A small but great country to visit

A small but great country to visit


Nh Stephanie

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Jctravel1983 on January 12, 2011

Hotel Facilities:

Bar, 24 hour reception, Newspapers, Non-Smoking Rooms, Elevator, Express Check-In/Check-Out, Heating, Luggage Storage, Allergy-Free Rooms, Parking, Room Service, Business Centre, Laundry, Dry Cleaning, Breakfast in the Room, Ironing Service, Internet Services, Wi-Fi network.

The Location:

The hotel has a very convenient location for both the use of public transport and from the car. The hotel has a private car park which is closed with a fence. I am this time went by train so cannot comment on the size and number of parking spaces. The price is 20 Euro per 24 hours. The subway stops at the station "Louise" (line 2) and hence it is still about 5 minutes walk to the hotel. Through the Avenue Louise, second right (the street after the street with many restaurants) and then at the end on your left.

The Entrance

Here I had some getting used to. The entrance is a bit strange. It is a combination of hallway and breakfast room / bar. I personally prefer to have a (semi) closed room to eat, but cannot say it is a really big problem.

The staff

Was very friendly. I found out that I forgot my credit card but it wasn’t that big problem because I stayed with NH hotel before, they still had my information. The staff at the hotel wears the little pins on their uniforms with flags from different countries allowing you to quickly see what languages they speak. Friendly and helpful staff.

The room

I stayed in a standard room which looked great. The room was not extremely large, but instead of carpet was very beautiful laminate floor which gave the room an elegant look. In addition, the bathroom door was made of glass but not see trough. The room was equipped with two large one-person beds, TV (no LCD), a mini bar (well stocked), safe, a large desk and a sitting area with armchair. The room was also equipped with wireless Internet, but you had to pay for this. The costs where about 22 euro’s per 24 hours. My room was on the front of the hotel and was unfortunately noisy. For me this is not a big problem. I sleep anyway, but can imagine this can be annoying to some people. Temperature in the room was fine and did not tried or air conditioning was working or not.

The Bathroom

The bathroom I always think the most important of the room and it met all my needs. It is equipped with a bath which also is the shower. The glass screens are placed in the bath are large enough to keep the bathroom dry (splashes here and there aside). Besides the bath and the shower is also a toilet and a sink with a beautiful design sheet of blue glass. The whole bathroom was nicely finished and well cleaned.

The Breakfast

After checking out I went to breakfast. The choice was somewhat limited but enough. There was selection from French bread, croissants and normal bread. In addition, there was yogurt, fresh fruit, cereals and fruit juices. Of course you could get tea and coffee. The price for breakfast is rather high (19 Euros), but I have learned that is normal in 4 star hotels in Brussels

Conclusion

Excellent hotel to stay. For business or pleasure. Excellent location that is centrally located. Very friendly staff, nice rooms and clean bathrooms. The disadvantage can be the noisy nature of the room and the very small lifts.
Nh Stephanie
RUE JEAN STAS 32
Brussels, Belgium, 1060
32 2 5374250

Nh Atlanta

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Jctravel1983 on January 12, 2011

For my last job I had to travel quite a lot for meetings with new potentials clients or existing clients. For a meeting I had to stay one night at the NH Atlanta in Brussels.

General Hotel Overview:

Restaurant, Bar, 24 hours, Newspapers, Terrace, Rooms / Facilities for Disabled, Elevator, Express Check-In/Check-Out, Heating, Luggage Storage, Gay Friendly, All Public and Private smoking. Private parking is possible on site and reservation is not possible costs EUR 25.00 per day. Sauna, Billiards, Turkish / Steam Bath, Hammam.

I've been here only one night, did not use the restaurant (21 euros was very pricey for a breakfast) or the Sauna, etc. Can also not comment on these facilities and will therefore not go here enter into my review.

The location

The location is very practical for both the use of public transport and from the car. The subway station is about 50 meters from the hotel. The car can be parked on the grounds of the hotel and in general a bit further (about 3 min walk). I have my car parked on public parking because it was a lot cheaper. In the hotel you pay 25 Euro per 24 hours. In the car park you pay up to 21 Euro and in my case it was no more than 11 Euros (only came in at 21.00 and left the garage around 7.00 the next morning).

