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“Good location suited to the business traveller but otherwise a poor value choice”

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Hilton Brussels City
Reviewed January 2, 2013

I’ve stayed at the Hilton Brussels City before, so I must have had some good reason for coming back. But this time I’ve found myself questioning those reasons, though not the location, which remains excellent.

In some respects, the Hilton is a little like McDonalds: it’s a global brand with pretty much the same quality wherever you go. In other words, in unfamiliar surroundings, you know what you’re likely to get. Step through the doors of this Hilton and things look pretty good. The bar area and small restaurant are immediately to your right. The décor is fresh and modern. Step up to the front desk and you are greeted by young, polite and helpful staff. (Personal service in the hotel has always been excellent, in my experience).

Things are less sure footed from here on in. Continue past the reception desk to the lifts, on your right, noting the (expensive) breakfast room before you turn to the lifts. I’ve taken breakfast here before, but it’s well over 20 Euros now and it’s not really that good. I skipped it this time and picked up a much cheaper coffee and croissant from one of the nearby cafés. Anyway, onwards to my floor via the small and not especially quick lifts, noting the hotel’s reminder to book a taxi cab, if needed for the next morning, as they are in short supply at that time of day.

Once in my room, it’s pretty much the same as I’ve experienced before: clean, neat, modern. This time, though, perhaps spurred by the thought of writing a Trip Advisor report, I notice things less to my liking. Like how small it is given that I am paying over 120 Euros per night, even at my agency-negotiated room rate. What undermines the room is that for storage there is only a wardrobe with 10 hangars and one small shelf at above head height – the rest of the storage closet is taken up with an old CRT television, a mini-fridge, a room safe and storage for the ice bucket. This means you can’t really unpack. If two people were staying here for any number of days, your luggage would have to stay out, eating into the already limited real estate in the room. The desk and chair – but only one chair in the room – are good enough to work from for many hours (believe me, I tried it) and the bed is comfortable. The down side to sleep is the pillows. Unlike some chains that have a firm and soft pillow combination in the room, all the Hilton pillows are firm and large. If you’re a front sleeper, like me, that’s going to kink your neck into a really uncomfortable position.

My other big niggle is how stingy the Hilton is. Internet access (wired and wireless) is available throughout the hotel, but nowhere – even in the public areas – is it free. And it’s not cheap to purchase access – 12 Euros for 60 minutes use over a 24-hour period, or 22 Euros for continuous 24-hour use – and these are the cheapest plans (the speed, at least, is good – 5.8Mbps download speed, which isn’t bad considering that my package is supposed to limit me to 256Kbps). When I last stayed in the Crowne Plaza, immediately next door to the Hilton, there was free internet access. In the room itself there are only two available power sockets (discounting the one occupied by the alarm clock), which is downright nuts in these days of laptops, tablet computers, mobile phones, etc. And then there’s the coffee facility. At least the Hilton provides a kettle, but two sachets of coffee and two of crème. Really?! I know the Hilton’s not running a café in my room, but Ebeneezer Scrooge might even wince at this meanness. And why does the hotel insist on placing the kettle and all the tea/coffee facilities on the opposite side of the room to the only power sockets the kettle can use?

So why did I choose to stay here? Now I remember. It’s all about location. Local restaurants close by and a reasonable ten-minute walk to the Grand Place, though you could stay closer if you chose. Choose that, though, and you don’t get the tram station and metro immediately outside your hotel (don’t worry, they’re both underground, so no noise) and a five-minute walk to the Gare du Nord. These three transport hubs make it easy to get to the hotel whether you come by train or plane and once at the hotel to get around and even out of the city. Would I stay here again? Hmmm. I’ll be thinking hard about that one and checking the prices amongst the local competition around Place Rogier.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank Ronnie_Soak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JanJorisKriele, General Manager at Hilton Brussels City, responded to this reviewResponded January 8, 2013

Dear Ronnie_Soak,

Many thanks for sharing your recent stay experiences here. It is with great pleasure that I read your findings on the hotel and it's location. Please rest assured that you will continue to strive and deliver suprior value for money in the City of Brussels and I hope that on a next travel you will choose to stay with us again.

Kind regard and best wishes for 2013 !

