The Funkey Hotel has just opened in Brussels, and it ticks all of our boxes for a great hotel stay: affordability, comfort, location, style and fun. Read on for your chance to win a free night!
One of the questions we’re emailed most frequently is “can you recommend a great hotel in Brussels?” This has always been a difficult one for us to answer. As you know, we only write about things we’ve done and places we’ve stayed ourselves. Since we live in the city, we’ve never had the need to stay in a hotel in Brussels.
Now however, I have a Brussels hotel I won’t hesitate to recommend. Even though I haven’t slept there myself, after my visit to the Funkey Hotel, I’m confident guests will enjoy their stay.
My visit to the Funkey Hotel started with an email inviting me to come and have a look around. I was then encouraged, via Twitter, to escape the heat of the past weeks in their garden. How’s a gal to resist coffee and a shady terrace?
In fact, it was after the heat-wave broke before I finally made my way over to the Schaerbeek-based hotel, an easy walk from Schuman. What I discovered was a discrete but welcoming house, adorned with the colourful FunKey logo.
Stepping inside, I was greeted by a bright, open lobby, with views into the garden. In addition to the colourful carpets and furniture, there were two unique portraits of our former and newly-crowned Kings, made entirely of Rubix Cubes. The unusual art medium gives a tip-off to the Funkey Hotel’s theme.
I was welcomed by Alice, Valerie and Philippe and, after the previously promised coffee, I set off to discover the hotel. Philippe Thibaut, the founder of the Funkey Hotel, was my personal guide.
The concept of this hotel is truly unique in several ways. First and foremost, there are absolutely no hidden costs. The rooms are EUR 59, 79, 99, and 129, all inclusive and all year round.
And when the Funkey Hotel says ‘all-inclusive’ they mean all. In fact, “The only way you would end up paying more when you check out is if you trash the room,” Philippe told me, (and we here at CheeseWeb don’t condone the trashing of hotel rooms!)
Some of the included items are what you might expect: free parking, free breakfast, free super-fast Wifi (hurrah!). But there are some very nice extra touches; like the use of Samsung Google Chromebooks, free soft drinks and beer, and free all day snacks. We love the idea that you can arrive late to the hotel and scrounge up a bite to eat without having to pay exorbitant mini-bar prices.
Another great and truly unique feature is each guest receives a mobile phone. The phone is your room key, access to the front door and also a gsm, allowing you to make free calls within Belgium. The phone is pre-loaded with numbers you may need: the hotel front desk, taxi service, a pizza shop and emergency services.
The bold colour scheme and unique art tie into the Funkey Hotel’s theme –play. Beside the lobby is a small game nook, filled with popular board games for all age levels. There are plenty of toys to entertain little ones, but there are games for adults too. The hotel’s goal is to encourage visitors to take a ‘brain break’ from work and life stresses and to relax and have fun with the other guests.
After being trounced by Philippe at one of his favourite strategy games, I can assure you it works. Writing deadlines and emails were the last thing on my mind.
The game-playing theme carries throughout the hotel. The four wings are named after the four suits in a deck of cards. Room numbers are over-sized playing cards.
Then there are the rooms themselves. Each one is decorated with a different game-related theme for a unique twist. The rooms come in a variety of shapes and layouts, but all have the same modular furniture, easily adapting to family or business travellers.
The washrooms are modern and efficient, and everything you need is readily at hand. No scrabbling under desks to find an electrical socket or wondering where the heck the light switch is. The windows open, allowing you to get fresh air, and the rooms are quiet, with virtually no street noise.
There are no TVs in the rooms to encourage socialisation in the common areas. However, if you splurge for the EUR 129 rooms, they come with a projector and big white walls. You can put that Chromebook and high-speed wifi to good use, streaming your favourite movie in your personal theatre.
Of course, there were a few things I wasn’t able to test, as I didn’t stay overnight: the shower pressure, the mattress and pillow comfy-ness and the breakfast. So I would love to hear your feedback if you stay at the Funkey Hotel.
I for one will be keeping an eye on their events page and looking for an excuse to spend the night.
116 Rue Artan
+32 2 733 23 53
Looking for more of our favourite hotels in Belgium and beyond? Visit our Hotel Reviews page to find out where we’ve been sleeping.