The hotel is situated at the Rogier square, near the Nieuwstraat, and is being renovated. The revamped hotel will open in September, but lovers of old pieces have to take their chance this week. Dozens of old items are being sold, including a cabinet from the Grace Kelly suite, where Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco once spent the night.
Hotel le palace was founded in 1910 by Georges Marquet, the son of a sailor and a female bartender, who would become one of the richest Belgians of his time. Marquet starts as a hotel assistant but gradually works his way up. He will own hotels in Madrid, San Sebastian and Paris, and found casinos across Europe. A portrait of Georges Marquet and his family is also being put up for auction (see picture below).
The hotel was built in 1908 and 1909 in art-nouveau style. Some of the biggest stars of the 20th century would stay there, including Grace Kelly and her husband Prince Rainier of Monaco. The couple stays there on two occasions, in 1956 and 1958. A suite is being prepared for them in 1958 for the occasion of the World Exhibition.
Other guests include actor Orson Welles, actress Brigitte Bardot and the late Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.