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Reviewed January 1, 2013

Kind of surprised to read all of the negative reviews here. I stayed for 3 nights in November in a charming room with hardwood floors and modern details which was perfect for my (single traveller) needs. The location is convenient to the business district, fairly near to tourist attractions, and across the street from the Rogier metro station. The quality of the front desk staff was hit or miss but the young man on duty during the daytime was first rate.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Plato99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JanJorisKriele, General Manager at Hilton Brussels City, responded to this reviewResponded January 8, 2013

Dear Plato99,

Many thanks for sharing this positive feedback here. It is great to hear that we lived up to your expectations and with your feedback we will further fine tune to continue to do so in 2013.

Kind regards and best wishes for 2013 !

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2013

This hotel is ok for a 3 stars in Belgium. The staff is very nice. It is quiet hotel for its location

But if you expect a 4 * Hilton, STAY AWAY. You will only be disappointed.

The rooms are tiny! It is ridiculous. The window is tiny and smaller than Jail window. The equipment is very minimal. The bathtub is very small. Not possible to take a bath. Don't try to put 2 people in the bathroom at the same time. The pillows and the duvet are really cheap. The bed are ok but really comfortable. The breakfast is ok but what happened to the previous Hilton Brussels breakfast? The room is very noisy, the choice is limited. It feels like being in a cafeteria.
The service is very good. The staff is very attentive. They are doing great effort to patch the numerous short coming of this Hilton. The placement of the mini-bar make you feel in a cheap motel. The piece of furniture to rest your small suitcase, once open, make it impossible to go around the bed.

Overal, this review indicate the disappointment from Hilton standard. For the right price, and only expecting a regular 3 stars, i would stay here again.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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2  Thank DamienBE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JanJorisKriele, General Manager at Hilton Brussels City, responded to this reviewResponded January 8, 2013

Dear DamienBE,

Thank you very much for your detailed feedback. I have taken the opportunity to share it with the team and use it to improve the quality and service in the hotel. Regarding to the room size, we have various different lay outs and I would kindly like to suggest to ask for a different room next time you will stay with us, so you will be able to experience a room that better suits your needs.

Again, many thanks for sharing this with us as it will allow us to continue to improve in 2013.

Kind regards and best wishes for 2013 !

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2012

This hotel is conveniently located close to the public transport. Walking to the centre is also possible.
The main negative thing was the size of the room, which was way to small for one person and impossible for a couple.
You had to jump on the luggage to move around. Bathroom was also small.
TV was kind of old, but working.
For the room booking at this Hilton it is not really good value for money.
The lobby is nice and staff friendly; there is security and given the area it is crucial.
The restaurant/bar is cosy and well recommended.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Maria F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JanJorisKriele, General Manager at Hilton Brussels City, responded to this reviewResponded January 8, 2013

Dear MariaF,

Many thanks for sharing your recent stay experiences with us. I have followed up on the various things mentioned in order to make our hotel and services better. I am pleased to announce that we are currently changing all of the the TVs to brand new flat screens, to enhance your experience for your next stay.

Looking forward to welcome you back soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2012

We arrived for a 3 night stay late on the evening of 17th December. Both my partner and I each had a heavy suitcase and a hold all. We were met at the reception by the most dour-faced, miserable staff who, despite our obvious discomfort, offered no assistance whatsoever. We were then given a room (701) the size of a shoe box with no natural light and a 10 foot view of another room. We religiously use Hilton for the quality of accommodation and service. This is now under serious review. don't be fooled by the web site's photographs of bright airy rooms? The reality is quite the opposite! The service provided and hobbit like accommodation, in conjunction with a steep room only price tag, was nothing short of disgraceful.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
4  Thank Tommy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anais B, Guest Relations Manager at Hilton Brussels City, responded to this reviewResponded December 26, 2012

Dear guest,

We sincerely regret to read your feedback concerning your stay.

I am very sorry to read that your recent stay with us did not live up to your expectations in terms of room size. It is true that the hotel is a building from 1920 and the rooms vary in size, with only a limited number of small rooms. Upon a possible next stay, we will be pleased to pre block a more spacious room. Please do not hesitate to contact us in advance.

We sincerely hope to welcome you back in our property to allow us to regain your confidence.

Kind regards,

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Reviewed December 15, 2012

You will have to pay 30 Euros for the breakfast, and 22 Euros for the internet. This is 82 Euros hidden cost for two people. Just for the record: for this breakfast price you can have a complete dinner in downtown Brussels. Internet is free in almost every bar nearby, but Hilton does not dare to charge for it. You can find hotels within 10 minutes with free Wi-Fi and free breakfast.

