When you receive an itinerary for a business trip, the first thing you do is check out the assigned hotel and restaurant right? Well, as a food and travel blogger, I do anyway. Then I check out whether the hotel has a gym or spa. Naturally. So you can imagine my disappointment when my itinerary for the P&G conference that I attended in Brussels earlier this month just said ‘The Hotel’. Gutted. I guess I was just going to have to wait and see where we ended up.
I met the rest of my group in the business lounge for our short Eurostar trip and we got chatting about the trip. That’s when I found out that the hotel was in fact called ‘The Hotel’. Doy. That hadn’t even occurred to me when I had scanned the page the day before. Luckily, it turns out that upon arrival everyone knows ‘The Hotel’. In fact, when you get in a taxi and say, ‘Take me to The Hotel!‘, they just say ‘Ah, oui, The Hotel!’ and drive. Ideal really.
Sometimes it’s nicer to have done no research for a place, so that you can arrive with no pre-conceptions. We walked into the reception to classic, welcoming decor. I expected a lot of white and clean modern lines, but it’s actually a modernised hotel decorated in a modern way but with a classic European edge. The interior is dark with great lighting and seating. The hotel was originally opened in 1969 as a Hilton hotel, but is now owned by Swedish hotel group Pandox AB. And actually as soon as you realise that, you see that the decor is exactly this fantastic mix of 1960s cocktail hour, Mad Men-esque detail with modern Swedish design.
And the rooms? Ah, the rooms. This is where you do find the clean white lines and the Scandinavian design. Open plan with a great use of mirrors and a fantastic shower. If you are lucky enough to have a corner room, which I would highly recommend you request, then you will have some stunning views. I was only on the 6th floor and I loved what I could see of the city. I can only imagine what it was like higher up. In terms of facilities, like any good, modern hotel room, there was a Nespresso machine and a kettle with a great selection of quality teas. I love a mint tea in the evening, so that’s a plus in my books. Often you find green which, with caffeine, isn’t the best choice before bed. And once I had phoned housekeeping to note the lack of tea and coffee cups in my room and been informed by a very patient employee that the glasses were heatproof, something I imagine he says on average about 10 times a day, then I was suitably impressed. (A note by the coffee machine may help here.) The whole room is controlled by a fancy little switch panel by the bed. From there you can switch on and off the lights in all areas of the room and, very excitingly, put the blinds up and down. Practicing ultimate restraint, I only did this once. Ok, twice. But, you know, a girl’s gotta test these things!
Something that I loved was how on it the social media team were, whoever they were. I instagrammed my room upon arrival and they instantly liked the photo and followed me. I tweeted good night from my fabulous bed and they tweeted right back. Nice work team, very impressed! I slept brilliantly with blackout blinds and great pillows. The shower was amazing. I only wish I had washed my hair there to get the full effect, but I had already done it post-workout that morning, so I was grateful for the loose shower head that was just as good as the rainforest shower above. Breakfast was pretty good too with a wide range of cereals, continental pastries, fruit and hot food, and the dining room was lovely. I opted for ham, cheese and egg for a good protein hit plus a little yoghurt and muesli with hot water and lemon, having got my Nespresso fix upstairs. I only wish that I had had time to explore what looked like a great spa with panoramic views on the top floor. Maybe I’ll have to go back for ‘The Hotel, Part Deux‘. Sounds like a jolly good idea to me. I definitely didn’t see enough of Brussels anyway.
Oh, and for my fellow Trip Advisor lovers, it’s currently ranked at #6 of 194 in Brussels and ranked four stars. Lucky me.
Find out more here: www.thehotel-brussels.be
Boulevard de Waterloo 38,
1000 Ville de Bruxelles,
Wondering where I had dinner? Read this: La Quincaillerie, Brussels.
Thank you to P&G for their hospitality.