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“Not as bad as some say” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Chao Chow Palace

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Chao Chow Palace
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   rue du Brabant 80, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Brussels 1210, Belgium   |  
Hotel amenities
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Not as bad as some say”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2010

The hotel is located near a train station and very easy to walk to, even with luggage. Unlike other reviews, we did not walk through the red light district to get there. Walking towards the city centre, no more than a five minute walk to the main shopping centre, the red light district is in the opposite direction and we never saw anything one would associate with that type of district. It is worth noticing that, walking underneath the train overpass, the Hilton is only a few hundred metres from Chao Chow with a supermarket inbetween. We were out and about during all hours of the day and never felt unsafe walking through the underpass - the train station, on the other hand, was very filthy and not a very nice place to be late at night.

The hotel is your average no frills hotel - staff is friendly with a basic grasp of English. Breakfast was the usual spread with some Chinese added in.

The room was large but dated, clean except for some old stains and holes on the bedspread and nice and warm during a cold weekend in December. Shower was over a bath with very uneven water temperatures. Despite the close proximity to the trainline, we were not bothered by the noise and slept well throughout the night in a bed that was massive.

Over all this hotel was a nice surprise after having read so many negative reviews - sure you can stay at the Hilton if you want to save yourself a few minutes walking to the city centre but we thought this was good value for money considering accommodation in Brussels seemed expensive in general.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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117 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
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2010

The hotel claims to be a 4 star hotel and first off: it is not! If anything on the normal scale then a 2 star, and this is why:

It has to be said that the rooms are of a decent size, but everything else about them is poor.
As we entered our room it was like entering a cooler, i suppose it was about 5 degrees C, and it took more than 4 hours to heat it up to an acceptable temperature. Coming from scandinavia i dont have a problem with cold places, just not indoors. After the 4 hours it was impossible to restain a normal temperature due to termostate fault, so everything had to be regulated with the nearly-impossible-to-open windows.

The beds are really soft and completely worn down. They felt like they had been treated like a kindergarten's trampoline, and for that, i suppose they are fine. The blanket and the sleeping quilt was wrecked and stained with cigarette burns(surprised the whole place hadn't burned down due to this) but the sheets were what you might call alright though.
A plus though is, that you are in no need of an alarm clock during your stay due to the neighbour trainstation and highly trafficated crosslights.

The bathroom and the toilet are seperated in two different rooms, a nice thing if your travelling mate likes to take long baths, and you don't like waiting for the loo, the only problem is, that the toilet is extremely crammed, and there is no sink - so not for fat people or hygiene freaks.
The shower seemed relatively new, and in top noch condition, though it was impossible to regulate the heat of the water. Either you got burned or you got frozen - and forget everything about using the top unless you got all day to fill it, cause the water presure is very low.

The room in itself was completely worn down. The thing about the 70'ies style were all true with the twist, that nothing had been done since then to keep the room in good condition resulting in holes in the walls and carpets.

You were there for the staff, and not the other way around as usually, but you would always get your key when you asked for it, even the broken one you politely asked to get changed.

The bar was nothing to complain about - you would get it all for yourself if you were too lazy to go visit the hundreds of very nice places within 15 minutes walk.

The breakfast was poor, they tried to screw our group over with the same coal-like baguettes from the first day all week - and they didn't become better the 4'th time they were served. We had to leave the hotel for a trip to luxemburg one morning before the breakfast opened, and it was impossible in any way to get as much as a piece of fruit to take along, though paid for - this was representative for the overall service.

There is nothing to say about the distance to anything - everything is within walkin distance, including dodgy drug-dealing types and brothels, which are within spitting distance, and impossible to avoid in any way as you come home from the centre of the city.

The lobby though is fine, but who cares, cause it is not the place you are to spend the most time when at the hotel.

Given all this, this would be acceptable for a 2-star hotel but not for this selfclaimed 4-star one.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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South of England
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2009

