Arrival Experience: Just a short walk from the central train station and to anywhere in central Brussels, this well-situated hotel is a tourist and business traveler's dream. Tucked away in a quiet corner with virtually no traffic passing in front, it enjoys quiet surroundings at all hours especially since most guest rooms face into the central courtyard. Through large glass doors, guests enter into the contemporary lobby illuminated by flames of fire giving it a sexy appeal. The front desk is dressed in smart fashion and handles arrivals at all hours with convenience quickly asking guests their preference between having a shower or soaking tub in their room (yes, guests have a choice).
Dining: The lobby is compact, but features velvety soft seating areas where guests can make use of the free wireless Internet. Alternatively, they can dive further into the public areas where the bar and lounge awaits. An eager staff stirs and shakes cocktails while guests work or gossip by the window walls overlooking passersby. Deeper inside is the main dining room serving a buffet breakfast including a cooked-to-order egg selection and lunch and dinner choices. An outdoor terrace with fabric umbrellas is especially popular in warmer weather while the restaurant's fireplace lights up on cooler days.
Accommodations: The entire hotel echoes the location's history as a former monastery. If the dim lighting and quiet ambiance weren't enough, the elevators play chants from local monks to set the mood. Key cards activate the elevator, and guest rooms range in size from deluxe to larger, dual-floor loft units situated toward the front of the building. All rooms benefit from complimentary wireless Internet, Nespresso coffee machines, cable flat-screen TVs with free movies on demand, laptop-sized safes, spacious work desks with well-placed electrical outlets, and full-length mirrors. Bathrooms are coated in sleek tile and feature either rainfall-drenching showerheads behind glass walls or deep soaking tubs with spa-inspired toiletries and robes. Premium rooms also enjoy complimentary minibars.
Conclusion: Just beyond reception is a small lounge providing complimentary Mac computers and printers for guest use. Meeting facilities are also available as is a substantial fitness center although many guests opt to stroll the streets of Brussels (stopping into a few chocolate stores, of course) for exercise. None of the chain hotels can match the authenticity of this small, boutique hotel, and even the city's prime hostelry, Hotel Amigo, cannot replicate the sense of personalized service that this clever hotel emanates. It's the little touches like windows that open for fresh air, duvets on top of cushioned mattresses, and luggage racks hidden away from view inside closets that make this a truly standout option in Brussels.