London-based design studio Saar Zafrir Design has unveiled its latest project, Craves, a 59-room boutique hotel, and its restaurant Le Conteur, located in the heart of the city next to Belgium’s Grand Place. Transporting guests to the design language of the early 1900’s, Saar Zafrir Design has birthed an experiential hotel concept at Craves focused upon a decadent interior decor intended to arouse the senses.

The design concept of Craves hotel revolves around the five human senses with the intent to evoke and stimulate certain feelings in guests, much like experiencing a craving for something. With a dark and opulent aesthetic, Craves whisks its guests back to the Burlesque-era with its lavish velvet furnishings and antiquated accessories reminiscent of art-deco interiors.
The hotel encompasses 59 comfortable rooms and one suite, whilst Le Conteur, an upscale and contemporary bar and restaurant with a Levantine kitchen occupies the ground floor. Presenting a sophisticated yet casual and intimate dining experience, the concept for Le Conteur was derived from creating an atmosphere nostalgic of being at your best friend’s wedding. Upon entering the hotel, guests are greeted by an imposing reception desk crafted from smooth wood with a marble top and gold finishings. A large mirror with an aged overlay serves as the backdrop to the desk, with rows of classic style tasselled room keys lined below. Fine parquet wood flooring runs throughout the lobby, setting the standard for this cosy and sumptuous boutique property, which is scattered with playful gadgets to add an element of fun and surprise.
With a design aesthetic truly unique to Belgium’s hotel scene, the majority of the furnishings have been designed and manufactured by the Saar Zafrir studio. Saar Zafrir, founder of the firm, said: “We wanted to bring something new to the city of Belgium, and create an experience that isn’t typical of the hotel offerings here. Craves is a hotel for people who enjoy life and want to have fun. It presents a sensual energy, from the welcome at reception, to the rooms and restaurant. We certainly had a lot of fun creating it.”
Decorated with an intense colour palette of black and snorkel blue, the hotel corridors and rooms present a true air of opulence. Each of the 59 rooms feature a sumptuous navy velvet bed and headboard and matching velvet drapes that frame the windows, secured with contrasting gold ties. Blue painted walls are divided by traditional black panelling and a floral wall border that envelopes the room, with blue-tone patterned rugs laid upon hardwood flooring. Marble surfaces and brass accents finish the space, which is embellished with vintage gadgets and accessories. Guests have the choice of three room categories; “Petite Craves”, “Superior Craves” or “Deluxe Craves”, and offers one “Family Suite” that sleeps up to four.
Le Conteur, the hotel’s bar and restaurant, ushers in a new dining experience to the Belgian capital with a sophisticated aesthetic and kitchen serving contemporary Levantine cuisine. Le Conteur’s interiors blend the cosmopolitan energy of Brussels with a unique Levantine cuisine concept, adding an exciting new dimension to the city’s dining landscape for both local and international visitors. With a warm palette of burnt orange and mustard yellow, and wooden floors and furnishings with gold accents, Le Conteur presents an inviting and intimate dining atmosphere, designed to make diners feel as if they were invited to a private dinner party in the chef’s kitchen. The lively bistro is defined by white subway-tiled walls, checkered and Herringbone flooring, upholstered booths and circular seating, Mediterranean flora, bronze statuettes and marble café tables. Le Conteur presents a spectacular cocktail bar with an impressive menu of classic cocktails that fuse European and Levantine influences, and open kitchen offering an abundance of locally sourced meat and fish, and seasonal vegetables paired with the aromas and spices of the Middle East for a stimulating and diverse palette.
Craves Brussels is the inaugural property to launch from this new hotel brand, ideated and developed by Saar Zafrir, with plans for additional Craves hotels to launch in Paris, amongst other major European cities.