Brussels-what a pleasant surprise! A review of Crowne Plaza Hotel Brussels - Le Palace
When my husband suggested we go to Brussels my thoughts diverted to a scene of a dirty, featureless city with people milling around, bored out of their brains eating chocolate. I am a travel consultant and had always experienced difficulty in selling the destination, but I'd found a bargain and I was curious about what it was really like so my husband took out his credit card for a change. We booked 2 nights at the Crowne Plaza hotel which overlooked the botanical gardens just outside the centre of the city. Luckily the weather was amazing-mid April and spring was in the air! Those gardens are beautiful when the sun shines.
The hotel itself was beautifully restored to its former grandeur-chandelliers hanging, rich mahogany furniture and plush deep red carpets. We arrived early and were surprised to discover that we could check into our room straight away! It was 11am and most of the rooms may have only just been vacated! Our room was large with long windows overlooking the ring road and gardens. The bathroom was white marble and in very good condition with a good shower and full size bath. There was a separate toilet room. The only downside of this was that the power supply was'nt switched on until 2pm when we should've checked in. That was'nt a problem as we were so tired from the early morning flight we just fell asleep for a couple of hours. Brussels surprised me. The main pedestrian shopping street-(Maxlaan I think its called) is packed with shops and department stores and the smell of fresh Belgian waffles fills the air as you walk and you just can't resist! At the end of this street you come to a square with an old white house in the centre of it. Apparently this is the centre of the city and many cobbled streets come off this square, providing you with a maze of interesting things to explore. The Grand Place was beautiful but very expensive for a beer. My favourite place to eat was a street just off the galleries Hubert which reminded me of Montmatre in Paris.
My husband and I sat beneath a canopy with a pot of fresh mussells and chips with mayonnaise and a few beers and it was lovely. I would'nt go back to Brussels but I will go back to Belgium again, maybe Bruges next time.