Planned to spend 4 days in Brussels and have never been to the City before. Had no clue which area of the City to stay in or where, so decided to take advantage of being a Hilton Honors Diamond level and stay here. After all "Brussels City" located in the "City Center" makes it seem like a perfect holiday spot. What I found is that the location, while rather convenient for getting around to areas in the City, is not really all that fun for a tourist.
First things, first. I booked online directly with the hotel and had no problems.
Prior to my trip, I tried to find out how to get to the hotel from the Brussels Midi train station. There are no directions on the web site: even though they have a "directions" section, it includes driving directions but not clear directions from the train station. So I had to spend time searching for them on the Internet. Printed out what I did find (need to get to the Rogiers subway stop) but was lost from there. Exited the subway station expecting to see the hotel, but did not. I did see the Sheraton and after circling around (suitcase in tow) for about 15 minutes, finally decided to just go to the Sheraton and ask for directions to the Hilton. It was then, that I saw the Hilton--directly across the street--next to the Crown Plaza. The signage on the building can't be seen from the subway stop. I think that Hilton could improve its web site by providing a better local map and clear directions for travelers coming in via train station (or even airport via subway). However, I suspect they don't cater to too many tourists: I got the sense that many of the guests were politicians/business people.
Check-in was a snap. The room (upgraded to the HHonors floor) was clean. Not luxurious, but modern and comfortable. In keeping with "green" building standards, the room key must be in a slot near the door in order for the lights in the room to turn on. A minor thing, easy to get used to. More frustrating was that the bathroom light was on a sensor/timer. Several times the light went out while I was shaving. Apparently, I don't move around enough when I shave. Very frustrating. I don't understand why they can't have a light switch with the light automatically turning off after the key is removed from the master switch, if the light is left on by accident. Anyway, this was a minor inconvenience.
The bed (king) was comfortable with plenty of pillows. Each day a robe and slippers were placed on my bed, and the room had 2 complimentary bottles of mineral water replaced each day. I suspect these are features for HHonors guests, but perhaps they extend to everyone. I don't know.
One perk for HHonors members (at Gold and higher levels) was the complimentary breakfast buffet. I stayed for 4 nights and for 3 of the 4 breakfasts, everything was perfect. Food was tasty and plentiful. On my last morning, however, breakfast wasn't so great. Half of the items on the buffet were empty: I pointed it out to one of the workers who looked at me funny and shrugged, as if saying, "What do you want me to do about it?" The poor girl working at the cooked to order egg station was stuck with a burner that wasn't working properly. I gave her my order and someone else did. She played around with the burner for 5 minutes or so, before packing some eggs and taking them to the kitchen. But, instead of helping her and cooking them in the kitchen, the chef decided to send her out with another burner--after about another 10 minutes. It literally took more than 25 minutes to get 2 cooked eggs. And since the waffles/bacon on the buffet line were empty it was not such a great breakfast. This was all at 7:30 a.m., too--I might expect it at the end of breakfast service, but not toward the beginning. To keep it in perspective, though, the first three mornings breakfast was PERFECT. Everything was plentiful, eggs were cooked to order and it was a nice start to the day.
One thing I liked about the location is that it is 2 minutes walk from the subway stop (Rogier) and about 7-10 minutes walk from the Gare du Noord Train station. On one of my four days I took a train to Antwerp, and on another, I took a train to Brugge. The Hilton Brussels City was a perfect home base for these day trips and a great, clean, comfortable place to come back to each night. The Rogier subway station easily links with lines to the historic, tourist sites (Royal Place, Grand Place/Market Square) and is situated in a large shopping mall. I didn't have the need to shop, but it was nice knowing that the mall was so convenient in case I did need something.
A drawback to the location is a lack of quality restaurants in the immediate area. I had read a number of things warning folks from walking at night (especially alone) in the City and this is not a touristy area. So finding good places to eat was difficult later at night. Directly across the street is a Bostons Steak House and a Brussels Grill restaurant. I think they're both part of the same chain. They're along the line of an Appleby's or Fridays. Not bad, but nothing spectacular or particularly remarkable about them. I was looking for a nice restaurant nearby but didn't find one. On the other end of the spectrum: McDonald's, Pizza Hut, and a full food court in the mall for fast food.
That's pretty much it. If someone were to ask for a recommendation of a hotel in Brussels, I'm not sure I would say this one, if they wanted to be near to tourist sites. If planning a number of day trips by train, then this hotel definitely gets my vote: it was perfect for that. I found it to be clean, efficient, friendly, and comfortable: all the things I look for in a hotel. Location was the only thing lacking and there's not too much they can do about that.
I suspect that rooms on the "end" (ending in 10 or 11) are all king size beds....910 was.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.