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“Grand Palace of the past” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Astoria Brussels by Tiara

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Hotel Astoria Brussels by Tiara
Ranked #153 of 200 Hotels in Brussels
San Marcos, Texas
Level Contributor
27 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Grand Palace of the past”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2007

We booked our hotel through the Sofitel website.
As frequent users of the Sofitel hotel chain, we have a Sofitel Privilege card which really made our experience extraordinary.
Our privilege card enabled us to be upgraded to a suite for the price of a double room, which gave us access to a huge room - the size of a small apartment - "The Schumann Suite."

The hotel itself is exquisitely decorated in highly detailed Edwardian Style. Lots of stained glass, chandeliers, gold leaf and very high ceilings. Our room was decorated in soft tones of peach and yellow with lots of crown and chair molding. Extremely comfortable bed with a feather comforter, large living area with sofa, chairs and desk. Great bathroom with granite floors, separate tub and stall shower (with extra shower heads),
double sinks. All of the amenties you would expect in a five star hotel including toiletries (nice shampoo, soap, extra toothbrush, toothpaste, q-tips, shoe horns, shoe polish cloth, terry-cloth bathrobe.) You feel like royalty in this place.

Although the air-system didn't seem very effective as other guests have mentioned, this was not an issue to us in September. I would imagine that in the hotter months, this might be a problem.

The staff were helpful and pleasant and spoke enough English
for us to communicate well and help us with directions to various tourist destinations.

My one annoyance (mentioned by others) was not having coffee service in the room, however, this was alleviated by the kind dining staff providing us a tray with coffee pot, cream and sugar daily - free of charge! We did not try the 25 Euro breakfast, per person per day, as we thought the price was a bit exorbitant.

The hotel overall can use some "brushing up" as it is slightly rough around the edges. However, for a hotel over 100 years old
this is understandable. There are some areas that need to be touched up - a few cracks, chipped paint, etc. I did not fault them for this as the overall experience is still quite grande.

The distance to the Grande Place is about a half a mile - not far,
although walking back is uphill and can get tiresome if you are doing it daily, as we were. There ARE a few restaurants within walking distance (walk towards Botanique), which were good, although not too much in the general vicinity. The Botanique
metro station is very convenient, just a couple of blocks away.

Overall I would definitely recommend this hotel and enjoyed the experience.

  • Liked — Feeling like royalty in a palace.
  • Disliked — Greater availablity of staff.
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank gjspring
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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29 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    6
    11
    5
    5
    2
See reviews for
Families
0
7
5
6
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Maryland
Level Contributor
86 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2007

This is a faded, sad hotel. There was no doorman and only one employee at the desk during most of my stay. Forget about concierge's, a taxi line, a pool, nearby shopping. There is a nice outdoor beer garden with several pubs selling mussels two blocks away and a good breakfast place is one block away (breakfast at the hotel is 25 euros). The pay TV was broken, the desk clerk had never heard of the main exhibition/convention center or how to get there, the window display out front was smashed, I had to walk 8 blocks to the train because a taxi wouldn't come. My first room was a shoe box--I complained and got a nice room for the discounted price. I would only stay here if you wanted a nice room in a dingy hotel and could get a highly discounted price in expensive Brussels.

  • Liked — Price, clearn room
  • Disliked — Run down, empty public areas
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank MDTraveller1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Brussels hotels

Lausanne
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2007

We spent three nights at that old palace. Quite all that has been said in other reviews is right, for the best or the worse. In brief, the hotel is old but clean, it smells of old times, rooms have been refurbished, great bathroom, great bed.
The hotel is not far from the Grand Place and city center but located in a quite unlively neighborhood (offices), almost no shops, restaurants, bars in the surrounding streets. The hotel is quite empty at all times (entrance, lobby, desk, bar), but it was August and Brussels is quite deserted at that time. Impression of a ghost hotel! No portier, you have to do the job by yourself. But when you meet an employee, they're nice and helpful.
Prices are accordingly fair: 97 euros instead of 380! If you want a nice comfy room and don't look for social life, that's a good place (at this rate!).
In such a palace, and at the official price of 380 euros, you would expect a fumoir, a place where you can smoke a cigar. Nope! You just have to go in front of the hotel or get a smokers room.

  • Stayed August 2007
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank maendly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oregon City, Oregon
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2007

Of all the hotels I stayed while in Europe this was my favorite place. The dining area is absolutly beautiful! It is an old hotel but if you love ornate this is it! The room and bathroom was a very nice size. Very comfy. I would like to come back here again.

Stayed August 2007
Helpful?
Thank victoriasvintage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 2, 2007

Purpose of trip: A good friend's wedding, which was to be held in the hotel reception rooms.

In short: Inadequte, surly service, peeling wallpaper, threadbare carpets, poor location, no tea making facilities in room, no iron in room, a battered mattress, housekeeping staff that just don't care - this is NOT a luxury hotel, and badly needs an overhaul. Do yourself a favour and look somewhere else.

In detail: We had a three night visit booked - and were unable to make it on the first night, so phoned ahead to ask the hotel to hold the room for us. The receptionist said no problem on the phone.

However, when we arrived, after a 15 minute wait to check in (there is NEVER any more than one person on reception!!) there was no room for us - 'full for the wedding'. Yes, I said, I know, we are here for the wedding , and I confirmed the booking yesterday'.

Reluctantly they gave us a twin room. (We had asked for a double room, so back to recpetion and stand in the queue 10 minutes to change a room). To a smoking room, which stank. Tried to call reception to change again - the phones don't work. Tried to call housekeeping to request an iron. No irons available.

The staff just didn't care. A 'luxury' hotel should offer good service. This hotel is incapable of doing so.

