly squeezed juices made with local and seasonal ingredients carefully selected by the chef or hot drinks, such as oat, almond, and soy milk to tweak a coffee. Fruits and vegetables from local farmers ensure the variety of the menu, with a ban on non-sustainable products, such as avocado. A special mention goes to vegan cheese cornbread with tapenade, pizza with plant-based cheese and pickled zucchini and plant-based omelettes, and homemade lemon or chocolate cakes for the sweet tooths to start their day. Be surprised by these authentic flavours and experience something that’s precisely nothing else.
Be surprised by these authentic flavours and experience something that’s precisely nothing else.
It’s evident that Sapphire House Antwerp, the newest addition to Marriott’s global Autograph Collection, is far more than just a hotel. It stands as a beacon of innovation, marrying luxury and sustainability in a manner that sets a benchmark for the hospitality industry. From its rich historical roots to its current role as a luxury vegan destination, Sapphire House redefines the hotel experience. Its unique character is infused with a deep sense of place, reflected in every elegant detail, from the gemstone hues of the rooms to the plant-based cuisine at its acclaimed restaurants. It’s not just about the aesthetics or the culinary delights – it’s about a commitment to ethical and sustainable practices that make a real contribution to our planet.
With Sapphire House, Marriott has created a destination where guests can indulge in luxury while making a positive impact. As you journey through its magnificent spaces, and savour the unique offerings of WILDn and PLANTn, remember – you’re part of something truly extraordinary, an experience that is precisely nothing else.
Photo credit: Sapphire House Antwerp
As a professional English, German and French to Italian translator and interpreter certified by ANITI, DVÜD and SFT and with over 16 years of experience, Ileana Cari helps premium businesses create exclusive experiences for their target clients through a localized, unique, finely-tuned message. Her translations are a bridge between two cultures, aiming to communicate the value of a brand with the right inspiring words and therefore contribute to its success. She is specialized in luxury market segments, like beauty, fashion, hospitality and wellness.