Hotel Hygge is bringing the Danish way of life to Brussels
Hotel Hygge opened its doors in Brussels’ high-end shopping district, Louiza, in September of last year. Designed by architect Michel Penneman, with a total of 50 rooms, divided into ‘Cozy’ and ‘Relax’, the hotel has an aesthetic that draws on Scandinavian design and the hugely fashionable Danish lifestyle movement, hygge.
Hygge (pronounced ‘hoo-ga’) is about feeling cosy, comfy and content. It is warm jumpers, steaming teas, crackling fireplaces, comfy sofas and snuggling up with a book. It is taking pleasure in the simple things – even if outside it is cold and dark and it’s been raining for a month.
The Hotel is designed with soft colours, textiles and lots of wood. ‘We created a universe conducive to relaxation, well-being and comfort, punctuated by creations of Scandinavian designers,’ says Penneman. While the interior is minimal and functional, the hygge philosophy infuses every hanging lampshade, every slender chair leg and every cushioned bedspread, and ignites the simple design with character and purpose. Take the breakfast offer of organic granola, pastries, soya milk, fruit, etc.. It isn’t the Ritz, but, just like the Scandinavian design, it does the basics very well – and wakes you up calm and content.
This place doesn’t do luxury. It has neither bells nor whistles. It rejects special features and mod-cons. But the utilisation of hygge in its design and branding nevertheless gives this fairly simple 3-star hotel a strong aspirational appeal. But is the movement upon which this appeal is based merely a fad?
The word Hygge has been in use for over 200 years and is a huge part of the Danish way of life. While it is particularly in vogue right now, the essence of it (comfort, contentment) is a perennial aspiration. And when all the books and blogs about it have been written, the very human desire for the feeling it embodies will still be there.
If anything, Hotel Hygge could potentially go further to leverage its positioning. Why not offer DIY comfort food for late-night eaters, city recommendations and/or tours in line with the hygge concept, or even hygge-related products for sale on site. These are just examples, but if Hotel Hygge make the most of this opportunity they really have a chance to become the flagship representative in Belgium of this perennial movement. And that’s a pretty comfy place to be.
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Picture credit: © Hotel Hygge