“Guests staying with us for the first time are always surprised,” begins Maurits Kautz, general manager at Motel One Brussels. “They do not expect such smart design from a budget hotel.” At the heart of any Motel One hotel is the One Lounge – a living room, café and bar in one. Each One Lounge has its own unique design, although an element of recognition will always be apparent – such as the brand’s trademark turquoise colour. “When people arrive it’s important that they feel at home,” smiles Kautz. There are nods to Belgium’s famous exports including chocolate and lace in the decor at One Lounge Brussels, while a depiction of Leopold I, first King of the Belgians, and his wife Louise adds a royal touch to the elegant bar.