After visiting the Horta Museum, explore another creation by Victor Horta: the Solvay Hotel in Brussels. Indeed, this hotel is considered the pinnacle of his work, and it is a must-visit during your stay in the capital.
Why visit the Solvay Hotel in Brussels?
The Solvay Hotel has recently opened its doors to the public. This remarkable Art Nouveau-style residence was commissioned for the son of industrialist Ernest Solvay and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This private mansion, dazzling in every detail, was designed and built to maximize the space of each room.
Remember that Victor Horta was a prominent Belgian architect, designer, and decorator of the Art Nouveau style. He was known for his bold use of stone, steel, and glass, as well as his curves and double curves that evoke elements of nature. That’s why Victor Horta is considered the pioneer of Art Nouveau in architecture today. For the realization of the Solvay Hotel, Victor Horta had complete freedom in terms of expenses and ideas. That’s why this hotel is one of the most accomplished works of this famous architect.
The main objective of this residence was to create a spacious space with majestic reception rooms, service areas, and a spacious private area. Thus, you will enter a world of subtle colors. The hotel has no less than 58 fireplaces and incorporates materials such as glass, light, and various types of wood like mahogany and sycamore, to name a few. You will also be impressed by the 23 types of marbles used in an innovative way.
What to expect during your visit:
The ground floor:
Upon entering the ground floor of the Solvay Hotel in Brussels, your attention will first be drawn to the carriage entrance leading to the entrance hall. The reception area includes a cloakroom and a lounge. You will also find a kitchen and a pantry. Progressing through this hall, you will take the grand staircase adorned with cipolin marble, mahogany railings, and orange-toned carpets reminiscent of the Tassel Hotel’s colors. Light then emanates from the colorful skylight and mosaic ceiling, illuminating the majestic staircase and the beginning of the bel étage. The stables are also accessible from the ground floor.
This magnificent staircase leads you to the “bel étage”, designed for receptions and banquets. On the street side, you will discover the billiard room, the lounge, and the music room. On the garden side are the dining room and the pantry. This dining room, adorned with shades of red, orange, and yellow, resembles the colors of a painting and highlights the golden elements of the ceilings. Additionally, on this floor, you will find semi-transparent doors that clearly delineate the three salons. Once inside, you will be charmed by the two bow windows that flood the room with light. Finally, Horta added glass partitions that can fully open, allowing visitors to communicate freely between the different spaces on this floor.
On the first floor, you will find the winter garden, which provides access to Mr. and Mrs. Solvay’s offices at the front, as well as their bedroom. At the rear, you will find a toilet, a playroom, and a study for the children.
In Mr. Solvay’s office, you will notice a stained glass window within a richly wooded room, with a tree motif behind a geometric composition alternating real wood and brown glass. On this floor, you will also discover the hotel’s only bathroom, clad in enameled bricks, Carrara marble, and doors made of mirrors and blue glass. The third floor houses the children’s bedrooms, separated by the governess’s room. The fourth floor is reserved for staff and includes five rooms.
The facade of the Solvay Hotel in Brussels is made of blue and white stones. You will also notice that this private mansion was built during the “see and be seen” era, which explains the presence of many windows and glass in the design. Special attention has been paid to the frames, including a magnificent oak door pierced with wrought iron, as well as oak frames with double glazing. Plant motifs are also integrated into the curves and counter-curves of the facade. At the rear, the facade is more sober, composed of bricks and blue and white stones. A splendid terrace on the level of the dining room on the first floor, adorned with blue stone dice, offers a remarkable view.
Come and discover this private mansion during your stay in Brussels!
Practical Information for Your Visit to the Solvay Hotel in Brussels:
How to get to the Solvay Hotel in Brussels?
To reach this private mansion, you have several options:
- Take tram line 93 from Royale stop to Bailli stop, then walk for 2 minutes.
- Opt for bus line 38 from Gare Centrale stop to Biarritz stop, followed by a 7-minute walk to the Solvay Hotel.
- Take bus line 71 from De Brouckère stop to musée d’Ixelles stop, then walk 8 minutes to the Solvay Hotel.
If you’re feeling adventurous, a walk on foot is also possible, as is using a taxi to reach the Solvay Hotel.
What is the entrance fee for visiting the Solvay Hotel?
Admission fee: The entrance fee is set at 18 euros (tickets available on the hotelsolvay.be website).
What are the days and opening hours?
Opening hours: The Solvay Hotel welcomes you on Thursdays from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM, as well as on Saturdays from 10 AM to 5:30 PM.
Learn more about Art Nouveau:
- For a complete immersion in the world of Art Nouveau in Brussels, book our free tour called “Free Art Nouveau Tour in Brussels.” Available every Saturday at 10 AM, this meeting starts from the Grand-Place, right in front of the Town Hall. For these free tours, your contribution is voluntary and depends on your appreciation of the guide’s performance.
- If you desire a more personalized experience, Bravo Discovery offers a “Guided Tour of Art Nouveau and Art Deco in Brussels” for 170 euros. This private tour is designed for you and your group, with a dedicated guide at your service.