Hotel des Colonies
Travel Blogs from Saint-Josse-ten-Noode
... her number one rule was “Don’t Die”.
The tour stated in the market square where she described the history of the buildings and how Belgium become bilingual. From here we found some street art, that has been put up to replace
smoking advertisements. Belguim being famous for a number of comic strips, scenes have been painted on wall spaces that used t be occupied by advertising for Cigarette Companies.
Next stop ...
... up in English that lists the
buses for the weekend. Easily finding my bus I can see the lit up sign that
also shows that the bus will arrive in eight minutes. Feeling a little lost at how simple and
effortless it all is I lean against a wall to wait. A couple that were clearly
tourists (taking photos of the bus timetables and signs) came over and asked me
in broken English if I knew what time the buses came. Acting like it was the
easiest thing in the world I led ...
... buy... yet. Tempted by the baked potatos & lamb so had dinner at hostel. Good deal & OK but not proper baked potatoes done in the oven. Happy hour in the bar watching Spain winning so far. Had forgotten that french predominant round here, so forget the dutch for now I've been trying to remember and dredge up high school french. Au ...
... it was the rice and tofu curry that rivaled many an Indian restaurant in Toronto! So here we are at the Atlas Hotel. We walked from the Gare Centrale, which is where the hyper convenient train took us from the airport. As we left the station, climbing out to a gorgeous day, we spent about 10 minutes orienting ourselves and headed by foot to the hotel. I have used my extremely rusty French a little bit, but while the brain sees the words, the mouth does not oblige. The handle on ...
... btw, these were all perfectly legal =P)
The marketplace was my second highlight, both for the atmosphere and amount of cool things that you could buy there. I of course succumbed to impulse buying BUT in my defence, they were cheap and (I think) very cool. An old photo of a family saying goodbye/hello in Anvers (Antwerp), and old beer label, 2 pins (MGM and Les Mis!) and 6 old coins - a penny, a half penny, a three pence, a shilling, 10 francs ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
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Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel des Colonies Saint-Josse-ten-Noode
No frills but great bargain
Best described as basic, but you'll have so much cash left over for moules, frites and beer that makes this place an excellent spot for a short stay. Not the prettiest of areas & plenty of building site-type noises around but close to the centre and just a short walk to the tube (Place Rogier) if you really can't manage the 15/20 minutes into town (there's a couple of 'adult' shops en route - to my mind unostentatious but if you dislike this sort of thing ...)Staff very friendly (like everyone in this wonderful country)and rooms on the small side, with the tiniest bathrooms imaginable (room for a toothbrush & that's about it), but comfy and clean. I've paid a lot more for a lot less over the years & would definitely return here.
Old world charm
The hotel was older but very clean. The location was fantastic and the price was excellent. What really made this place shine was the staff, they were friendly and helpful.
Stayed at this hotel from Jan 15th for 3 nights with my partner. After all the wonderful reviews I read on this site I was really looking forward to my stay there. I knew it was not a 4-star hotel so my expectations were not set too high I think.
The hotel is located near Place Rogier and the Gare du Nord, about a 20-minutes walk to central Brussels, and right by the metro. I found very practical to be able to take the train from the airport directly to the Gare du Nord and then only walk 4 minutes to the hotel.
The reception area could have been gorgeous if it wasn't for the peeling paint everywhere and the clearly battered furniture. It must have been very nice 50 years ago, but now the whole place looks very shabby and dusty.
We arrived at 11AM, and I wasn't expecting a room to be ready so early. Nevertheless the receptionist took the time to call one of the housekeeping staff and asked if there were any cleaned room. There appeared to be none, and I heard him clearly comment to his colleague (I speak fluent French, it helps) that he was going to "open" the first floor since the hotel was nearly full anyway and that they'll probably need the rooms there.
After taking the very dirty elevator, I understood why the 1st floor was normally not open. The originally light beige carpets were ripped off in places and heavily stained. The windows were cracked (some were taped) and it's with a half-broken heart that I walked to our assigned room (#124).
Hopefully the room was in a slightly better shape than the rest of the hotel. The carpet and wallpaper seemed relatively new and clean. It was small but acceptable for 3 nights and 2 people. The bathroom was tiny but clean. Again, it felt very 1950'ish.
