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Whether you’re drawn to Brussels by the gorgeous historic architecture and rich cultural traditions or perhaps something more pragmatic altogether, like EU or NATO-related work, you’ll find yourself bowled over by the city’s impressive sense of hospitality. Warm welcomes will be found in Brussels’ finest hotels and quirkiest hostels and everywhere in between.
Best Overall: Made in Louise
Renovated from a historic Art Deco-era Belgian townhouse, each of the 48 guestrooms at Made in Louise is uniquely decorated: bold wallpapers, wooden blinds, fluffy bedding, contemporary furniture, historic architectural features — you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better balance of comfort and design anywhere. Rooms range from a cozy single room (a simple chamber with a single bed, a desk, a bathroom with a walk-in shower) to a spacious triple, with both a single bed and double bed and a large bathroom with a tub and a shower, as well as several options in between.
Extensive complimentary breakfasts are served every morning overlooking the hotel’s leafy courtyard, and include Belgian specialties such as (of course!) waffles, pastries, raisin bread, sirop de Liège (a local favorite that resembles apple butter), local meats and cheeses, as well as freshly-ground coffee. An on-site beer bar and snack bar cover most cravings throughout the rest of the day, and Made in Louise has arrangements with local restaurants to deliver food (in lieu of traditional room service).
A billiard room, an open fireplace area, and the aforementioned courtyard all provide comfy spaces to relax inside the hotel, but when you’re ready to explore the city, Made in Louise offers free Villo! cards, which allow you to use Brussels’ shared bicycle system to explore the immediate neighborhood, an arts-heavy historic quarter called Ixelles, or to quickly find your way to other neighborhoods. The Metro Louise stop is just a five-minute walk.
Best Budget: Pantone Hotel
Enjoy high-concept design on a backpacker budget at this chic hotel in the quirky Saint-Gilles district. The décor throughout the Pantone Hotel is based on the iconic Pantone Matching System, and each guestroom is uniquely appointed in a specific colorway which, depending on availability, will be individually chosen to match your mood and personality as you check in. Ensuite bathrooms are simple white-tiled rooms with a shower (and tub, in some of the family rooms), but the color scheme carries through in the water cups and toiletry packaging. Wi-Fi is complimentary, but other extras, like breakfast and parking, incur small fees.
The immediate neighborhood is fairly quiet, though there are lots of good (and cheap) international restaurants around. The nearby metro stop is just a few minutes’ walk away (mostly uphill), but from there, it’s just two or three stops to the biggest tourist attractions in the city center.
Best Boutique: The Dominican
Dominican and Gregorian chants play softly in the background in the public areas at this luxurious design hotel built on the site of a 15th-century Dominican abbey, located just across the street from Belgium’s national opera house, La Monnaie, and a short walk from all of central Brussels’ attractions. Rooms, which range from a Standard King Deluxe to Suites and Lofts, are each designed with bright, neutral-toned high-end furniture and bright, modern design elements — red lampshades, modern-style vases, jacquard throw pillows — which evoke Brussels’ dual classic and modern natures. Rain showers, Nespresso machines, and free high-speed Wi-Fi are just some of the in-room amenities you’ll enjoy.
Two on-site restaurants and a cocktail bar are found serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Top-of-the-line gym equipment and a fully equipped boxing room offer guests places to stay fit, and a Turkish-style steam bath and Finnish-style sauna are available for relaxation.
Best for Families: The FunKey
Kids (and adults who wish they still were) will go wild for this toy and game-themed concept hotel not far from the European Commission headquarters. The walls and carpets are primary-colored and filled with bright pop art and modern furniture, and common areas are chock-a-block with board games galore, as well as video gaming consoles and Lego bricks. A variety of spacious rooms suit the needs of everyone from solo business/government travelers (it’s not a bad place to start and finish an otherwise dreary day of policy and negotiations) to large families with multiple kids. All include comfy bedding and tidy ensuite bathrooms with showers.
Instead of a traditional restaurant providing room service, the FunKey offers an open kitchen from which guests can help themselves at any time of day or night. The complimentary snacks include bread, cold cuts, cheese, fruit, cookies, cake, cereal, juice and even beer, and the kitchen facilities make it easy for you to cook up a little something extra for yourself with ingredients from the grocery store if, for example, Junior only eats scrambled eggs. Parents with stroller-aged kids should be sure to book a room on the ground floor, as the FunKey does not have an elevator.
