Hotel des Colonies Historic Héritage

In 1901, two Belgian friends established a small enterprise and called it Alimentation Automatique. The name of their business adequately expressed its particular novelty, as the owners proved their creativity in the restaurant by installing the first machines that produced sandwiches. The enterprise flourished, and the two friends decided to expand; they established a hotel business on our present site and called it ``Alimentation Automatique Hotels de Cologne & de Baviere``.

Our establishment has attracted many celebrities and notable figures from the past century. The most famous British military leader, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery was one of them. In the hotel's archives, we discovered his 1944 Christmas speech to his troops. The Americans for their part found the location of Hotel des Colonies so pleasant, that they stayed to transform it into an Art Nouveau style hotel, modernizing it in what would become the style of the 1950s. The old mosaic fountain always evokes the atmosphere of the winter garden of the Grand Hotel des Colonies where the casino was the happiness of the players.

A major fact of Belgian history subsequently inspired them to rename their hotel Hotel des Colonies. King Leopold II had acquired extensive regions of Central-African territory bordering the Congo River, and his personal sovereignty over the region was recognized in 1885. However, the King decided to make a gift of it to his own beloved country, and in 1909 the Belgian parliament voted to annex the Congo Free State, making it a colony that became known as the Belgian Congo. Although the Congo regained its independence in 1960, the name Hotel des Colonies survived all historical turmoil.