Our Story & History

An Oasis of Luxury, Wellness, and Culinary Excellence Steeped in Historic Legacy

In the heart of Antwerp lies your Botanic Sanctuary. Once a revered monastery, our magnificent haven now opens its doors to you as a 5-star superior destination for luxurious tranquillity.

Immerse yourself in our world of hospitality, wellness, and culinary delights, building upon the rich legacy of our historic site. Celebrate the fusion of art, culture, and nature.

Every stay with us is a unique experience. Every moment is a lasting memory. Be a part of our ongoing tale of luxury, history, and healing. Here, the past shapes the present and inspires the future.

Come and find your inner sanctuary within our storied walls. Discover our vision and history below.

The Fragments of Our Story

The story and history of Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp
The story and history of Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp
The story and history of Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp

A Vision of Healing and Hospitality

At Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp, we dedicate ourselves to your rejuvenation and well-being. Nestled amidst a grove of alders, symbols of strength and protection, our unique location offers more than just a setting—it provides an experience steeped in tranquillity and restorative peace. Here, every moment is carefully tailored to nurture your body, mind, and soul.

Elegance in Every Corner

We welcome you to our meticulously restored buildings - Sint-Joris, Monasterium, Sint-Elisabeth, Alnetum, and Filips Van Marnix Huis. Each room, suite, and spa suite is a sanctuary where monastic tranquillity and high-end contemporary luxury converge. Envelop yourself in an ambiance of unparalleled serenity and privacy, where every detail is crafted for your comfort and relaxation. Your personal retreat in a historical masterpiece awaits.

Culinary Excellence and Epicurean Delights

Savour the rich flavours of authentic Belgian cuisine at Henry’s Bar & Bistro or indulge in the exquisite creations of our Michelin-starred chefs at Hertog Jan and Fine Fleur. Our dining venues are not just places to eat, but stages for gastronomic masterpieces that celebrate the very essence of culture, tradition, and identity. With each dish, we invite you to explore a world of culinary delights, where every bite tells a story, and every meal becomes a cherished part of your own epicurean journey.

A Sanctuary of Wellbeing

Explore our Botanic Health Spa, where we blend rich monastic healing traditions with a modern approach, offering you a holistic wellness journey. Experience a unique blend of herbalism, phytotherapy, and nutrition, crafted just for you. Our sanctuary is more than a place for treatments; it is a transformative experience for your spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being. Reconnect with yourself in this haven of restoration and tranquillity.

A Garden of Tranquillity

Our Botanical Garden, once the domain of apothecary Pieter Coudenberg, is not just a source of natural healing but also a serene retreat from bustling city life. It's a place where history, nature, and the art of healing intertwine. Stroll into luxurious tranquillity.

Celebrations and Moments of Joy

Envision your dream wedding in our enchanting 15th-century chapel, a grand gala in the opulence of our ballroom, or marking a golden anniversary under the stars in our lush garden. Transform every moment into a memory cherished forever at Botanic Sanctuary, tailored uniquely for you. Craft personal, unforgettable experiences that become a part of your story.

A Hub of Culture and Commerce

Time for business? Our Sanctuary also serves as a vibrant centre for meetings, conferences, and events, blending historic charm with modern amenities. For those seeking retail therapy, our shopping arcade offers a selection of luxurious and healthful products.

Our History: The Monastic Roots

History of Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp monastic roots
History of Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp monastic roots

1226 - 1400

The Dawn of a Legacy

In 1226, our (hi)story began with a hospital near the Cathedral of Our Lady, expanding by 1238 into Elzenveld, a symbol of healing and care, and the birthplace of Sint-Elisabeth Hospital.

1400 - 1500

An Era of Architectural Mastery

The 15th century marked an architectural renaissance. The historical chapel, a gem of its era, rose in 1400, with the Gothic infirmary solidifying our site’s importance in Antwerp’s healthcare history.

1500 - 1600

Renaissance: Growth and Expansion

This century saw expansion and innovation, with new infirmaries and a chapel enhancing our service to the community. It was also when Pieter Coudenberg’s medicinal garden took root, foreshadowing today’s Botanical Garden.

1600 - 1798

Transition and Transformation

The 17th century brought grandeur with the construction of the rectory and monastery. A significant shift in 1798 saw the hospital’s transition from religious to civil management, heralding a new era.

The 19th Century

A Time of Change

The 19th century was a period of transformation. The sanctuary saw various adaptations, expansions, and renovations, reflecting the evolving needs of the era. Notably, the construction of the orangery in 1884 added a touch of elegance to the Botanical Garden.

The 20th Century

Preserving Heritage

Dedicated to preserving our rich heritage, the 20th century saw extensive restoration works, protecting the chapel, monastery, and rectory, and welcoming a new hospital, bridging tradition with modernity.

2001 - Present

A New Millennium: Rebirth and Revitalization

In the 21st century, our cherished site embarked on a new journey, blossoming into Hotel Elzenveld. Between 2019 and 2021, under the visionary guidance of IRET Development and AIDarchitecten, a remarkable transformation unfolded. The birth of Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp marked a fusion of history and contemporary luxury, creating an unparalleled haven of elegance and wellness. This era ushers in a celebration of our storied past with the sophistication of modern comforts.