Best Romance: Hotel Metropole
Book the Romantic Escape package at this sweeping Belle Epoque hotel and you’ll be greeted in your room by rose petals strewn across the bed and a chilled bottle of champagne, as well as other VIP goodies. Rooms are decorated in an antique style, complete with furniture, wallpaper and carpeting echoing Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles, and all include bathtubs and double sinks. Multiple on-site restaurants and bars offer both room service and elegant dining and drinking throughout the day and evening.
The Hotel Metropole is centrally located near all of Brussels’ main attractions, including the Saint Catherine and Saint Nicholas churches and the Grande Place and Grote Market. A metro stop is just steps from the front door, and hundreds of restaurants and shopping options are in the immediate vicinity.
Best Luxury: Hotel Amigo
Just steps from the Grand Place and in the shadow of the towering Gothic spire of the Hôtel de Ville de Bruxelles, this five-star hotel provides guests with every luxury. Rooms are understated and chic in design, with clean lines, softly-colored walls and bright statement chairs and throw pillows. Most rooms feature reproductions of art by famed native son René Magritte. Marble bathrooms with large tubs are whimsically decorated with prints of local comic strip hero Tintin and boast Forte Organics amenities and Rocco Forte bathrobes and slippers.
Ristorante Bocconi offers a menu of Italian classics cooked with local and regional ingredients for both in-house dining and room service. Bar A is a comfy place to lounge and snack on lighter fare and sandwiches and offers an extensive craft cocktail menu — a rarity here in beer country. A fitness center and multiple meeting facilities round out the standard offerings, though should you require anything further, the concierge will be more than happy to help you find it.
Best Nightlife: Pentahotel Brussels City Centre
Nightlife-loving travelers will enjoy getting their evening started in the trendy lobby bar at the Pentahotel in the hopping Saint-Gilles neighborhood. Unlike most hotel bars, this lounge is popular among young locals, and it’s typically a busy, bustling scene, especially on weekends.
Rooms are also designed with the younger, trendier traveler in mind, featuring modern furniture and art, sleek tile bathrooms with walk-in showers, and a full-wall print of a huge grayscale city map. Breakfast is available (but generally not included in the room price) and high-speed Wi-Fi is free.
Best Business: Warwick Brussels
Need to wow a business associate in Brussels? Book the Grand Place Penthouse Suite at the Warwick Brussels, where your guest can join you, via private elevator, for evening cocktails on the 150 square meter terrace overlooking the lit-up Grand Place and all of its surrounding sights, followed by a luxurious dinner in your elegant dining room.
If that’s a bit fancier than you need (or than your budget allows), Standard Rooms and Suites are also wonderfully luxurious and effortlessly classy, and offer all the amenities a business traveler could want, including free Wi-Fi and LAN, a large desk, a direct-dial phone with voicemail and a safe big enough for your laptop. Fifteen separate meeting rooms of various sizes are available, as is a fitness center, sauna, shoe shine services, a newsstand, valet parking and multiple on-site restaurants and bars, as well as a location that gives you easy access to all of central Brussels and the Metro and bus systems.
Best Hostel: Train Hostel
This wholly unique hostel and concept hotel, opened in 2015, incorporates actual train sleeper cars into its whimsical design. Stay in the Train Dorm, a more traditional hostel-style dorm room with nine beds and an ensuite private bathroom (female-only dorms are available), or upgrade to a private Train Room, a relatively standard hotel-style room outfitted with train décor. For the real train experience, though, you’ll want to choose a Train Cabin (refurbished sleeper cars) or the Train Suite, an old luggage berth which literally sits on the rooftop of the hotel and which features a double bed and bathroom with full shower.
The Train Hostel is situated a bit outside of town, but it’s just steps from public transport lines, and it’s right next to Train World, Brussels’ massive new interactive train museum, so train enthusiasts are in for a fully immersive treat. Breakfast is a small fee per person, but a kitchen is available for guest use. An on-site bar and backyard barbecue offer places for travelers to mix and mingle and make new friends.