After a long day of walking through the European capital, I was looking forward to a good night's sleep. To my horror, when preparing the bed, I noticed several stains and wheel marks (from a laundry trolley and footsteps probably). It was past midnight, I was tired, so we decided to sleep fully dressed and ask housekeeping to change the sheets the next morning.
We were awakened at 7h30 by the works that were in progress outside in the hotel's courtyard, with workers walking just in front of our window...
Breakfast was included and consisted of a small buffet with basic stuffs such as bread, rolls, croissants and un-refrigerated yogurts that would have made any normal stomachs go sick. The breakfast room itself was probably the best part of this hotel, and reminded me of a grand dining room aboard the Titanic.
The rest of the stay was more or less a repetition of the above.
In short, I do not recomment this hotel. It's old, dirty and shabby. For the same price (eur100/night) I think it is possible to find something better.
What a find! An old and well-established hotel full of beautiful Jugendstijl features, including a wooden elevator! Very well refurbished and very comfortable rooms and a massive buffet breakfast! Staff were very nice and cooperative. Moreover, the location right on Place Rogier is right on the high street (Rue Neuve) and only 10 mins walk away from the historic centre.
Arrived to the Hotel at 2pm and the kind Manager let us check in, thus avoiding us the charge for placing our luggage in bins, multilingual and eager to serve they always remebered us, and had a great dispossition for request, and on time wake up calls.
The rooms where clean and sufficient, high ceilungs and a japanese decor where very nice, the room was quiet and comfortable, with extra pillows and blankest which even tough the nights where cold was not needed as the in room radiant heater did a superb job. Bathroom is on the small side, but adequate, the breakfast is abundant and varied and was the perfect start for a day of sight seeing.
All in all a great place close to the main areas and the train station, safe and with nice atmosphere.
Comfortable and right on budget
Four of us stayed at the Hotel des Colonies over the weekend. I wanted a hotel which was affordable and in a good area. Hotel des Colonies didn't let us down.
The hotel entrance is lovely. Beautiful arches as you walk in. It's an older style hotel which in the 50's would have charmed anyone who walked through. I still think it has that charm.
We were greeted very warmly by reception and then given two rooms on the first floor.
Our room was spacious enough for twin beds. Room 102. The beds were comfortable and the room warm. The bathroom was modern and clean. If there was a down side it was the view...which we really didn't have..because it was directly opposite Room 101.
The other room (Room 101) my friend's had was directly opposite our bedroom. They had a bigger bathroom but a smaller room.
We found the hotel to be extremely comfortable for our stay. We slept soundly in their beds.
The breakfast was very good. They had a good selection of cereals to choose from ranging from muesli, cornflakes, oatbran to a variety of bread for toasting. A spread of croissants, small bread rolls, cheeses, ham, and tea and coffee were also available.
The other good thing about this hotel was its location. We felt very safe walking around..even at 2am. It was within walking distance to all the bars and clubs at Bourse Beaurs and Grand Place. Even the North Station was within 5-7 walk to go to Bruge. Perfect.
Oh and if you're looking for a good bar try Cafe Centrale or the Jazz Bar - Archiduc on Rue Antoine-Dansaert. It's was very busy on the Friday but worth going for a drink or two.
Would I stay at Hotel Des Colonies again? Without hesitation.
Stayed for six nights. Beds were comfortable, clean, excellent staff and delicious breakfasts. Would stay there again in a flash.
Fantastic budget hotel, very nice place.
Fantastic hotel if you're looking for a budget stay in Brussels. Stayed for four nights B&B at a very good rate. It's well situated, a few yards from the Metro, ten minutes or so from the Grand Place, and about the same from the Upper Town. The hotel itself is well looked after, the staff are pleasant and very helpful, and the breakfast was good. It's not a flash luxury hotel by any stretch, but it's comfortable, clean, and as good as you could hope for on a budget. Would stay there again in a flash if we go back to Brussels.
And Enough Change for a Bag of Frites
Let me be honest here. The bath filled with black water once (the rest of the time it was fine) and it's not the best equipped of hotels (you have to borrow a hair dryer from Reception). But the olde-world charm and friendliness of the place somehow compensate for this and when you consider that you're staying next door to mega-chain hotels where people are paying three times more, it's difficult not to feel smug. A bit rough at the edges but with a genuinely warm welcome, and unbeatable at the price.