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“I didn't get to stay - they cancelled just as I was to get on my evening flight” 1 of 5 stars
Review of The Phileas Fogg

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The Phileas Fogg
3.5 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   Van Bemmelstraat 6, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Brussels 1210, Belgium   |  
Hotel amenities
Galway, Ireland
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“I didn't get to stay - they cancelled just as I was to get on my evening flight”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2011

This place is a sham - the lady took our booking 7 days before hand, over booked us, so she could hedge her bets. My colleague just happened toi check his iphone before we boarded and she had emailed us to inform us that she had 'accidently overbooked us' or as I said - hedged her bets. We got into the centre of Brussels at 12 midnight, without accommadation. Poor Jules Verne, if this is the kind of place his esteemed characters now lend there name to!

Room Tip: Stay away from this place!
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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149 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
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English first
Warsaw
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2011

What can I say.... this was by far the worst hotel experience I have ever had. It also made me realise how important it is to check Tripadvisor BEFORE you make a booking. It's typical that even the best hotels get some bad reviews from time to time but if the reviews are so overwhelmingly negative as those for the Phileas Fogg, then something is really wrong. And indeed it is much easier to talk negative about this place than to find positives.
Let's start with the only positive thing though. In spite of criticism I've read in some reviews I found my room (BLUE ROOM) nicely furnished and comfortable. I liked the decor, an amazing oriental lamp and a great bed. The area is not very welcoming but it’s relatively close to the metro so it’s ok.
On the negative, there’s much more to be said... Although it’s a bed&breakfast you can forget about getting breakfast there. I arrived pretty late (9:30pm) the first evening to be greeted by one of the guests. As the owner did not show up that evening I had no chance to ask about the time breakfast is served the following morning but I assumed it would be possible to have it around 7am as I had to leave for a meeting around 8am. The following morning I was trying to get something to eat checking the kitchen from 7-7:30am but found nobody so had to leave the place without breakfast. To make sure I get breakfast the next morning I wrote an e-mail asking for breakfast at 8.00am (again I could not arrange it in person since when I returned home no owners were there). My e-mail was ignored and nobody was in the kitchen between 8:00 and 8:30. Again, no breakfast!
When I was checking out around 8.45 am I found Karin, the owner in the kitchen offering me breakfast for which it was already too late for me. I did not have time to wait for the receipt either, but I needed it since this was a business visit to Brussels. In spite of my numerous e-mails asking for a proper receipt I never got it. The only thing I got was a few lines of text looking lousy and unofficial without any signature (that I could easily have created myself). After a while Karin just started ignoring my e-mails leaving me with the sorry excuse for the receipt...
Other than that my experience was ruined by the two huge dogs in the place barking like crazy in the morning and wiping their saliva at my suit as I was trying to leave my room. Also, I could not get the tv did to work in my room – maybe it was as easy and simple as pushing a button here and there or doing something else – but no chance to ask the owners as THEY WERE NOT THERE.
Summing up:
• You pay for bed&breakfast - you get bed&no-breakfast even if you try hard
• Forget about getting a proper receipt. Business travellers stay away at all costs!
• It’s a completely self-service place – without the adequate comfort and with all the problems involved
• STAY AWAY!!!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Saint-Josse-ten-Noode hotels

Shanghai, China
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2011

I have to believe that the positive reviews written here and on other sites could only be written by one person, Karin the owner of this B+B. After staying there it’s just too unbelievable that people could write such positive reviews.

Just as fraudulent as the website that shows incredible photos of small areas that in the right lighting look enticing but wait till you get there and see the real story…

You are greeted by 2 large and loud dogs barking. Having read other reviews I am not surprised to hear guests have been bitten.

When you arrive she points up stairs and say's your room is on the 3rd floor, forget about taking you to your room, the reason?...it’s too far up. It’s a very old home and the narrow stairway goes up and up, 6 flights of stairs (2 per floor).

The decoration on the surface looks OK until you realize these are not antiques but just plain old bad quality furniture. The establishment is clearly the case of a person in it purely for the money. Light fixtures are installed with bare wires hanging from the ceilings. Plumbing is bad and during our stay the ceiling leaked from the room above. The whole place is really dirty.

