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Hotel Highlights

  • Witty and stylish retro design scheme
  • Striking skyline views from the wrap-around terrace
  • Huge rooms with slate-floored bathrooms and bespoke photography

Overview

Just 10 minutes from Brussels' Midi Station, you couldn’t wish for a more conveniently situated hotel. But, once inside, you forget the pros and cons of the location – the smart and striking monochrome visuals, coupled with the Barbarella-disc ‘curtains’ and retro furnishings, give Be Manos the sleek, svelte looks of Sixties Soho.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Be Manos with us:

Free admission to the spa

Facilities

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Be Manos Hotel - Brussels - Belgium

Need To Know

Rooms

60, including 25 suites.

Check–out

Midday. Later check-out (until 3pm) may be available.

Rates

Double rooms from $123.78 (€94), excluding tax at 5 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €6.00 per room per night on check-out.

More details

Rates exclude breakfast (€20 a person).

Also

Look out for the wall-mounted designer Plexiglass apple-holders dotted around the hotel. No, really. And help yourself to an apple.

At the hotel

Spa with sauna, hammam and massage salon, boutique shop, free WiFi throughout, valet parking. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, Korres toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

Size matters at Be Manos – every room is at least 30sqm, meaning that whatever you book, you’ll have oodles of feline-flinging space. We’re especially keen on the two rear-facing junior suites (412 and 512), which have their own terraces. Hotel room interiors are bold monochrome creations, with the slick black masculinity offset by softer touches such as suede fabrics and opaline glass ornaments.

Packing tips

Brussels is a moist, strollable city, so comfortable shoes and an umbrella (preferably retro print) will see you right.

Also

Some designated smoking rooms are available. Pets are welcome for €30 a day.

Children

Although the hotel is more suited to adults, over-fives are welcome, with extra beds at €50 a night. Babysitting can be arranged with advance notice. Be Manos’ staff can prepare children’s meals to order.

Eco‐friendly

In addition to a comprehensive recycling policy and the use of chemical-free toiletries and detergents, the hotel’s kitchens make use of seasonal, local ingredients.

Food & Drink

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Be Manos Hotel - Brussels - Belgium

Hotel Restaurant

Gleaming monochrome and illuminated with shimmering, bubbly chandeliers, Be Lella cooks up a hearty and harmonious marriage of French and Belgian cuisine, with some excellent seafood and melt-in-the-maw Blanc-bleu Belge beef.

Hotel Bar

Both the lobby bar and the guests-only Black Lounge are dressed in Be Manos’ signature monochrome, hung with tinkling veils of silver disks that throw kaleidoscopic patterns on the walls. The Black Lounge leads out onto a timber-decked terrace.

Last orders

The kitchen closes at 11pm.

Room service

Meals and snacks are available in room between 7am and 11pm.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Paco Rabanne mini-dresses and op-art chic.

Top table

Park yourselves on the curved white banquette on the corner table for some premium people watching.

Local Guide

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Be Manos Hotel - Brussels - Belgium
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Cast aside any preconceptions of windswept Euro-avenues and greying fritkots: behind the city’s spinsterly, conservative façade lies a friendly, vibrant city, packed with vintage finds, fantastic food and – of course – scintillating bars. A 15-minute walk away, the striking Grand Place is a waffle-scented feat of Baroque, Gothic and 17th-century architecture. Stop by nearby Dandoy (+32 (0)2 511 03 26) on the aptly named Rue au Beurre (butter street) to stock up on traditional speculoos biscuits and gingerbreads to take home. The city centre has its fair share of quirky independent boutiques. Some of Hello James’ (+32 (0)472 258 299) covetable selection of hand-crafted goods are made in-store; we love the very tactile leather clutches and hold-alls from Niyona. Gabriele Vintage (+32 (0)2 2 512 67 43) houses a remarkable collection of ballgowns and costume jewellery. In the Sablon, Ma Maison de Papier (+32 (0)2 512 22 49) stocks beautiful vintage posters, but for a truly unique Brussels find, head to the flea market on Place du Jeu de Balle, where you can pick up anything from a 70s exercise bike to fur coats.

