Van Belle Hotel
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Travel Blogs from Anderlecht
6 trains, 232km
After Brugge and Ghent, Brussels was just an hour's train journey, and is our first main city on our trip.
Throughout our tour of Belgium we've been using a series of guide maps that have been created for young travellers by locals. They've given us a unique insight on places to visit and things to experience.
After our 'down and dirty' tour of Brussels yesterday we decided to do as everyone else does and explore the nicer places in the city. Not as much character, but certainly a bit more pleasing on the eye!
As you can see from the photos below we finally found the peeing statue, which they now apparently dress up differently each week!? …
... that view either, the whole city's expensive including the dumpy restaurants. However, you may spend a fortune here but never feel ripped off. Even stranger, it's a European city yet the locals are friendly and courteous. Stoned and drunk half the time but at least they're nice. For that, I thank the good people of Brussels. With out you, your city just may suck after all. The only thing that keeps this city from being my favorite ...
... of architecture.
I definitely had some interesting additions to my summer playlist after my first night in Brussels. Justin Bieber, Toni Braxton, Sheryl Crow, and Lady Gaga were playing at the restaurant where we had dinner. On the walk back, as we were crossing the street, the car that pulled up was blasting the Black Eyed Peas Got a Feeling - one of the most epic songs of my life that has played at so many momentous moments (when I left home to drive ...
... is counterintuitive, or bloody stupid in technical terms. Our first class sleeper cabin featured two bunk beds, a removable table, a shower and toilet and thankfully air-conditioning as the European summer temperatures scorch on. We left Amsterdam on time and headed for Munich, Germany, comfortable in our little mobile room. Tomorrow morning when we wake up we will have crossed into our 6th country on this world trip. See you tomorrow from ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Van Belle Hotel Anderlecht
Better than expected
I stayed here with my parents in May 2004. We booked through Hostelworld and did not really have high hopes for a hotel so cheap in Brussels. The neighborhood is slightly unsavory (to say the least), but the room we had was very clean and SUNNY. There was tons of light- especially with the huge picture window in the bathroom! It's not the Ritz, but it's not a terrible place for what you pay. Their breakfast was one of the best I have *ever* had anywhere in Europe. The staff were pleasant. Overall, we were very pleased with our experience here.
Not a Resort!
Not one of those hotels where you want to kick back and relax. It's spotlessly clean, but hardly luxurious- and there's no a/c. The staff seem hardworking, but bar service is terrible. The area is very poor, which can be offputting, but the hotel does provide a bus into and out of the city centre. If you just want a clean, comfortable place to stay, close to the station, it's not bad.
Reasonable hotel for price
I stayed here 2-4 July 2004 with 7 others. The reason we stayed here was the price. The rooms do vary in appearance. All 4 rooms were clean and had powerful showers. However another room had mosquitos in which feasted on 2 of my friends! The location is not as bad as other reviewers make out. Yes its shabbier than other areas but I wouldn't say its unsafe. Its only 15 min walk into the centre. The breakfast is o.k. Boiled eggs cold, bacon had seen better days but choice of cereal, breads, hot and cold drinks. No pastries. The shuttle service to/from town/train station is a good idea but has set timings. They will make repeat trips if more than 8 people are waiting. Overall a decent hotel for the price.
Man what a night
Stayed for one night in Dec 2003.
Yes it is true what the other reviewers are saying about it being in a shaddy location. Street is very dirty with cracked sidewalks and a nasty lot nextdoor. Hotel is pretty close to the train station (15-20min walk) just make sure you can read the map right.
Interior is pleasing for that kind of a price. Nice dining room and sitting area. Staff was somewhat friendly but it could have been better.
Unfortunately our room was at the top floor which is basically like an attic. First off you have to take like 3 flights of stairs and the last one is so steep it feels like a ladder (kind of hard with a big ol' suitcase). Room was nice with a vanity, sink, and skylight window (what else would you expect in an attic). At night, the room was the coldest I had ever been in and this is with all my clothes and the 4 extra blankets on.