I felt attracted to booking this hotel due to its location next to Gare du Nord. It looked good on photos but I should have done my research. I arrived in the evening by walking from the Botanique tube - quite a walk if you have a suitcase, and the receptionist recommended that I go to the Rogier metro station the next morning. When I enquired about the Gare du Nord departures, he wasn't able to help. He didn't have the station timetable, neither was he willing to help me find my train over the internet. I thought I'd walk to the station that evening, as the back of Gare du Nord was visible from the hotel forecourt. I soon found why the receptionist was shifty when I asked why didn't he recommend I travel by train? The area at the back of Gare du Nord in Brussels is rather seedy. The street from Chao Chow to Gare du Nord is lined with sex shops and brothels, with men in leather jackets strolling round. Not a pleasant experience at all. Luckily, once you are in the station, and during the day, the station and the street to it are just about OK. There is no decent restaurant this side of Gare du Nord either (if you dont count some kebab shops in the red-light district). I am not sure about daytime, but the hotel doesnt offer any food after 8 pm. The receptionist will point you towards a tunnel oposite the hotel entrance - well lit but still a tunnel, and you have to go though it and turn left in order to reach "civilisation", i.e. a row of pubs and brasseries where you can find something to eat.
My room was smelling of dust, the curtains grey rather than white, but otherwise clean and tidy. Very simple though, made out on the cheap. The only good-quality piece of furniture was the bed and its side tables - it seemed quite new, the mattress was firm but comfortable. The white sheets were of good quality. Otherwise, the overall impression was rather poor, also in the bathroom and toilet, bad workmanship and old, worn-out fittings.
Also, be warned that unless you are happy to get up early, you will probably be woken up anyway as all windows go out to the Gare du Nord station itself, so it may be quite noisy from early on. There is a sad air over the hotel, it is not cosy or cheery. Just somewhere clean to stay if you have to - and if there is at least two of you to feel safe when going out.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2009

I'll get the minor gripe off my chest first. Rather than 3 star, because there's no tea making stuff in the room, I'd call it 2.9 star. Other than this, the place is absolutely brilliant. The service they provide if you need something done is first class; they take you seriously; the room is spacious and the plumbing works. The bath fills quickly; the air con works.

The breakfast is something else. There's full continental (meats, cheeses, breads, etc.) - but I went for the Chinese soup and noodles.

This place does what it says on the tin. It is reasonably priced for the centre of Brussels. It's a stone's throw from the mainline station and from the downtown shopping centre. I stayed there for as month and I'll stay there again.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2009

Short walk from train station to Hotel, maybe 3 minutes. Then about two stops back to airport. Hotel has good size room, decent comfortable beds, great for the price. Free breakfast isvery nice as well. More of a chinese selection, but good. Heading outside the hotel andto the right is the red light district and canbe shady at night. If you turn left as you exit it will take you towards shops and city ceny. Very nice. On weekends you can buy shopping pass for 8 euos and its a roundtrip ticket to and from Bruge for example whic is great t check out.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
107 hotel reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
225 helpful votes 225 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2009

We visited Chao Chow Palace hotel for one night on our way to Brussels’s national airport. It is situated behind Brussels-North station which has a direct train connection of about 12 min. to the airport. Leaving the station, turn left two times and you will see the hotel. Walking through a shopping street, you will reach the Grand Place, which is the heart of the city, within 15 min. For those travelling by car there are some parking places in front of the hotel; at night for free, after 09.00 o’clock you have to pay.
Entering the hotel is very safe: you cannot enter the hotel before a member of the staff pushes a button. Check-in went smoothly and efficient. Staff is all-in-all professional and kind.
We got a room on the 5th floor (which is no problem, because there is an elevator) at the front side of the hotel. The hotel has no rooms at the rear. This is a pity, because in spite of the double glazed windows you can hear both the traffic and the trains passing. The room is very spacious with a large double bed with blankets on it (no eiderdown or duvet). The whole room looks very run down (stains on the floor, curtains which have had their best time, toilet not sufficiently fixed to the floor, etc.). There is a fridge (no mini-bar), a small TV, a working desk, a sitting corner, and an air-conditioner. The latter is hardly to be used at night, because it is placed above the head of the bed instead above the entrance of the room, so cold air is blowing over your head. When you enter the room there is a very small hall with the bathroom at your right. The bathroom has a tub, a shower, and a toilet. Room and bathroom are not spotless clean.
Breakfast was rather mediocre and was included in the price of 70,00 euro, which is acceptable. It is not possible to have lunch or diner.
Would I return? For one night, probably yes. For a longer stay definitely not. Chao Chow is neither a palace nor a 4-stars hotel as is advertised.

Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chao Chow Palace

Address: rue du Brabant 80, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Brussels 1210, Belgium
Location: Belgium > Brussels > Saint-Josse-ten-Noode
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 14 Hotels in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Chao Chow Palace 3*
Number of rooms: 71
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Also Known As:
Chao Chow Palace Brussels, Belgium

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