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…
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.
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.
Our first course, and quite possibly my favourite, was wild mushrooms, smothered in herbs and truffle shavings.
Our main course was a Thai roast beef dish, served with a green papaya salad.
Finally, our dessert was a Caribbean chocolate explosion with touches of coffee and ginger.
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:
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.
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.
There were also a few fun additions:
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.
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.
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,
Have you experienced The Hotel or The Restaurant? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.