The shuttle is a nice feature, but the 'bus' is a toyota minivan from like the 1980s. It felt as if the van was gonna die. There are scheduled pick up times from grand place which was bad because more people showed up then could fit ins. We could not fit so it was either wait 1hr for next van or walk (~30min).
We walked :-( One of the scariest and worst decisions ever. Using the BAD hotel map, we missed our turn and walked down the wrong street. Next thing you know, we are having to cut back through the ghetto with projects on the right side and empty buildings on the left. Yet after that, we took another wrong turn and actually walked for over an hour AWAY from Brussels. In the end, it took us over 2.5 hrs to get back in 10degree weather.
I would stay here again as long as i get a room on a lower level and learn to squish in a van.
I have stayed at the Van Belle before and liked the place, but on my last trip, a lot of money was stolen from my room. Management of course would not accept liability, so I won't be returning there.
Did not like
i booked the van belle as a valentines surprise for my partner as i have never been to brussels the price seemed okay bet on arrival the area was like a gheto we were informed it was safer to take a taxi everywhere as it was quite a rough neibourhood it was full of litter and shady lookin people i will go back to brussels but i will try and find a hotel in the centre rather than stay quite a distance out the room was clean and tv had loads of channels breakfast good plenty of it but it was just the area that let it down i would not recomend it thanks JAMES MUIRHEAD.......
Wouldn't stay there again
We stayed for two nights last March, it was in a very rundown part of the city, while downstairs was nicely furnished, our room hadnt seen a lick of paint in a while and while not dirty just seemed grotty. We felt that the staff were unfriendly. While not the worst place I've stayed I wouldn't stay there againor recommend it to anyone.
We drove there and, WOW, was it hard to find! The neighborhood is a little worn, but they had secure parking. The web site states they are 500 meters from the Train station Gare du Midi, but I don't believe it for a second. I felt the front desk staff was not friendly, no smiles, kinda gruff, almost like you were bothering them from other things they could be doing. The decor inside was nice. The bar area always had friendly people relaxing in it, possibly waiting for the free shuttle to the Grand Place. Grand Place is about a 10 min. walk from the hotel, no big. They have a lift. I felt the rooms to be a little grubby and when I first went in they had no towels, but I just called the front desk and they sent some. the TV had several English speaking channels (not just CNN). View from small window was awful, a roof and side of a building. Breakfast was very nice and they offered scrambled eggs and the usual european assortment. The coffee was heaven! They serve breakfast until 10:30, which is nice. We only paid 60 eruos so it was well worth the money.
Nice Hotel, bad location
I booked and paid for the reservation in full on hotels. The Van Belle is a three star hotel and basically lived up to its promise.First, we decided to take a cab from the train station to the hotel. For people thinking of doing the same, don't. Just walk. We were taken advantage of by the cab driver. We had to pay 15 Euros for a two second ride.The outside of the hotel is warn, but the inside is nice. The staff greated us very nicely and spoke great English. We had no problems in at check in. The bar area was fairly nice and the breakfast room served a fairly good breakfast.The rooms were basic, but were very clean. Our room had two twin beds, a small tv, small desk, and a bathroom. The bathroom was very clean and included personal products and a hairdryer.The rooms were a little dark. The carpet was brown, the bedspreads were brown, and the chair was brown. The dark colors just added to the "darkness" feel.However, the location of the hotel is in a bad area. Lots of trash were in the streets and people begging for money. Little kids were running up and down asking for money and other items. The phone booth windows were shattered all over the ground. My overall impression was not to go out at night. However, we did not really encounter anything bad while walking around at night.If I had to, I would stay at the Van Belle again. If you can't get a hotel that is close to the Brussels city center, then try the Van Belle.
A nice hotel with excellent food
Hotel van belle was a really nice place. The hotel was very clean and the staff were excellent and very helpful. The bedrooms were basic but nice and also very clean. The resturant was absolutely amazing! Excellent choice and stunning presentation - all for a very reasonable price. The area surrounding the hotel was not particularly nice but the hotel provided a shuttle service to the center (grand place) and would arrange to pick you up too!! It was not far but definately a nice touch.