Newest Review: ... it is part of the Radisson SAS chain of hotels, so if you?re looking for a local hotel with personality, this is not the pl... more
Radisson SAS: Belgian .... truffle
Hotels in Brussels in general (Belgium)
Member Name: steveuk
Hotels in Brussels in general (Belgium)
Date: 01/05/04, updated on 29/11/04 (94 review reads)
Advantages: Excellent location, clean, five stars
As with most trips abroad, getting there is the easy part, finding somewhere clean and convenient to stay is usually a lot harder. Luckily a couple of friends of mine had been to Brussels a few months earlier and stayed at the Radisson SAS hotel and thought it was good so ... I didn't have to do that much research .... Well, other than finding the cheapest deal.
Anyway.... I'm waffling on :o) (do you get it? waffling? Belgian waffles? Brussels? :o) ). After looking through most travel websites I know (expedia, opodo, ebookers, travelocity, radissonsas.com, etc) I realised the Expedia's special rate for this hotel was the best. Staying in a 5-star hotel in the centre of Brussels for less than £70 was a great deal, even though in the end I booked a "Royal Club" room for just under £80. (If I remember correctly, the rack rate for this room was about £270 per night).
The hotel is located on 47 Rue due Fosse-aux-Loups/Wolvengracht 47, which, unless you live in Brussels probably doesn't mean anything to you. In practical terms ... it's just 5 minutes from the Grande Place, the Central railway station (airport connection), the nearest metro station (4 stops from Gare du Midi where the Eurostar arrives/departs from) and about 5-10 minutes from most bars, pubs and restaurants. In other words ... it's a very favourable location.
As mentioned earlier, the Radisson SAS Brussels is a 5-star hotel. If you hadn?t guessed it, it is part of the Radisson SAS chain of hotels, so if you?re looking for a local hotel with personality, this is not the place
for you. It is a corporate hotel with all the amenities you?d expect to find in a place like that (e.g. fast internet connection). The hotel has 281 rooms and various suites on seven floors, there are conference facilities and there is also a private underground parking.
The hotel exterior does not look like anything special, but the interior is quite different. Inside the hotel there is an Atrium which looks very impressive, especially when in one of the glass lifts. There are lots of trees and plants, a water feature and overall, it is a very relaxing place to have your breakfast or a drink before going out. Also, there is usually someone playing the piano in the early evening, classy or what? :o)
I have to admit that walking into the hotel I was rather impressed with the look of the Atrium. The service was equally as good, checking in was effortless (don?t forget to provide your Radissons SAS Gold Points card or frequent flyer card, if you, just like me, like collecting points/miles), the staff are really helpful and multilingual, as you would expect from a hotel of that type.
On checking in you are given a card that functions as a key for your room and also used to operate the lift, i.e. you swipe the card and enter the floor that your room is on. Maybe I?m just picky but I thought there room for improvement in this area, if I make the effort to swipe the card shouldn?t there be an intelligent system in place to make the lift go to my floor? Or maybe it?s just a security feature, I don?t know.
So, if you have found your room
, swiped the card to open the door, inserted the card in the slot next to the door to turn the lights on and what do you see? Well? it depends on what type of room you booked. You see, there are different types of guest rooms on different floors. You have a choice of tree styles: Oriental, Art Deco and Maritime. And of course, there?s the Royal Club room that I was in. So what does th
is look like? Imagine? beige walls? furniture made of dark brown wood and ? hang on a minute? light green duvet covers and pillows???? Now, I?m not an interior designer but I thought that the room looked very good and very expensive BUT the light green duvet covers made me feel as if I was in hospital, admittedly they were as clean as the ones you get in hospitals but they didn?t fit in with the rest of the décor.
The facilities in the room include a massive desk and broadband internet connection, perfect for the corporate type of guest. A fairly small TV (21? maybe? I didn?t measure it), a mini bar (not free, unfortunately), coffee making facilities, extra pillows, etc, etc. The bathroom was clean but there were a few things I didn?t like very much, namely:
(a) The toilet paper holder was too far from the toilet! Which means that you either have to take the roll of paper off the holder before you sit on the ?throne? or stand up after having a number one, two or whatever (eurgh!).
(b) The vanity mirror was fixed on the wall and of the type that magnifies every single pore to about 20 times! Which may be fine for women putting on their make up (I?m guessing! I don?t know! Any input, ladies?), but trying to have a shave was impossible. The big mirror was too far away to notice whether you?ve shaved properly or not.
(c) The complimentary toiletries where good. They also looked very cool in a clear glass stand, esp
ecially since each item (shampoo, shower gel, bubble bath, etc) was of a different colour. The problem was the packaging, too fiddly to open, especially with wet hands or without making a complete mess.
With regards to the TV, in addition to all the Belgian channels you get all the international news channels too, CNN, BBC World, etc and a few movie and? ahem, ?adult entertainment? channels. Speaking of which, you get all of these for free when staying in Royal Club room (like I did!).
(Special note to my mother: Ignore
this paragraph!). Now, in the interest of writing this review, I did have to do some research on the quality of these channels, I know that the readers of this website are well-rounded individuals who need to know every single detail. Also, it?s worth mentioning that I?d like to think of myself as a pure and innocent guy and I wouldn?t know what to expect from this type of ?adult entertainment? channels (disclaimer: I?m not saying that there?s something wrong with watching stuff like that). So what was the verdict? Hmmmm, I?m sure that if most people were not embarrassed about watching these channels? they would complain to the manager! If you get what I mean *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*
Speaking of free facilities to Royal Club guests, you also get free access to the hotel gym. This was actually a very good benefit as the gym is great, it is even mentioned in my guide book as one of the places you can go and work out even if you?re not staying at the hotel. If you are staying at the hotel, you might as well upgrade to a Royal Club room as it?ll save you money in the long run as admission to the gym was more than the room upgrade fee.
So, what did I think of the hotel? Overall, I thought it was very good. It doesn?t have the ?feel? of a 5-star
hotel though. It?s clean and very convenient for all the sites, the staff are really friendly. It is aimed at the corporate guest market and I believe it caters very well for them, with fast internet connection in the room and wireless internet connection in the lobby area.
So how do you go about booking a room? Well, you can try all the usual places online like expedia, opodo and ebookers, the hotel?s website at radissonsas.com or even your travel agent.
Copyright steveuk 2004
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