Summer series in the secret of unusual places of power: at the Amigo, discretion assured

The Amigo hotel and its Bocconi restaurant are prized by political leaders for their (relatively) hidden from view. A place conducive to informal discussions.

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Journalist at the World Service

Reading time: 9 mins

VSt was a prison, it has become a “confessional”… Five stars on the route for tourists in a hurry, between the Grand-Place and Manneken-Pis. A harmonious neighborhood with the town hall and the central police station. One hundred and seventy-three rooms and as many staff members, the norm at this level of standing, that of the Leading Hotels of the World, a select club to which belong, among other palaces, the Ritz in Paris, the Negresco in Nice… and the Amigo in Brussels. A “second house” in the street to which he gives his name, born of a linguistic misunderstanding. In 1522, the building was transformed into a jail, “vrunt” in Dutch, which Spanish soldiers would have confused with “vriend” (friend), and nicknamed amigo. The confusion spans the centuries since a famous defendant in a financial affair, announcing to his wife that he would spend the night “at the amigo” (in the dungeon), was heard to answer “oh but that’s great” (l ‘hotel)…

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