Breakfast includes OK bread with Kraft slices, an old tub of margarine (no butter available), soy something instead a yogurt. The dogs are present at breakfast to lick cutting boards off the counter and paw you begging for food (don’t wear nice clothes at breakfast).

I have stayed at B&B's around the world and for the money this is the biggest disappointment I have ever had. This place is an out and out rip-off. The website is not reality, if you read this DON’T GO.

Only 2 words left to say

VISTOR BEWARE!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2011

I was so disappointed with this B&B/guesthouse. I chose to stay here on a business trip thinking it would offer a lovely alternative to the more common sterile hotels. I am a well seasoned traveller and thought this place would have more character. The location is nothing special but it is near a metro, and I was woo-ed in by the website. What a mistake, the pictures couldn't be more misleading.

When I arrived the owner was no where to be seen, and after 20 minutes of waiting outside in the rain a guest eventually arrived and let me in. He showed me downstairs to a very basic basement room- a far cry from the photos. The room would have been ok had I been staying for 20 EUROS however I was paying boutique prices. The place lacked privacy with a glass door and I felt anxious staying there. The bathroom was two flights up, the toilet smelled and the bathroom did not have a showever stand, there was no hot water left on one of the days, nor did the bathroom door have a lock. The whole house, although quirky in decor, was cold and untidy.

The breakfast was at 9am, massively invconvienient for anyone heading to work or wanting an early start- it was ok, some bread and marmalade, an egg and coffee. I had to ask for orange juice as I had seen other guests with some, I wasnt offered any.

The house lacks any social area other than the kitchen, part of which is full of clutter and kids toys not to mention the massive smelly dogs. As a big animal lover, even I couldn't appreciate the dogs- on my second night I arrived home late to find them barking at the front door in the pitch black, absolutely terrifying. I hurried to my room and was too scared to pass the dogs again to go and brush my teeth- absolutely ridiculous!

I warmed to Karin when I met her, I found her to be friendly however she was so disorganised and scatty she was awful at her job. I rarely write negative reviews and i think of myself as a very understanding traveller however this is one of the worst places I have stayed, ever.

I still feel angry, I feel like I was ripped off, massively.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2011

I booked two nights in the Phileas Fogg Hotel at the end of September 2010 via the hostelworld website for a short holiday with my husband. I was 4 months pregnant at the time and rather exhausted by the time we eventually found the location on a very dubious side-street.

Upon arrival at the hotel we were eventually let in by a guest (the owner was absent - a common theme in other reviews) and told that there was no room, despite our confirmed booking, as they had been overbooked through hostelworld. Brussels was extremely full due to an EU meeting and the cheapest alternative accommodation that we could find at this notice was in Mechelen (35km away) at a cost of 179 euros for one night. While the other guest was kindly helping us to book this the owner did appear, acted very flustered, and told us that she couldn't keep up with the number of emails from hostelworld so didn't bother telling them she was full. We were told that our booking fee would be refunded but three months later after a number of emails to both Karin and hostelworld this has still not happened and she is now ignoring us.

From what I saw while I was there for an hour or so, this is defintely a hostel rather than a hotel, rather shambolic and not particularly clean. The infamous dogs, however, were friendly and calm from what I saw, unlike the owner.

I would recommend avoiding this establishment and hostelworld at all costs if you want any level of certainty about your booking, or indeed any customer service when a mistake has been made.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2010