Stayed July 2007
Helpful?
1 Thank pawprinttoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Isle of Man, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2006

Ok, so I was looking for a place to stay one night in Brussels. I surfed the web and remembered of the Accor group, who eventually proposed me what seemed to be a nice option, Brussels’ downtown located, old but classy, not standardised, a nice place for a nice night.

I called the hotel and the boy at Reservations told me that it was one of the best hotels in the city, and the HM The Queen of Spain used to stay there. After having been there myself, I wonder whether it was HM Sofia when she was not yet the Queen, or if it was Maria Eugenia in the early 1910’s.

First impression: it is not in the centre. 10 minutes walking to get to the old part of Brussels, through a large street with narrow promenades and lots of traffic. The building looks nice and old, in some way like the old Palaces all around Europe (Ritz London, Ritz Madrid, Ritz Paris, Crillon Paris, Westin Madrid, and so on). Well, it is but it is not… everything inside looked more like fake finishing rather than original.

The doorman: useless. If I get with a foreign car to a hotel, and stop in front turning of my engine, the only thing this man could think is: here comes a guest. No, he didn’t move, he just stared at my car. So I got out and opened the boot to take of my bag. He did not help me. Not even a “bonjour” or a question about my trip or my reservation. We discussed whether to leave the car there or not, and he just told me to put it in the car-park, but refused to do it, stating he was afraid of damaging my car. I put up the top of my car, carried my bags to the front desk and checked in. Then, I went out to park the car, and he showed me the way while sitting in the passenger’s side. I really think he was willing to take a tour on my car, more than doing his job. We got to the car-park, which was actually some kind of hole behind the building, not under surveillance, and disappeared. Yes, he just disappeared, so there I was with my car, and with no idea of where to leave it and how to get back to the hotel. So I went out and walked my way back… as the door to the hotel was not clearly announced. Useless, that’s all.

The reception team: very young, helpful but just not professional. Ok, they are learning and that’s fine, but not of a “best hotel in the city”. Just took my ID, my Credit-card (“as guarantee for the extras”… ok, extras and room, I was paying for everything! Too many guests coming with vouchers, I guess), asked for a signature, and gave me the room key. Room 329, third floor, elevator is there. That’s all. At check/out more of the same, with a poorly presented bill, not even a pre-view to check (saving paper?), no nothing: just pay and sign here, please. By the way, no Concierge service, so the young boy told me places to go shopping… Come on, I live in Paris, I don’t go to Brussels to go fashion shopping…

The room: tired, old, tiny… rubbish. The bed was comfortable, but not the pillows. The electrical equipment was old, the desk was poorly equipped, the minibar was dirty (full of dust above it, but full to make it look white!), the bathroom was old and the shower leaked everywhere. No turn-down service, by the way. Positive things: the bathroom products were good. Talking about the bathroom, I used the loo but when flushing… I got the flush entire thing in my hands. I did not bother to call the front-desk, however. I got a room facing the courtyard, which is like facing nothing. Terrible room in everyway. The best thing about the room was the movie I saw on the public French TV, very funny. Something I could have watched at home…

Room-Service: I was not feeling well after the journey and the visit to the city, so I decided to have dinner in the room-service. Well presented, well prepared food, probably the best thing of my experience.

The car-park: by the way, I was about to forget this… I was charged 20 euros for the car-park. Remember, not secured, not indicated, small tiny entrance, not even covered. 20 euros for that? Come on! I paid 8,7 in Brugge the next night for a public, secured, covered and wide car-park day!

All in all, I paid probably not a lot of money for the rack rates of the hotel, but I know how this works, and this kind of hotels advise quite high rates and then sell at promotions. 200 euros for a rubbish stay. I should have gone to a cheap 2 stars place, leave the car somewhere around, and pay around 100 euros in total. This wouldn’t have been half the quality I got from this terrible and old hotel. Oh, no Internet access was proposes, no swimming-pool, no sauna, I wasn’t advised of any fitness… “room 329, third floor, elevator is there”. By the way, very old elevator with no security-doors. Is that still legal?

Would I come back? Yes, with an inspector from Sofitel to see what he thinks. Would I recommend it? If you like to give money for nothing, you better give it to a poor man on the streets. Never ever will come back. Skip it!

I am writing more or less the same to the Hotel manager. Just to see what he thinks. And yes, I am used to four and five star hotels.

  • Liked — Nothing
  • Disliked — Everything, as you read it.
  • Tips/Secrets — Skip this. It is just not worthy.
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Campanu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
northampton
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2006

If it's glitz, comfort, huge high ceilings and champagne you're after in brussels, this is the place. a 10 min. stroll to the grand place, a champagne bar kitted out in the style of a 1930's luxury train carriage, attentive and helpful staff, I personally could not fault this hotel, other than a slight niggle with the main restaurant which closed for refurb. Breakfast always seems a little expensive at all sofitels and this one is no different, but if you're splashing out on a lux. weekend then this shouldn't be too much of an issue. Besides, this hotel represents good value. I've stayed in 5 stars that haven't offered the same standard of service that I received here and paid twice as much!
enjoy!

Helpful?
2 Thank miladdo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Astoria Brussels by Tiara

Property: Hotel Astoria Brussels by Tiara
Address: Rue Royale 103 Rue Royale 103 | Brussels, Brussels 1000, Belgium (Formerly Sofitel)
Location: Belgium > Brussels
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#64 Luxury Hotel in Brussels
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Astoria Brussels by Tiara 4*
Number of rooms: 146
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Elegant, Belle Epoque Hotel with ornate public areas, located in the heart of city on busy, commercial street. Closed for renovation until 2012. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sofitel Brussels
Brussels Sofitel

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