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“Nice enough hotel but..” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Catalonia Brussels

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Catalonia Brussels
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Avenue du Haut Pont 2, Hoge Bruglaan, Saint-Gilles, Brussels 1060, Belgium (Formerly HC Brussels)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 21 Hotels in Saint-Gilles
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Lancashire, UK
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Nice enough hotel but..”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

Stayed for 2 nights early December.

We had no complaints with the hotel itself.

The staff were pleasant and helpful, we were able to check in early at no extra cost, the room was clean and comfortable (although an extra pillow would have been nice) and the breakfast buffet was good with both 'continental' and 'cooked to order' English breakfast options.

We were on the 5th floor and although the hotel is located on a side street we did get some traffic noise from the main road but it wasn't too bad with the windows closed.

We didn't have much time to explore the local area but it seemed to be mainly residential with the usual mixture of shops, bars and cafes you would expect to find in a city suburb

The downside for us was the location. We knew it wasn't in the city centre (and too be fair this is reflected in the room price) but from previous reviews we thought you could be in the touristy bit by public transport in a few minutes but this isn't the case unless you want to be spending money on taxis.

The nearest tram stop is 5 minutes walk away, it's a 15-20 minute tram ride (no. 92) to Royal Koenig then a good 10 minute walk to Grand Place so even if you manage to catch a tram straight away, realistically, it will take you more like 35-40 minutes to reach the main tourist centre, obviously longer if you just miss a tram and have to wait 10 minutes or more for another.

Whilst the journey is not difficult it is time consuming and that is the only reason we personally wouldn't choose to stay here again whilst visiting Brussels but if you have plenty of time and don't mind a bit of a trek to the centre it's not a bad hotel at all.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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356 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
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English first
Barcelona, Spain
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

I have to admit that we chose this hotel because of it's name, although our sentiments of "Freedom for Catalunya" have been slightly outweighed by a hotel that can only be considered acceptable at a reasonable price, but nothing special. We had a "suite", top floor with a terrance, but the only difference we could see for the extra euros against the kid's rooms on the 5th and 6th floors, was the terrace (not very useful on a rainy weekend) and a complimentary bottle of water. The rooms are certainly not generously sized, erring on small. The bathrooms are well appointed. The buffet breakfast included in the price of the rooms is very agreeable. As we arrived by car we had no problem with finding the place and street parking was quite easy, although the hotel does seem to be in the middle of nowhere. The staff are quite friendly and helpful, speaking English, French and Spanish (no Catalan). But... the bed, whilst wide, was short and the bedclothes and pillows uncomfortable, the small lifts are noisy and can be heard from the room, lipstick dirty teacup at breakfast and of the two computers on the ground floor, only one worked, neither did the printer, a little annoying not being able to print the flight boarding cards.

Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Tel Aviv, Israel
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012 via mobile

We stayed at a double room, which was very well maintained, clean and had a nice view. TV was outdated but otherwise the room was perfect. Staff was very helpful and friendly, and if your French is rusty but you're fluent in Spanish, you'll find most if the staff speak Spanish. Breakfast was very good (ours was included in price). If you're driving a rental car, the underground parking lot is tiny (although I'm sure it's considered average by European standards).
Location is good if you have a vehicle-about a 5-10 min drive to Grand Place. Otherwise the tram is closeby.
All in all, a very pleasant stay.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Buffalo, NY
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

How this has 4/5 rating I will never understand. Very disappointed in my experience. I'm certain that I will not be staying here again. The key problem is that the hotel does not have enough redeeming qualities to make up for its shortfalls.

The Good:

- The room was clean, I will give it that. I didn't find any shortfalls in cleanliness. The bathroom is nice and spacious, offering a toilet and bidet.

- Their breakfast provides the best croissant I've ever had. Flaky and buttery, it was perfect.

- Internet was free and worked well.

That's about it for the good. For the areas of development:

- The hotel is difficult to reach. The website advises that you take Metro station Louise, but that's only part of the way. In any of my other travels, when the hotel advises to get off at a station, it's usually close to the hotel. The Metro station for Catalonia isn't. You have to get off at the Metro station, then take a tram 3 stops to then walk a block to get to it. This isn't outlined anywhere, so I was walking around in the dark until I called the hotel and got proper instructions.

- The elevators are small. Like, clown car small. Built, apparently, for the time when Europeans were midgets. If you have a suitcase (and I imagine you would) it will be a squeeze. Also expect competition for them.

- Serving staff shortfall. All I wanted after the 'getting to the hotel' fiasco was a beer and an ice water. I asked the bartender for a beer and water with ice, and was advised they don't give out (or have) ice water, just the bottled stuff. Not what I wanted, I want ice. So fine, I get it, no free water. How about that beer? Well, she just wandered away, off to wait on other people and cash someone out, etc, etc. Hotel staff need to be in tune with the guests. Front desk staff were nice, and they did provide me a map of the city.