Local restaurants

Viva M’Boma’s white-and-blue façade on rue de Flandres is tiny, but an airy dining room and pretty terrace lie beyond. You’ll need a healthy appetite for offal: if it’s a trotter, a marrowbone or a giblet, it’s on the menu. A couple of stops away on the metro, Sale Pepe Romasrino (+32 (0)2 538 90 63) is an intimate Italian trattoria dishing up rustic pasta, saltimbocca and seasonal specials; the walls and ceilings are covered in the hand-drawn doodles of a loyal customer who dined here for 14 years. You’re best to book ahead at both. Served in a former butcher’s shop, La Buvette’s inventive set menus are fantastic value (+32 (0)2 534 13 03).

Local bars

It would be a cardinal sin to leave without sampling Belgium’s dark golden lambic beers. You’re in luck: the Cantillon Brewery (+32 (0)2 521 49 28) is just steps from the hotel. With its vintage signs, tiled floors, hearty lunches and live jazz music, La Brocante (+32 (0)2 512 13 43) near the flea market is a laid-back daytime spot for a glass of fizzy, sour Gueuze. If you’re after something a little more fruity, the little red cocktail van in the shadow of Sainte-Catherine may be just the ticket. Dimly lit Hortense (+32 (0) 2 514 43 47), on rue des Sablons, is the place for bespoke cocktails using sloe gin, smoky Mezcal and punchy vermouths.

Local cafés

For a quick meal on the hoof near Sainte-Catherine, push yourself to the front of the queue (a nebulous concept at best) at ABC Mateos (+32 (0)2 512 75 47), a tiny fishmonger and tapas bar where sea-fresh fish is cooked à la plancha while you wait with a glass of crisp white wine. Across the street, its rival Nordzee (+32 (0)2 513 11 92) does much the same. The street food craze has finally hit Belgium after a slight delay: follow the Keep on Toasting van on Twitter to track down their tasty croques (posh cheese toasties with fillings such as salsify, leeks and truffle cream). For a more classic sit-down lunch, Café Métropole (+32 (0)2 214 25 25) is a magnificent affair of chandeliers, marble, mirrors and extravagant gilding.

+ Enlarge
Central city streets

Be Manos

23–27 Square de l’Aviation, Brussels, 1070

Planes

British Airways (www.ba.com) flies into Zaventem Airport, which is a 30-minute drive from the hotel. Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) links up Brussels with most of Europe via the South Charleroi Airport, 45 minutes away by car.

Trains

The Eurostar (www.eurostar.com) arrives from London and Paris into Brussels-Midi Station, from where a free shuttle service goes to and from the hotel on request. The other option is to take the tram for one stop to Lemonia, and the the hotel’s a short walk around the corner.

Automobiles

From the north, take the A12, or the A4 from the south, into central Brussels and follow signs for the R20, staying on this road until it becomes the Boulevard du Midi. Take a left onto Luchtvaartsquare, and the hotel is on the left.

Reviews

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Be Manos Hotel - Brussels - Belgium

Anonymous review

by Jody Day , Interiors insider

Packing is an art. Walking into Brussels boutique hotel Be Manos, I wished I’d packed a white skin-tight velvet trouser-suit, à la Bianca Jagger, because if Studio 54 were ever planning a relaunch in Belgium, this’d be the after-party venue. Sleek black floors and white walls form the backdrop to the biggest collection of glittery baubles I’ve seen since Elton John was in …
Read more

Be Manos

Anonymous review by Jody Day, Interiors insider

Packing is an art. Walking into Brussels boutique hotel Be Manos, I wished I’d packed a white skin-tight velvet trouser-suit, à la Bianca Jagger, because if Studio 54 were ever planning a relaunch in Belgium, this’d be the after-party venue. Sleek black floors and white walls form the backdrop to the biggest collection of glittery baubles I’ve seen since Elton John was in short trousers… Really, all that’s needed to complete the mood would be some spaced-out Courrèges-clad supermodels draped over the tubular furniture. But, luckily for us, what we found instead were a charming team of black-and-white clad twentysomethings, who turned out to be the staff.

Behind the check-in desk was a vast photo-montage of ‘real’ people (or civilians, as Liz Hurley memorably refers to them), most of them in a state of undress. It seemed a little saucy for Brussels but, then, what did I know about Belgium? I made a deal with myself that I’d be able to name more than three famous Belgians by the end of the weekend. Go on, can you?