For those who stay here for their holidays, it is good to note that this hotel is about 100 meters from the Grand Place (seen as the most beautiful square in Brussels) and is thus an excellent starting point for exploring Brussels.

The reception

The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable. Checking in took no longer than 10 minutes. The same was with checking out. Here I have to say that the course it was very quiet at the time I arrived and went away again. Nevertheless, the staff was competent, efficient and friendly. All the counter staff wears little badges on their uniforms with flags from different countries so you can quickly see which languages they speak.

The room

The room (standard room) looked neat and was equipped with two large one-person beds, a television (not LCD), mini bar (well stocked), safe, a desk and sitting area with two chairs. The room was also equipped with wireless Internet, but if you wanted to use this you had to pay. Personally I think a serious drawback for a hotel on weekdays is almost completely booked with businessmen. I have no adversely affected by any noise, even though my room was located on the street side (the side of the parking garage). Temperature in the room was fine and did not tried or air conditioning was working or not.

The bathroom

The bathroom is for me always the most important aspect of a hotel and I noticed somewhat of a disappointment. The bathroom had a good size and equipped with a bath, separate shower, toilet and a washbasin. But the shower was pushed into a small corner and could hardly move around. For people who are bigger than me, is certainly a problem. Also the cleaning was clearly done in a hurry since you could still see the cleaning product on the wall.

Conclusion

Overall image: For 1 or 2 nights it’s a good hotel with excellent location, comfortable beds and friendly staff. But would not go back again so soon, especially the bathroom was a major drawback in my eyes and no free internet is also a dissapoitment.
Nh Atlanta
BD ADOLPHE MAX 7
Brussels, Belgium
32 2 2170120

Grand Hotel Du Sablon

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Jctravel1983 on January 12, 2011

A while ago I was with a company in Bruges in Belgium. That's quite an experience. Because Bruges is a beautiful old city, whose style is similar to Amsterdam. You also see the canal boats and then you hear one of the guides say that Amsterdam is built on the concept of Bruges.

The hotel

We stayed in the Grand Hotel Du Sablon, which is located near the Market Square. At least it’s within walking distance. But that is a pleasant walk, as you walk through the busy shopping streets of Bruges. The hotel itself is an old historical building, in the midst of a busy street. I think it was about 50 metres away from the nearest parking garage.
You enter through a beautiful entrance and then walk through a hallway and you come in a large room with a beautiful glass dome (Art Nouveau). This space was once been a courtyard and it simply looks beautiful.

The reception

On entry, all the way back was in the left corner the cloakroom and the toilets and reception. A small narrow dark wooden desk where the receptionist is behind with the keys hanging on a wooden board. Checking is was easy enough and the staff member was polite and helpful.

The room

There are only 36 rooms in the hotel. The rooms are a bit spread out over several wings and corridors. Luckily there is an elevator in the building. Not one of the most modern, but then again you are in a old town with old buildings. The room we had was very spacious and looked out at the Art Nouveau glass dome. The layout of the room indicates that we were in an old building. The bathroom was at some distance from our bed. It was a spacious bathroom with all amenities, from showers to toilet. The room had a television, phone but no Internet. The beds were spacious. There were two armchairs and a small table. Everything looked clean and was comfortable.

The bar

When you enter the hotel at your left is a nice cosy dark bar with about 10 stools and 18 seats. In the bar you can get many of the local draft beers. In Bruges there are a number of breweries. My tip is to visit a brewery. That's pretty fun. Prices were usually 2 euro’s for a beer or soda.

The restaurant

At your right is a separate room. This is both the breakfast room and restaurant. The food was very good and you got very generous portions with natural Belgian fries. Even the salmon. We paid
12 euros for a three-course lunch. Breakfast was a buffet. Something for everyone. Different types of bread, yogurt and fruit and drinks. Very tidy and nice.

Price

The price for a double room including breakfast is normally 120 euro’s. There are also packages available.

Disabled facilities

There are facilities for the disabled at the hotel.

Staff

The service is very friendly. And there were enough staff. In every room where you sat you were served quickly.

