Ambassador Ray Azzopardi welcomes Mr Pascal Smet, Secretary of State of the Brussels-Capital Region, responsible for Urbanism and Heritage at the site of Corinthia Grand Hotel Astoria on Tuesday 9th February 2021

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: Feb 17, 2021
In view of the current pandemic and travel restrictions, H.E Ray Azzopardi, Ambassador of Malta to Belgium, represented the Corinthia Group, to welcome H.E Mr Pascal Smet Secretary of State of the Brussels-Capital Region, responsible for Urbanism and Heritage, European and International Relations, during a visit to the site of Corinthia Grand Hotel Astoria, which is currently undergoing restoration works.

During his welcome speech, Ambassador Azzopardi thanked the Secretary of State Mr Pascal Smet for his visit and expressed appreciation towards the Brussels Regional Government for supporting this Maltese investment project in the capital city of Brussels. Ambassador Azzopardi assured the Secretary of State about Corinthia Group’s longstanding successful history of restoring buildings of national importance. It was reiterated that the Corinthia Group hotels and buildings across the globe, offer a unique tribute and respect to local architecture and cultural traditions, which is also foreseen for the Corinthia Grand Hotel Astoria. He added that he is aware that Corinthia is looking forward to the prospect of reinstating the property to its former glory as the country’s leading luxury hotel. The property will showcase the best of what Belgium has to offer.

The Secretary of State Mr Pascal Smet said that he is pleased that finally the historical Brussels Hotel Astoria, almost 15 years after it closed its doors, is getting the much-awaited renovation. He added that his regional Government is helping this Maltese investment in Brussels by subsidising the project with a sum of EUR 2.7 million. Mr Smet explained that when heritage for the people in the city is mentioned it refers to the identity of the city i.e. the things that are part of being a ‘Bruxellois’. He stated that once renovations are completed, the hotel will be returned to the people of the city in all its splendour, and that he hopes that all people, including Brussels’ locals, will rejoice and gather in this building. The project is being led by renowned Belgian architect Francis Metzger and is collaboratively carried out by construction firms Jansen and Herpain.

When discussing his renovation plans, the Belgian Architect Metzger looked back at the history of Hotel Astoria and explained that the needs of a client are not at all the same now relative to when it was first built. Serious work is needed to renew this hotel and to prepare it for a different world. Architect Metzger stated that there are necessary modifications and alterations to be made, but it’s important not to change the hotel’s identity. The transformation is set to include the renovation and modernisation of 121 rooms and suites, and the addition of two extra floors to the building’s original structure.

Hotel Astoria, which was originally built in 1909 at the request of King Léopold II for the Brussels International Exposition - the following year - was once the top address in the city, welcoming guests such as Winston Churchill, Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol.

Ambassador Ray Azzopardi during his welcome speech to Secretary of State Pascal Smet at the entrannce of the Corinthia Grans Hot 

Belgian architect Francis Metzger during his presentation on the works at the historical Corinthia Grand Hotel Astoria 

Mr Pascal Smet Secratry of State of the Brussels Capital Region Govenrment during his speech 

Grand Hotel Astoria Brussels 1940