Room Tip: Try to find deals when price includes breakfast.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled on business
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3  Thank Nupuvon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anais B, Guest Relations Manager at Hilton Brussels City, responded to this reviewResponded December 26, 2012

Dear guest,

It is highly appreciated that you have taken the time to write this constructive feedback and shared your opinion about your recent stay at the Hilton Brussels City.

I would like to sincerely apologize for the fact that we did not meet your expectations, especially regarding the internet service. Indeed the internet access is a paying service in all our European Hilton Hotels in order to provide fast speed and good connection of internet. However, we are working on a free Wi-Fi access offer in our lobby as per January 1.

For your next reservation, I kindly suggest that you book a breakfast included package that will add only 10€ per person for breakfast.

Nevertheless, I will share your comment with the relevant manager for further review and consideration.

We are looking forward welcoming you again as our guest,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2012

Modern building, small rooms, shower no bath, small TV, very limited channels. I found room to be very dissapointing, feeling more like a low budget ETAP/IBIS offering.

Ok to crash for just one night, using hotel as sleeping quarters only, but not somewhere to stay properly if staying inside hotel.

Internet too expensive, the Crowne Plaza next door provides free internet, an extra 20euros to keep in mind when booking the Hilton.

Location is good, right across from Metro (Rogier stop) so 2euro to Brussels Central/Midi in 15 minutes.

Room Tip: do not book basic guests rooms at this Hilton, go for a premium room.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank scuba_in_the_sun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anais B, Guest Relations Manager at Hilton Brussels City, responded to this reviewResponded December 26, 2012

Dear guest,

We very much appreciate that you have taken the time to write this feedback and share you opinion on your recent stay.

I fully understand your feelings about the size of the room and would like to offer you to state your preference for a more spacious room with bath for your next reservation as I will make sure you receive the service and room you desire and deserve.

We are currently in the process of changing all of our TVs to a newer and larger model. Together with this we have enlarged the selection of channels. You will be pleased to hear too, that as per January 1, we will offer free internet to all of our guests in the lobby and public areas.

I hope you accept my sincere apologies for the fact that we did not fully meet your expectations and that you will give us a second chance to prove that the experience you have had was not up to our normal standard.

We are looking forward welcoming you again.

Best regards from Brussels,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Brussels City

Address: Place Charles Rogier 20, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Brussels 1210, Belgium
Phone Number:
Location: Belgium > Brussels > Saint-Josse-ten-Noode
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 Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode
#4 Romantic Hotel in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode
Price Range: $104 - $238 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hilton Brussels City 4*
Number of rooms: 283
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Highlights•Situated in the heart of Brussels near the Rue Neuve shopping district•A few minutes’ walk from Brussels Gare du Nord station•Close to World Trade Center and popular attractions including Grand Place City Square•Wireless internet access, business center and Scandinavian Wellness and Health Club •Bien Belge Living Lounge restaurant and bar serving Belgian specialties, fine wine and beerSituated in the center of downtown Brussels, within yards of Gare du Nord station and in close proximity to the Rue Neuve shopping district and the World Trade Center, the Hilton Brussels City hotel is the ideal place to stay when you are visiting Belgium’s capital. All the facilities are in place to allow you to remain productive during your stay. With wireless internet access, a business center and a range of meeting rooms you will be able to work with the minimum of hassle.After a busy day in Brussels or a long journey, you can relax and rejuvenate in the Scandinavian Wellness and Health Club and sample the delicious Flemish cuisine on offer in the Bien Belge Living Lounge restaurant and bar. Offering responsive service and stylish contemporary comfort in an enviable location, this Brussels hotel has everything you need to make the most of your stay in one of Europe’s most vibrant cities.Local Attractions •Stroll to Brussels’ famous Grand Place, the center of the Old City’s pavement café culture•Stop in at Marcolini’s Chocolatiers and buy some handmade Belgian chocolates to take home•Experience world class shops located on the Rue Neuve •Visit the Delerium Café•View one of the world’s finest collections of pre-modern art at the Musée d’Art Ancien ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Brussels City Hotel Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode
Brussels Hilton
Hilton Brussels City Belgium

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