Review: Hampshire HotelO in Antwerp

Spending the night in Antwerp, Belgium? The Hampshire Hotel HotelO is located in Antwerp’s historic center, right under the wings of one of the main attractions in the city: the Cathedral of Our Lady.

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Describing HotelO is a tricky affair. There are so many small elements, each complementing the other and making the whole greater than the sum of its parts. There’s the funny Hamlet parody at the entrance which is a wink to the name of the hotel (to sleep or not to sleep – get it?), the black corridor, black elevator and black rooms that stand in big contrast to the pristine white facade, the quirky bar O with its vintage radios against the wall and then, the icing on the cake: the design of the rooms.

Sleeping with angels and warriors

All 37 rooms have a unique wallpaper design that give the rooms both a vintage and design feel. Our ‘Kathedral room’ had angelic and warrior-like figures up against the wall, from the headboard of my queen size box spring, all the way up over the ceiling to the other side of the room. It makes for a great first impression when you enter the room. Another cool feature is the bathtub. It has four glass walls running all the way up against the ceiling, with an opening in one of them to enter the tub. It definitely called for a foam party…

O, O the view

HotelO is located in Antwerp’s historic center, across the street from Cathedral of Our Lady. If you book a Cathedral room, you’re bound to have a front side view, overlooking the stunning cathedral. Fun discovery while gazing through the windows: the balustrade balcony is made up by the letter ‘O’! The ‘Handschoenmarkt’ where the hotel is located is part of the historic city centre, so you’re right where you need to be for a stroll to the ‘Grote Markt’, the 16th-century Town Hall and the many restaurants and shops. Here’s a tip for a nice (veggie) diner: Pasta Hippo-Vino.  

Good to know:

  • There are different types of rooms and I stayed in the Kathedral room.
  • You can’t stay in a centrally located hotel with a bit of noise in the evenings. The hotel provides ear plugs for its guests.
  • Better share the room with someone you now well because apart form the seperate toilet the bathroom is very, very open.
  • I read some negative reviews on booking sites regarding the breakfast, but I beg to differ. The breakfast is pricy (15 euro per person) but delicious! There are all kinds of freshly baked breads, croissants and a great variety of toppings, fruits, ham, cheese, juices, eggs, coffee and tea, cereal …
  • The cathedral bells stop chiming during night.
  • Free Rituals toiletries and free wifi!

Practical information

You can’t park right in front of the hotel, but there are two large car parks within a 100 m walk from the hotel, called Groenplaats and Grote Markt. Price per night for 2 persons: 89 to 134 euro, excluding breakfast.

Handschoenmarkt 3, Antwerpen, Belgium

  • I also want to stay in this hotel, althought I’m from Antwerp ;o) So close to the cathedral, it must be heaven!

    • Tine

      Haha 🙂

  • well it’s certainly different! I’m not sure that the black walls and giant paintings are conducive to sleep! I might wake in the middle of the night and get a shock!

    • Tine

      Maybe that’s the whole idea: it makes you run straight to the Cathedral afterwards for a little prayer 😉 Just joking, it wasn’t scary at all, all nice and dark!