Stayed at the Hotel Arelequin in May 2012 and then again in July 2013 as part of our 25th anniversary trip.
As I am a wheelchair user our main thing was access and when we booked our first stay here, we had previously booked the Hilton, but had problems with room access and getting to/from lift etc, and so having looked at a few other hotels the Arlequin. I emailed the hotel and explained my needs, and the gave us a large room - number 008 - which although not adapted, had enough room for my chair to get in easily and for me to be pushed all over the room. There is a large bed, a large tv and a seating area too; Bathroom features a long deep bath and a central shower over the bath. The room also had basic bathroom amenities and also tea and coffee making facilities, but no milk. Room 008 is on the first floor and at the side in the corner, so the view is of the accommodation of the shop next door but who goes to Brussels to stay in your hotel looking at the view - especially in the hot weather that we encountered in July!
The air-conditioning worked a treat - it was nick named the fridge, which was just as well, because opening the window at night meant that you heard a lot of noise till very early hours, due to the vibrant district that the hotel is in.
The hotel offers a free breakfast, and the breakfast room - as has been said before - is on the top floor with a beautiful view, there is also a toilet on this floor. We never made it for breakfast either visit, on the first trip I had a chest infection and was off my food until later in the day when the meds kicked in, and on the second trip I couldnt be bothered struggling in the lift to get up and down to the top floor - which leads me to the lift - they do have 2 lifts, which is unusual in central brussels BUT they are tiny, and do not fit a standard wheelchair in complete. I had to take the footplates off, and try to push my legs as far back as possible whilst being pushed hard into the lift - I just fit exactly; hubby had to run up the stairs and race to get me out at the other end - thank goodness it was just one flight! But, as I say a lift is a rare thing especially if you dont want to pay extortionate prices for the privileged.
Only complaint is that on the day we were leaving I did want breakfast, but struggled getting a lift and it was getting close to end of service, so hubby let me in the room and ran up the stairs to get some breakfast to bring down for me - but the lady on duty was adamant that we could not bring anything down; hubby observed that the room was full anyway, and the one space there was I would not have been able to get to due to my chair and the other people eating breakfast blocking the route - at this point she relented and allowed his to only bring cereal and a croissant down for me not both of us. By the time he got back down, in the heat the milk was almost boiled, so were wasted anyway. We shared the croissant and wished we hadnt bothered, hubby was really upset by the lady and after not having bothered for breakfast before it spoiled our last day.
From the outside the hotel looks in a bit of an 'ify' area, with a cinema sharing its building an a swingers club next door but two, but once inside, it is very stylish and the staff are the hotels true asset. Very helpful and nothing is too much trouble - except for the lady on duty at breakfast!
On our first trip we arrived into Central station, which was a 5-10 minute walk (slightly downhill) to the hotel, easily negotiated with a case and pushing a wheelchair; our second trip we arrived into midi station, as we came via train from Amsterdam, so after checking for access on trains, trams etc., we took the underground tram to De Brouckere (as it has a disabled lift) but it was a nightmare. The trams were full to bursting, people pushing etc., the bit for wheelchair users was full so we had to stand/be parked by the doorway - and hubby got pinched in the back and side by an old lady! Then when we got off the tram, we were told the lift was broken so we needed to go 2 stops further and change track and come back 1 stop - we didnt, hubby asked a worker to carry my chair and he firemans lifted me up an escalator. Needless to say we didnt go that way when returning to the station - we got a taxi (cost 15e ) but because of the location of the hotel and the pedestrianised areas we had to walk (uphill, again pushing the wheelchair and 2 cases) to near the Novotel to get the taxi, not far to some maybe, but with the cobbles and uphill a bit of a struggle.
Brussels itself is quite a pretty place, and around the hotel is a vibrant restaurant area. Plenty of places to have a nice Belgian beer, and the main square is beautiful, but the cobbles could do with repairing/replacing in parts - it is very difficult to push, or be pushed, over.
So, would I visit the Arelequin again? If we were back in Brussels, yes - and should we be wanting breakfast I would ask when checking in for permission to take breakfast away - or else that they reserve a table that would be accessible for us. I would also try to get flights that arrive and leave in the evening so we could get to/from hotel when road is open to traffic.
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