- No air conditioning. Normally, this is not a deal killer, but in this instance, the Catalonia does have air conditioning - when it's centrally turned on. As was described to be twice by the front desk staff (because I had to get a better understanding than after the first time), the 'air service' is either on 'Heat' or on 'Cool'. And since it's October, they have it set to 'Heat', which means that regardless of my fidgeting with the controls in my room, if I turn on the unit, it will only give heat. Utterly ridiculous. But, hey, I can open a window, right? Yes, I can, but unfortunately the surrounding streets are very noisy. So should I be hot and quiet or cool and annoyed. I chose the latter.

- Beds are old, and have horse blankets as your duvet. They don't really have a comforter to speak of. Pillows are small and flat.

Sadly, I found that the various issues really detracted from my stay in Brussels more than I anticipated. The hotel seems geared to tourist groups from Spain, as everyone spoke Spanish. It was just an odd and frustrating experience that I won't repeat. I'll choose something that is closer to the Grand Marketplace, with a little more updated and refined facilities.

Room Tip: My tip to choose a good room is to choose a different hotel. If you insist on coming, take the Metr...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

Stayed overnight on a business trip. Arrived too late to take trip to town. But hotel nice , clean , comfortable. Rooms laid out to continental style. Free wifi a good bonus. Car park is a tricky challenge ! Dinner was adequate, breakfast was ample. Nice hotel

Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DirecteurCataloniaF, Director General at Catalonia Brussels, responded to this review, October 6, 2012
Dear Guest,
First of all we would like to thank you for your comments, as this positive opinion help us to continue working to exceed your highest expectations and demonstrate that our commitment towards customer’s satisfaction is a reality and not mere words.
We really hope that you decide to visit us again in the future because you are more than welcome.
Best regards.
Jose Padron.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

I was on a business trip and I chose this hotel because of its location. Although it is far from very touristic areas such as Grand Place, it is extremely well located to visit the most beautiful parts of Brussels such as south Saint-Gilles, Av. Louise, Place Chatelain etc.
The facilities are very old, and this is the only bad thing. Otherwise it is clean and spacious. The staff are helpful and the breakfast is good. It has the fastest free wireless internet I ever had.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DirecteurCataloniaF, Director General at Catalonia Brussels, responded to this review, October 2, 2012
Dear Guest,
First of all we would like to thank you for your comments, as your opinion help us to continue working to exceed your highest expectations and demonstrate that our commitment towards customer’s satisfaction is a reality and not mere words.
Inform you that all our hotel was fully renovated in 2004 and now we are improving our room with new facilities and decoration.
I will congratulate all staff cause your words.
We really hope that you decide to visit us again in the future to check this issue because you are more than welcome.
Best regards.
Jose Padron.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wirral, Merseyside
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

We chose this hotel over others closer to the centre for value for money over location. Glad we did. Lovely hotel, clean, spacious, nice bathroom, tv, mini bar and free wifi in the room. The staff were helpful too although they don't supply a map like others do. Breakfast was plentiful.

The location is a metro and a tram ride away from the main sites but didn't phase me and if you take a walk to the metro for a change you can take in some lovely art noveux buildings. We added the cost of commute to our trip & still got value for money, the trams are every 15 mins and run until midnight while the trains are every couple of mins. One trip metro is €2, we got the 5 trip pass which worked out quite well (each trip lasts 60 mins & a tram & metro within 60 mins is classed as one trip).

Would recommend this hotel. We followed directions fom another contributor on this site who successfully navigated us to the hotel.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DirecteurCataloniaF, Director General at Catalonia Brussels, responded to this review, September 20, 2012
Dear Guest,
First of all we would like to thank you for your comments, as this positive opinion help us to continue working to exceed your highest expectations and demonstrate that our commitment towards customer’s satisfaction is a reality and not mere words.
We really hope that you decide to visit us again in the future because you are more than welcome.
Best regards.
Jose Padron.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Catalonia Brussels

Address: Avenue du Haut Pont 2, Hoge Bruglaan, Saint-Gilles, Brussels 1060, Belgium (Formerly HC Brussels)
Location: Belgium > Brussels > Saint-Gilles
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Saint-Gilles
#4 Business Hotel in Saint-Gilles
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Catalonia Brussels 3.5*
Number of rooms: 80
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the very heart of the Art Nouveau district in Brussels and just 10 minutes away from the Grand Place, the Catalonia Brussels (formerly HC Brussels) hotel offers their guests exterior, modern and comfortable rooms. All of them have free Wi-Fi connection and more than 20 international TV channels, as well as wide and fully equipped bathrooms for you to enjoy a pleasant stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catalonia Forum Hotel Saint-Gilles
Catalonia Forum Brussels
Catalonia Forum Hotel Brussels
Catalonia Brussels Belgium

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