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Our Review: The Hotel and The Restaurant, Brussels, Belgium

By alison - March 28, 2014

The Hotel towers over Brussels, Belgium

The Hotel towers over Brussels, Belgium

When you call yourself The Hotel and The Restaurant, you’d better be good. We think The Hotel and The Restaurant in Brussels deserve the title.

A few years ago, I wrote what makes a hotel stay truly great, is attention to detail. I’ve stayed in simple, budget hotels that have nailed customer service and thought about what their clients really want. I’ve also stayed (much less frequently) in luxury hotels with beautiful design that miss the mark, when it comes to considering customer needs.

It’s rare to find a hotel that ticks all of my boxes (just call me hard to please), but The Hotel in Brussels has done just that.

My first interaction with The Hotel happened last spring when I attended the Make Me Up workshop. I wasn’t at The Hotel long enough to form much of an impression. After all, a conference room is basically a conference room, wherever it is. However, I definitely noticed the incredible view…

The view of Brussels from the upper floors of The Hotel

The view of Brussels from the upper floors of The Hotel

It wasn’t until last November, when a fellow Brussels foodie suggested dinner at The Restaurant, I started to view The Hotel in a new light.

We did our planning on Twitter (follow us at @Acornn and @CheeseWeb_eu) and before long our conversation was noticed by The Hotel’s Social Media Manager, Yves, who got in on the fun.

Now let me just say that I love companies that engage with social media the right way. This means being helpful, fun, and, most of all, responsive to what past and future clients are saying about them on-line. The Hotel does this better than just about anyone I’ve encountered in Belgium. I hope they continue to set the standard for social media in Brussels.

With all of the back and forth on Twitter, by the time we arrived at The Restaurant for our meal, we were excited. So, when we arrived at our table to find two roses and a handwritten note from Yves, we were won over before the meal even began. [Please note, our meal was not sponsored and we paid our own way.]

Perusing the menu, we were overwhelmed. There are a dizzying 54 dishes to choose from, created by Pierre Balthazar and three international guest chefs, featuring nine star ingredients. In the end, the decisions were too much for us, so we opted for the chef’s menu and prepared to be surprised.

We began with an amuse bouche of salmon, shrimp and veggies.

A tasty bite of seafood to begin

A tasty bite of seafood to begin

Our first course, and quite possibly my favourite, was wild mushrooms, smothered in herbs and truffle shavings.

Our mushroom starter was superb at The Restaurant, Brussels

Our mushroom starter was superb at The Restaurant, Brussels

Our main course was a Thai roast beef dish, served with a green papaya salad.

A Thai take on beef for our main course

A Thai take on beef for our main course

Finally, our dessert was a Caribbean chocolate explosion with touches of coffee and ginger.

A chocolate-y delight for dessert

A chocolate-y delight for dessert

The portion sizes were generous and artfully presented and every dish was delicious. The price tag isn’t cheap (we opted for 3 courses, with wine, for €80) but keeping in mind hotel restaurants are typically more expensive, we felt it was fair. There are more affordable lunch options, if you want to try The Restaurant without breaking the bank. With such a wide-ranging menu, there is definitely something to suit every taste.

Oh, and they have a great sense of humor. We spotted this sign outside the restrooms:

Sign at The Restaurant, Brussels

We at CheeseWeb approve of this message!

You can read my dining partner’s review of The Restaurant and check out their menu for yourself.

With The Restaurant under my belt (literally), I was excited to have the opportunity to stay in and review The Hotel. That chance came in early March, at the invitation of Brussels Wallonia Tourism, as a precursor to my visit to Binche’s Carnival. (coming soon!) [Please note, my room was sponsored by BWT but all opinions are my own.]

Andrew tagged along and we were both impressed by the size and decor of our room.

Our bright and spacious room at The Hotel

Our bright and spacious room at The Hotel

Remember when I mentioned I love hotels that pay attention to details? The Hotel ticked off just about all of the points in my hotel wish list: comfy beds, good reading lights, beautiful design, nice toiletries, complementary water, plenty of room to put my things, and the best damn showerhead I’ve had in all of Europe.

Our room at The Hotel, Brussels

Our room at The Hotel, Brussels

The most wonderful showerhead ever

The most wonderful showerhead ever

There were also a few fun additions:

A little something to help us enjoy the view.

A little something to help us enjoy the view. (We could almost see our house from here!)

Another little note and treat from Social Media Guru, Yves

Another little note and treat from Social Media Guru, Yves

Beyond the great room, The Hotel has some great additional perks. We had access to the Panorama Lounge, where we found free flowing Belgian beer, wine, champagne, and organic fruit juices. There was also a selection of delicious desserts.

Dessert in the Panorama Lounge

Dessert in the Panorama Lounge – We weren’t able to taste all six different ones… but we tried!

While there is no pool, there is a gym, hammam, and sauna available to all guests. Although I didn’t take my camera into the sauna, it has one of the best views of Brussels ever.

We also took advantage of lunch in the lounge on the ground floor. My hamburger and Andrew’s Club sandwich were good, although nothing special, but dessert was lovely. We sampled the famous cube cakes and chose from the wide varieties of teas. It’s a great place for a break if you happen to be shopping in the area.

The beautifully styled Lounge Bar

The beautifully styled Lounge Bar

The tea and cube cakes are CheeseWeb approved!

The tea and cube cakes are CheeseWeb approved!

If you’re looking for a great meal, a luxurious place for a weekend getaway, or a place to stash the relatives when they come to town, we can definitely recommend The Hotel and The Restaurant. (Let them know on Twitter that CheeseWeb sent you!)

The Hotel & The Restaurant
Boulevard de Waterloo 38,
1000 Brussels

Have you experienced The Hotel or The Restaurant? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Looking for more of our favourite hotels in Belgium and beyond? Visit our Hotel Reviews page to find out where we’ve been sleeping. For more great restaurants in Belgium and beyond, check out our Restaurant Review page.

Alison
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of Cheeseweb.eu She landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about this quirky little country. She loves to discover Belgium's hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She loves to travel the world with her husband, Andrew, and spend quiet nights reading with her cats and a glass of red wine. You can also follow her work on Google+
Alison
European countries ranked by food/drink. I was surprised by #4 and that Belgium only came in at #6. http://t.co/BZ7f6FJaVK #foodie #travel - 10 hours ago

5 comments

  1. Comment by Adriana

    Adriana March 28, 2014 at 10:52

    All looks amazing! What a great review! I think I will leave the relatives at the house and check myself in :).

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison March 28, 2014 at 11:02

      Now that’s an even better idea!

  2. Comment by Catherine

    Catherine March 28, 2014 at 16:27

    The last time I walked past they were offering a business lunch for something like 27 eur, which I thought was v. reasonable. The food looks lovely but I become irrationally annoyed by what I think is an unsightly smear of sauce on a plate, for me it is redolent of the dirty protests in Armagh prison in the early 80s, not something I want to be reminded of when I sit down to eat.

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison March 28, 2014 at 16:42

      The lunch rate is definitely reasonable, particularly if the portions are similar to what we had. I have to say there was absolutely nothing on any of our plates that remotely reminded me of prison food. If they eat this good in prison… lock me up now.

  3. Comment by Adriana

    Adriana March 28, 2014 at 16:49

    It looks beautiful and the food…oh, the food!! When relatives come to town I will leave them at the house and check myself in here :)).

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