Peering above the surrounding buildings we spot The Hotel in the distance after exiting the metro at Louise. The walk from station to hotel takes us past a veritable who’s who of high street fashion labels, and I’m beginning to think that we might be under dressed for such an upmarket neighbourhood.
The Hotel’s staff doesn’t make us feel that way, though they do apologise for the room not being ready, and so we deposit our bags and head out to investigate Brussels. The lobby is tastefully decorated and has an amazing light fixture which I gawp at before we head off out the side door.
Upon our return we pick up our room key and head up to our room. The lifts are lined with a textured metal finish and I’m vaguely disappointed that we’re not on the top floor of the 27 available. Instead we’ll have to make do on the 24th, almost opposite the panoramic lounge which we’re allowed to use (which offers free refreshments), with a free mini-bar (!) and one floor below the gym and sauna. I’ve had free minibars before in Sharm and Petra, but never in a non-Muslim country, so I’m keen to see how much booze is on offer.
We enter the room and soak up the features. The blinds are down and the TV is on, its light cutting through the dimness. The TV has the lovely welcome message on it and we soon find the light switch to make the rest of the room visible. It’s quite a light switch!! After illuminating the room we take it all in.
It has an open plan bathroom and a toilet behind frosted glass. The mini-bar turns out to have a couple of cans of beer, some lemonade and a couple of mini-bottles of wine along with a couple of bottles of water, a can of coke and, this being Belgium, a bar of chocolate. Quite a haul!
The bed is huge, and feels great. There’s a lovely window nook which they have labelled “sofa niche” on the light remote and we’re just standing there taking it all in when I decide to hit the button for “Curtain Up”. Like a big reveal on some reality DIY show, the blinds slowly rise and reveal the amazing view to the northwest over the city. The tap and basin in the bathroom are very high tech and stylish, and there’s a sliding partition to provide some semblance of privacy. Definitely not a room to share with your boss on a business trip!!
With so many things we want to check out, I almost miss a really nice touch – in the sofa niche there is a collection of sockets for your electronics so that you can display them on the TV – a really nice touch so if you have movies on your laptop you can show them on the big screen without having to have the laptop right up close to the TV. And with such a wide selection of ports, you don’t need to have remembered your adapter either. Very thoughtful.
We head across the hallway to check out the panoramic lounge and the free refreshments. I’m quietly impressed. While there’s enough food there to constitute a meal, the serving sizes remind you they’re just there for snacking. Club sandwiches, mini desserts and little mini muffins nestle beside nuts and olives , while the drinks section makes me nod appreciably.
Water, soda, beer and wine – pretty close to whatever you want is there. I grab a club sandwich and a juice and wander along, checking out the decor. The blinds are mainly pulled, obscuring the view and I pull one up slightly and soon see why – the sunlight streams in almost blinding me! There’s seating below the window and a large dining table as well.
In one corner is a bookshelf with a bunch of books and standing awkwardly in front of them is a pretty impressive telescope, pointing at the floor as if it’s embarrassed.
A small group of guests are engaging a staff member in conversation at the end of the room with the food – apparently one of the guests works for someone famous and regales the others with stories of his adventures. I’m glad the lounge is so large – at the other end of the room near the books you can barely hear him.
Before long it’s time to go back to our room and get changed into the robes and head up one floor to the gym and sauna. The gym is just to take photos you understand, but the sauna to partake. The floor-to-ceiling windows make working out almost appealing with the whole southeast end taken up with a really well stocked and spacious gym.
But it’s the sauna which we really like. You enter separately through the changing rooms and we each separately notice the sign saying to expect nudity from here on in. On the other side we meet up and explore. There’s a super shower outside the hammam (steam room), and opposite that is the sauna, which has great views out the window.
Opposite the changing rooms there are a couple of relaxing rooms complete with loungers and the ubiquitous green apples and water. We’re actually surprised that someone else is actually using the facilities – three other guests are visit while we’re there and we see three more exploring the gym as we leave.
Suitably relaxed, we head out for food. We did weigh up dining at The Restaurant, but for some inexplicable reason they had built the restaurant on the ground floor. I couldn’t understand why they didn’t put it on the top floor – surely that would bring in the customers? After dinner we head back to The Hotel and enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.
In the morning we head down for breakfast. It’s quite a spread. Served in The Restaurant, there’s a great selection of fruits, juices and hot and cold foods. Definitely something for everyone! My favourites are the meatballs and the juice shots.
I particularly like the little labels on everything and the fact that they have a gluten free selection as well. The restaurant looks out over a small lawn and on the other side of the tree lined fence is a park. It’s nice, but nowhere as nice as the top floor would be. Ange comes back from the bathroom with a photo of the amusing Gents/Ladies sign.
Pros and Cons
Would I Go Back?
Definitely! It’s a hotel where they make it hard to go sightseeing because the room is so inviting. If you want some company, go read in the panoramic lounge. Want to relax? Have a sauna. Want some exercise? Gym with a view. Everything you want or need, right in the comfort of The Hotel.