It’s the café with a hotel attached. In 1890 the Weilemans-Ceuppens brewing brothers opened Café Métropole chiefly to sell their own branded beer. Such was their success they bought the bank next door and transformed it into a hotel. The five star Hôtel Métropole opened five years later. French architect Alban Chambon created Brussels’ grandest hotel. It’s all refreshingly non boutique: big, brash, bombastic. Art Nouveau meets Art Deco outside. Louis the Hooey on steroids inside. More stained glass than a cathedral. The long reception desk is a leftover from its banking days. A period open lift adds to the mood. Bell boy! All the greats have been here, done it, done it here: Sarah Bernhardt | Albert Einstein | Lavender’s Blue. It’s the last remaining 19th century hotel in Brussels.