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One night stay w/puppy, Hilton Brussels City, many questions

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One night stay w/puppy, Hilton Brussels City, many questions

My wife will be going to Brussels to bring back an eight week old puppy soon (mid January). She will be staying with the breeder for a couple of days (selecting one of three puppies), but unfortunately the breeder has to go to France the day before my wife's already paid for and expensive to change return flight.

I can get an award stay at the Hilton, and the walk to the train station (which my wife is ok with) to get to the airport for a Sunday noon flight is supposedly only a five minute walk away.

But, in searching, I'm seeing mixed comments about the area. I'm not certain how much wondering around she wishes to due with an 8 week old puppy (a Belgian herding breed, think a little smaller than German Shepherd size), but should she decide to do so I have some questions:

a) If she uses normal street smarts, is the area around the hotel ok for walking about on a Saturday afternoon / early evening and on Sunday morning (after 8 am)? We spent a couple of weeks last year in London, Rome, and Milan so she says she is not worried in general with being alone in big cities, provided that those in the know don't say "stay somewhere else".

b) I know in general Europe is more dog friendly, but if she has the puppy in a Sherpa bag, can she eat in a nearby cafe and skip the typical poor and overpriced room service? Any recommended puppy friendly places? She is a foodie type person, though foodie and puppy may not go together...

c) How about taking dogs in stores? On lead ok? In a Sherpa bag ok?

d) Any recommended nearby chocolate shops and rough idea of prices one should expect?

e) Should I spend $ to find a different place and not go for the free award room?

She is into photography, and thus is probably more interested in staying in the city center vs just staying near the airport for the one day, especially since the noon flight doesn't mean an super early morning dash to the airport.

Thanks in advance for any and all help.

Edited: 5:03 pm, December 23, 2012
Brussels, Belgium
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1. Re: One night stay w/puppy, Hilton Brussels City, many questions

a) It's fine (apart from being a building site), even if there are a couple of back streets she might want to avoid, i.e. the "Alhambra" area behind the block opposite the Thon Hotel and a couple of streets in between the rue de Brabant and rue Royale, where there are "ladies in windows". There is a park - former botanical garden - right behind the hotel.

b) If the dog is in a bag she can probably eat anywhere, but as it happens I have (unfortunately) never yet seen anyone with a dog refused entry to a restaurant here. However, I know of no "foodie" places near Place Rogier: the most decent place is probably the Brasserie St. Germain on the corner of rue du Progrès closest to the Sheraton and a Turkish restaurant (Antep Sofrasi) in Bd. d'Anvers more-or-less opposite the Thon Hotel. There's also a steak house - Brussels Grill - in the same block as the Sheraton (which has a restaurant called Crescendo- and Thon Hotel; a Chinese restaurant Maison du Dragon at 146 Bd. A. Max just down from the Dôme Hotel; and further down at no. 98 a restaurant called Meat Me: http://www.brusselslife.be/en/address/meat-me). However, on the Sunday morning the only place open other than hotels will be the McDonalds in rue Neuve.

c) Dogs are generally allowed in stores, except food stores - although I have even seen them being taken around supermarkets in shopping trolleys, without the staff saying a word! For other shops, if in a bag there's no problem anywhere, and probably also no problem using a lead. I really wouldn't want to take a puppy to rue Neuve (including City 2), Brussels' main shopping area, on a Saturday when it is at its most crowded.

d) The closest chocolate shop to Place Rogier is a branch of Neuhaus in the City 2 shopping mall (ground floor, near Hollywood Canteen) on the corner of rue Neuve opposite Place Rogier, see …lavenir.net/bruxelles/z/neuhaus-1758628 - and there is also one on the ground floor of the Galeria Inno department store in rue Neuve (open 09:30-19:00 Mon-Sat). There is also a branch of Leonidas at 46 Bd. Anspach. However, as a photographer I guess she will want to visit the Grand' Place and there are plenty of chocolate shops around there and in the nearby picturesque Galeries St. Hubert, off rue du Marché aux Herbes. Unless she specifically wants/needs to pack chocolates in a suitcase which is to be checked in, she could also buy them at the airport, when they are exempted from the liquids rule (which would otherwise apply to chocolates carried in hand luggage because the fillings are semi-liquid - some including fresh cream).

As for prices, how long is a piece of string?! At a mid-range place like Neuhaus you can pay €30 for a tin containing 20 chocolates (special "jewel" range) and the same for an assortment of 30 (400g, which says it is 14.11 oz). All chocolate shops offer different sized boxes at different prices.

Edited: 9:25 pm, December 23, 2012
Nottingham, United...
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2. Re: One night stay w/puppy, Hilton Brussels City, many questions

Have you thought about the feelings of the puppy with this plan?

8 weeks old having just left its mum carted around in a bag in strange surroundings. Sorry but I think that is cruel.

Remember this puppy won't be house trained or fully inoculated either. Judging from what you say about its size in comparison to a German Shepherd then it will be heavier to carry than you might think.

This must sound like a sermon but I have 2 Golden Retrievers which I have had since pups and I can remember back to the times I first had them. They needed a lot of attention and training to be confident with everyday sounds in a strange environment which they gradually got used to. No way would I have thrown them in the deep end.

I would ask you to think again about this plan.

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3. Re: One night stay w/puppy, Hilton Brussels City, many questions

No problem with the sermon. Wife plans to play by ear based on the temperament of the puppy. We've had dogs for 30+ years and are very familiar with socialization and raising of puppies. In fact, this will be the first puppy in over 20 years not coming from one of our own breedings (we've had dogs of a different Belgian herding breed for over 30 years).

Additionally, this may all be moot because she may actually end up being at the breeders house until Saturday evening, in which case the time in the city may be minimal and we may opt for staying near the airport instead of in the city center.

4. Re: One night stay w/puppy, Hilton Brussels City, many questions

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