“No Americans ever allowed again!” That’s what was screamed at us by the hysterical owner of Phileas Fogg just before hanging up on us for the second time. Let me tell you about the first time. In late November, after a long drive from Paris, my wife and I arrived in Brussels to celebrate her birthday. Looking for Phileas Fogg, we circled around several times in the most unlikely of neighborhoods for a boutique hotel. We found the address without much problem, but were incredulous that the dingy, deserted looking building at this address could possibly be a hotel, B&B, or any other guest accommodating business. So we kept looking. With no other possibilities, we returned to the address, and with sinking hearts, found a little sign through a dark, dingy window printed “Phileas Fogg.” Could this actually be it??? Not a light on anywhere, dirty, decrepit, in a characterless, run down neighborhood. With no street parking anywhere near the hotel, even to check in, we parked on the sidewalk in front of the place. Twenty minutes of trying to get an answer at the door and several expensive international mobile phone calls yielded no response. We were still in disbelief that this was actually a hotel, but a peek through a basement window showed a kitschy, cheap looking, vacant bedroom. Though it was only 7pm, you’d think we were arriving in the middle of the night. (Apparently when this hotel gives you a check in time, it’s not the earliest time you can check in, like any other hotel. It’s the time you must check in. Good luck if you’re used to international standards – or on the road without a local cell phone.) Because we couldn’t get any response at the door, and thinking the building was just a front for some sort of scam, we found a small police substation in the neighborhood and checked with them to determine if this was in fact a hotel. Though it was very nearby, none of the police officers at the station had ever heard of Phileas Fogg. After several attempts, a helpful inspector was able to make phone contact with the owner of Phileas Fogg, who promised to send someone to meet us. Back we went and after about ten minutes a young man showed up to let us in from the freezing cold. The interior was chilly, sloppy, and designed with a hodgepodge of found items, poorly put together. Although trying for a “designer” look, this hotel definitely suffers from a lack of taste and misplaced intentions. Wanting nothing more to do with this comedy, we asked the young man (possibly an employee, but more likely just someone the owner called to open the door for us) to cancel our two-night reservation and refund our prepaid fees. This he couldn’t do, which led to another telephone call to the owner who literally screamed at us for not being on time to check in, some more incomprehensible screaming when we asked to cancel and for a refund, finally an agreement to refund us, then click. The next hour was spent with the owner’s agent drafting a refund receipt (still not sure if he was actually an employee) in the hotel’s communal kitchen area, which also served as a (very messy) office - complete with children’s toys all over the place and, inexplicably, suitcases stuffed with tango shoes. With receipt in hand, we returned to the police station, where it was stamped, given a case number, and photocopied.

A week later, with no evidence of a refund, we called the owner again to ask when we could expect it. Again more screaming by the owner, who apparently suffers anger management problems, to say nothing of professionalism, and were told that she would never provide a refund, and would never let Americans stay at her “boutique” hotel again, “No Americans ever allowed again!”
Our experience with this hotel and its owner would be laughable, if we weren’t out $366. So sorry fellow Americans, you’re not welcome at this hotel anymore – or maybe we never were - but the owner sure has no problem taking your money.

We ended up at the Hilton, where we experienced not a single problem.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2010

Arrived. After much knocking some other guests opened the door. Eventually landlady arrived. Very pleasant breakfast area with kitchen. But I was not to be in the main building but in an apartment. Apartment recently vacated and heating not on. Heating started I went to bed to discover that the bedroom was cold and damp, as was bedding that had obviously been left there for a long time. I tried to dry it on radiator but in end slept in my clothes.
Apartment walls in poor state, electric sockets not quite fitted to wall. Blinds missing on the basement bedroom windows, so light coming in from street day and night.
No coffee, tea or anything provided in apartment building and I wasn't setup as a fingerprint entry person for the main building door.
Breakfast was pleasant, a light Continental with bread, cheese, jam, butter, croissants. Short absence of landlady when taking daughter to school at 8:40, but breakfast ran from before this to after this. Dogs present, but seemed to have lost their edge, not aggressive. I don't like dogs so this was important to me.
Got in late next night, would have liked a drink but went to my apartment and slept. Nice breakfast next day talking to Dutch guy. Had a quick tour of main building. Eclectic rooms, not amazingly clean but no obvious problems. Brown room on top now has toilet as well as shower in corner.
I met some fascinating and enjoyable and chatty people, the landlady is obvously intelligent and well travelled.
The location is an immigrant area with bus services that are quite useful, but you might want to sit with the landlady and plan your travels.

In short, I had a poor visit that was hopelessly mismanaged and far too expensive.
I met some nice people and I liked the landlady and the concept.

I can't decide whether to try again and insist on a main building room, and view it as basically an eclectic hostel, therefore I'd expect a lower price, or to just walk away and count it as a memorable but not repeatable experience..

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Phileas Fogg

Address: Van Bemmelstraat 6, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Brussels 1210, Belgium
Location: Belgium > Brussels > Saint-Josse-ten-Noode
Amenities:
Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Phileas Fogg 3.5*
Number of rooms: 3
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Phileas Fogg Hotel Brussels
The Phileas Fogg Brussels, Belgium

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