Brussels' Royal Windsor gets a $10M face-lift


BRUSSELS, Belgium -- The Royal Windsor Hotel here is pushing its luxury status up a notch with a $10 million overhaul.

The five-star property revamped its lobby and reception space. New decor will be unveiled in half of its 266 guest rooms by this summer; the other half will be done in 2000.

Voice mail was added in all guest rooms; laptop dataports are slated to follow in March.

The 25-year-old hotel, located near Grand Place, the city's historic main square, strives for a "cozy, homey feeling," general manager Douwe Cramer said.

"We're not as stark and flashy as some of our competitors."

Current projects, to be finished by year's end, include upgrading the English pub and expanding the garage from 80 to 120 parking spots, Cramer said.

The hotel also bought an adjacent medical clinic, which it will tear down to build meeting space, a health club and about 40 apartments over the next few years. (The hotel has a fitness room but no pool.)

As the property upgrades, average rates will increase slightly, Cramer said. Current rates run about $300, double.

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