Housed within an impressive 1896 townhouse on Antwerp‘s buzzing Nationalestraat, Maison Nationale City Flats & Suites offers travellers a home-from-home experience in Belgium’s largest and most creative city. The property is manned by wonderful hosts Tom and Karen, and offers all the amenities of a debonair boutique hotel combined with the comfort and space of home life.
Catching an ungodly-hour flight from Barcelona and arriving in Antwerp shortly after 10am, Karen greeted us with a friendly handshake and smile, advising us that our Deluxe Suite was awaiting and we could enjoy the early check-in we’d been hoping for. Showing us up to the third floor, where we’d spend the next 48 hours cocooned between our city crash pad and the cold, crisp Antwerp streets, Karen’s infectious enthusiasm was apparent from the get-go; Maison Nationale knowing how to offer a personal service without ever being intrusive.
Traversing the landing and four floors of this ModeNatie building by its elegant original staircase is something of a hidden secret you should not miss, a selection of framed ‘windows’ allow you to look into rotating collections of clothes, jewellery and accessories from boutiques in the neighbourhood. A source of art cum inspiration from the Antwerp fashion scene, this is window shopping at its best, and demonstrates how Tom and Karen collaborate with local makers and designers to introduce them to their guests.
We enter our sizeable 54 square metres suite via a PIN code (there are no bulky keys to take from here), we immediately feel at home. A cliché, perhaps. but in this case ever so true. Radiating tranquility through contemporary interiors and furnishings, the suite has views over Nationalestraat, and is more than ample for two with a king-size bed, living room with seating area, dining table and desk, and a bathroom with bathtub, separate rain shower, quality bath linen, and Moooi bath products. Modern facilities include free WIFI throughout, a 3D LED TV, fridge freezer perfect for chilling Belgian beers, kettle and a Nespresso machine with pods for those morning pick-me-ups before heading out for breakfast.
Located in the heart of the fashion district, you are close to stores that include ‘Antwerp Six designer’ Dries Van Noten and high-end concept emporium Graanmarkt 13, whilst the recently reopened KMSKA museum is also nearby. You’ll also find plenty of voguish restaurants on your doorstep, such as Mesa, Middle Eats and InVINcible, which is helmed by chef Kenny Burssens and serves fresh fish and hearty meat dishes cooked on open flames in an open kitchen, there’s very little need for additional transportation once you’ve checked-in to Maison Nationale. The closest tram line is less than a five minute walk away should you feel differently.
A sanctuary in a bustling and hip part of Antwerp, for a city that has everything to offer on its doorstep, you’ll find yourself hard to be torn from this little piece of heaven. Charming and authentic, whilst simultaneously as stylish as one would expect from this part of the city, Maison Nationale Suites come highly recommended indeed.