As we took the glass-walled lift to our room on the second floor, the characters from the montage greeted us yet again… this time, blown up to life-size on the door of each room. A Miss Universe lookalike beckoned on ours, looking a bit come-hither, and inside there were more photos of her above the bed and in the bathroom in, er, what can only be described as a state of morning-afterness. It was a bit intimidating at first, as if we’d stumbled into someone else’s dirty weekend, but we got used to it, and Mr Smith didn’t seem too distracted later on…

Junior Suite 217 was a huge three-room affair set in an L-shape around a corner, with two big windows overlooking the modernist courtyard. There was a rather masculine black-slate bathroom with shower, huge bath, basin and separate loo (and lashings of Korres products), a vast black leather bed with angel-soft white bed-linen and sliding doors to our own living room. And, for us, the ultimate luxury: absolute silence.

Extraction from the silent space capsule was going to prove difficult, but Mr Smith promised me that the best frites in the world were to be found in Brussels – so I was out of the door like a shot. In less than 15 minutes we had passed through the moody North African district of Les Marolles, and were in what Victor Hugo called ‘the most beautiful square in the world’: La Grand Place.

Culture done for the evening, we continued with Mission Frites, hoping to have some with a beer at an outdoor café. But, no, it would seem that the hip don’t chip in Brussels today, unless with irony. Luckily, we found some masquerading as patatas bravas in Comocomo, a Basque tapas bar with its own sushi-style conveyor belt (go Brussels!). After this fusion experience, and in a blissful carb and Rioja coma, we fell through a trapdoor in time into the Goupil le Fol bar, a slice of Fifties beatnik nostalgia where the jukebox plays only Jacques Brel and Edith Piaf, the lighting is low and the owner gives pretty girls chocolates when they leave.

After a good night’s sleep, our lazy Saturday began with a scrummy breakfast in bed in our silent room (Be Manos even turns off the fountain at night) and a walk through chi-chi Sablon’s regular weekend antiques market. By now I was getting quite desperate for some properly unreconstructed, un-hip chips, and so we had a hilariously boozy lunch at an old-style Belgian institution, La Roue d’Or, complete with grumpy waiters, wooden banquettes, surrealist murals and a menu that would empty Noah’s Ark in less than a fortnight.

I don’t know if it was the wine, or possibly the chips, or maybe it was just the feeling of being the youngest couple in the restaurant by about 20 years, but we managed to get ourselves into a giggly flirtatious mess over our moules frites, and ended up shopping for saucy underwear and heading back to our hotel for forty wink winks.

Later that evening, we took up residence on a large silver sofa parked on a sea of shag pile in the Be Manos bar, and I tried their signature cocktail, the Be Lella Femme. Like everything else at Be Manos, it turned out to be delicious and did the job perfectly. The other guests seemed to be a Euro mix of photographers and designery types, and the bar swayed gently rather than rocked. Good-natured laughter filtered out from the restaurant, where late diners lingered, and we sloped off to bed at about 1am feeling quietly content.

The Sunday morning sky dawned blue as a mural above the white minimalist courtyard, and so we donned our fluffy robes and headed to the spa. On our way, we passed through an entirely black room and spied a huge white stuffed ostrich on the wall, as well as trays of apples suspended in help-yourself Perspex sculptures. It felt a bit like disappearing into a Pink Floyd album cover.

Having found the spa, we lay on loungers in the sun and bamboo-filled courtyard, popping in and out of the hamman and sauna. Then, pink and happy, we explored the outdoor areas of the hotel, including the spectacular 360-degree Black Terrace, where we read quietly in the sun on the huge black rattan high-sided sofas until, sadly, it was time to check out.

Packing to go home is another thing altogether: you realise which of your fantasies and expectations were fulfilled, and what surprised you. Jacques Brel, one of Brussels’ most famous sons, said that ‘in a man's life, there are two important dates: his birth and his death. Everything we do in between is not very important.’ I disagree. There are always frites, and comfy beds in silent rooms with the one you love. Be Manos has all of those. And I can name seven famous Belgians now.


Seven famous Belgians
René Magritte
Jacques Brel
Plastic Bertrand
Audrey Hepburn
Georges Lemaitre (originator of ‘Big Bang’ theory of cosmology)
Herge – creator of Tintin
Hercule Poirot (not really...)

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Be Manos's Guestbook below.

 

GoldSmith

Stayed on

We loved

There's a free shuttle between train station and hotel. I liked the very welcoming and accommodating staff, and the easy access to the metro for getting around. I would definitely stay again; I would like to take advantage of the spa next time.

Don’t expect

I wish I had known about the shuttle in advance. I would have used it for pickup at the station rather than walking through the not-so-nice neighborhood. As in many hotels, the shower leaks on to the floor; a seemingly small detail that is so important and easily fixable.

Rating: 8/10 stars