Conclusion

A great hotel for a reasonable price and with a central location, if you visit Bruges, I can recommend the hotel.
Grand Hotel Du Sablon
Noordzandstraat 21
Bruges, Flanders, 8000
866-539-0036

Holiday Inn Leuven

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Jctravel1983 on November 24, 2010



The hotel

Right in the heart of the city lies the Holiday Inn Garden Court Leuven, a great location. This is definitely a plus for this hotel. From the station to the hotel is within walking distance. Located in a side street, which leads directly to the 'Grote markt', were you'll find the town hall and also the church. Holiday Inn Garden Court Leuven has 101 rooms and is part of the Holiday Inn chain and is also a member of InterContinental Hotels Group.

The lobby is small and you come right at the reception. The reception is good, friendly and helpful. Opposite the reception is the breakfast room and on the other hand, a small bar. The lobby is modern with a dark wood look. Very nice! The bar looks inviting and offers different kinds of Belgian beer, open from 12.00-14.00uur and 16.30-00.00 hours. At the lobby is a small work space where you find a computer with internet access and a printer.

Check-In / Check Out

The staff at check-in is friendly and does its best although check in with us took very long. There was a long line. The same was with the checking out which took a while. After breakfast, we wanted to check out and everyone suddenly wanted to. One big queue and the simply not enough staf. I personally find this a disadvantage. Is the pressure in the hotel, I find that more staff to be deployed. So keep up the good service.

Room

The rather small room has nothing special. The room is quite old and "used", especially the carpet. There is a kind wardrobe and on the wall hangs an iron for ironing trousers, which you hardly sees in the hotels. But the room is cozy and clean, and very important to me. It has standard equipment, such as a desk lamp and a coffee / tea set. The bathroom had a nice bath, but unfortunately there is no shampoo or anything. This is not bad, but I think it was just something extra.

Breakfast

As in the bar of the hotel, the breakfast had Belgian influences and in great variety. The breakfast buffet was delicious! There are different types of bread, several kinds of cereal, meat products - including local sausages, dairy products, fruit juices, fresh fruit, cakes, salmon and of course coffee and tea. The staff is friendly or very friendly. It topped all the time and if you miss something, just ask. One drawback here is that the space is not big enough for all guests. You sit tight together and I love it more of my privacy.

My opinion

The hotel is very popular, so it is wise to book well in advance. The ratio price / quality I think is pretty well: We paid € 75, - per night, including breakfast. Even if you stand waiting in lines to check in or out, otherwise the service was good. The location is just perfect and if you walk out the door, so you have everything at your fingertips. In short, a good hotel with good service.
Holiday Inn Garden Court Leuven
Alfons Smetsplein 7
Leuven, Belgium, 3000

Church of our Lady

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Jctravel1983 on December 11, 2012

Bruges is a beautiful mediaeval town certainly worth the trip when in Belgium. We stayed here for the weekend and just had enough time to explore the whole town. The entire town is like a museum with beautiful old building, squares and parks that are breathtaking. It’s one of the most beautiful peaceful towns that I have been too but certainly not boring.

One of the most beautiful churches in Europe can be found in this town and is called the Church of our Lady. It’s one of the most impressive buildings I have seen. The church dates back all the way to the 13th century and it took them almost two centuries to build. You can clearly see they spend a lot of time building it as the details are amazing. The church reached a height of 381 feet making the tallest brick built spire in the world.

The building attracts many tourists wondering by its beautiful exterior but the inside is even more beautiful. First of all the atmosphere felt very serene and although I have seen churched that were more lavishly decorated, still church felt more intimate and special. The stain glass is absolutely beautiful but most people come here to admire the Michelangelo statue that can be seen inside the church. We learned that it was actually the only statue of Michelangelo to leave the city of Rome during his life. The alter can be seen at the front of the church and is simply a piece of art.

Since the building is quite famous in Belgium and most tourists know about the church, it can be very busy here. The entrance fee is about four euro’s but it’s certainly worth it and you help the church with the money you pay. It’s certainly a small price to pay. I would advise to come back during the night as the outside of the church is beautifully light up and is truly amazing to see.

The Church of our Lady is one of the most impressive churches I have seen and it’s certainly the most beautiful building to be found in Bruges. I gave it five stars but only because I can’t give anymore!
Church of our Lady
Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerkhof Zuid
Bruges, Belgium
050/34-53-14

http://www.igougo.com/journal-j77632-Belgium-A_small_but_great_country_to_visit.html

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