Given that you would like to visit Brussels as well Rotterdam would be a much better option as a home base. Rotterdam has also recently been recommended by Rough Guides and the New York Times as a place to visit in 2014:
Rotterdam offers a lot of interesting attractions and modern architecture to visit like the Erasmus Bridge, Euromast, De Rotterdam Steam Ship etc. There are some excellent museums too and enough good restaurants (for example in the Witte de With street). Also take a walk alongside the riverside (for example from de Boompjes to Westerkade) to experience the city and enjoy the skyline.
The location of Rotterdam is very central in the Netherlands and you can easily travel to other locations like the famous historic windmills of Kinderdijk (take a ferry from Rotterdam to Kinderdijk for a nice experience) which are very nearby as well as the historic city of Dordrecht (also travel by ferry towards this city) and the windmills of Schiedam. Other major cities are also easily accessible from Rotterdam: trains run very frequently to The Hague (only 15m), Delft (10m), Utrecht (40m) and Amsterdam (+-1h). So it's an ideal home base for travelling to nearby sites. Especially given that it's much closer to Brussels than when Amsterdam would be your home base. Your stay in Rotterdam will also be slightly cheaper than in Amsterdam given the higher hotel room prices in Amsterdam.
Just my opinion but I would never chose Rotterdam over Amsterdam. If you want to leave every day to go somewhere more interesting then fine, only thing is you have to go back there to sleep every night. Bummer.
The city was bombed completely during WW2 so there is not much too see from before this time.
It is much better to spend some days in Amsterdam. Because the travel time from there is 0 (zero) minutes.
I would choose Rotterdam over Amsterdam for the fact that you are just about in the middle of everything, also because your stay will be slightly more economic than our capital. Moreover Rotterdam is a nice city to discover in terms of culture, food and modern architecture. People here are very welcoming and friendly. You will be pleasantly surprised.
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Don't listen to those heavily biased people from Amsterdam who are constantly bashing Rotterdam and never recently thoroughly visited this interesting city themselves. They are uninformed about how many cool spots Rotterdam has today that are worth the visit! Amsterdam indeed also is a very interesting city to visit with plenty to do, but today Rotterdam has the same amount of interesting spots to offer! Rotterdam can in fact be quite interesting because it is unlike any other city in the Netherlands due to its history and modern architecture. You feel some kind of "vibe" because the city is constantly under construction and development. Every year it becomes more interesting with more projects being completed. The Markthal which will be completed this year will be a spectacular new iconic building to visit and the skyline becomes more interesting every year. Also a lot of public areas have been renovated and turned into parks which makes a walk alongside the river a very pleasant thing to do while enjoying the view on the skyline.
There are more than enough sites and attractions to visit in and nearby Rotterdam, see some of the suggestions I already mentioned, so don't be afraid that there won't be anything to do like some ignorant Amsterdam guys are screaming here. There are more than enough nice spots to have lunch or dinner in cosy streets like the Witte de With or alternative streets like the Binnenweg and Meent. Rotterdam recently saw a surge of new top restaurants (as mentioned by the New York Times) and is well know for its restaurants nowadays in the Netherlands.
Even though the city center is quite modern, it's not true at all that you can't find any historic places in Rotterdam. For example go to the Westersingel, Saint Lauren's Church, Binnenweg and the beautiful historic Veerhaven while you're looking at the modern skyline of the Wilhelminapier on the background. It's really a shame that so many people from outside Rotterdam are unaware of the enormous progress this city has made in recent years and that they are unaware of the many beautiful spots you can visit.
Modern? Constantly under construction?
I doubt this is going to be much of a selling point to most Yanks. Take this from someone who lives in a very modern planned community.
It's the old and the ancient not the new and the modern that is and has always been the selling point for me as far as the NL .
Especially as far as Amsterdam.
A brand new Marriott or a hotel older than the USA?
Everyone from Rotterdam will vouch for it and everyone who loves Amsterdam will vote for there. The OP does not even say where they want to go other than Brussels. If you really want somewhere central with good transport connections then Utrecht is a much better choice.
Nothing wrong with Rotterdam if you like modern construction and design. For me though just about everywhere else is nicer. Maybe I should visit again.