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Hotel Matelote, Antwerp 

11A Haarstraat
Belgium 2000
Tel: 32 3 201 88 00
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

Occupying a renovated sixteenth-century brick house on a tiny lane steps from the medieval Grote Markt, the intimate Matelote is a refreshing take on the traditional Flemish talent for cozy interiors. Each of the nine individually designed rooms has high ceilings with exposed wood beams, a built-in music system with four sound tracks, and quality bedding that runs to feather pillows and duvets. Interesting Belgian contemporary art and Artemide lamps define these rooms, which have spacious bathrooms and earthy color schemes. It's a laid-back place where you feel like a houseguest—a fire burns in the lobby, you get an electronic front-door card so that you can come and go as you please, and the front desk is eager with suggestions when it comes to this fashion-mad town's latest boutiques, restaurants, and clubs. (Not surprisingly, the Matelote is where the global fashion crowd pitch camp when in Antwerp.) There's no on-site dining, but the staff can help get a reservation at Gin-Fish, two doors down and the best restaurant in town, with contemporary seafood served at a counter where you can watch the chef at work.

—2008 Hot List

When to go: Antwerp is at its best in April and May.

Which room to book: The attic room is a romantic charmer.

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