I try to stay in this little gem of a hotel whenever I am in Brussels. I am simply in love with the design. It is so understated, yet at the same time so elegant and refined.
The location is right in the center, it is close to the Brussels central train station and the Grand Place and it is quite unique: you are staying in the Galéries Royales Saint Hubert, which is a combination of three beautiful glazed shopping arcades, dating from 1846. Yes, this is a very touristy area, but the hotel itself does not feel “touristy” at all. It is actually very quiet, having only 26 rooms.
The hotel is owned by a wealthy French family, Flammarion, who used to own a big Parisian publishing company (with the same name). Money does not necessarily come with good taste, but in this case, it does.
You can enter the hotel from the aforementioned gallery or from the Rue des Bouchers. The latter is filled with “tourist trap” restaurants of questionable culinary quality. Apart from two or three places, these restaurants are better avoided if you have any respect for yourself. The hotel’s restaurant is actually one of the few good places in this street. While the other restaurants are trying to lure in tourists with “authentic” interiors and menu items, this restaurant (Comptoir des Galeries) has a very light and Scandinavian inspired interior. It offers light and original dishes and is managed by top chef Julian Burlat. Prices are actually surprisingly affordable for the quality offered.
This is the report of my stay a couple of months ago, in the middle of a very hot Belgian summer. Checking in was fast – since they don’t have a lot of rooms, I have never had to wait in any line. The receptionists are generally friendly but could definitely be a bit more polished and personable.
My room for this stay was on the top floor. I have stayed in different rooms in this hotel, and these rooms under the roof are actually my favorite. The rooms all have high ceilings and definitely feel spacious.
I really like the old wooden floors and the well chosen subtle design and art pieces in the room. The mix of white walls and interesting color accents make this such a serene and happy place.
Don’t expect a lot of high tech gadgets here, just your regular light switches, but they work! No button controlled black out curtains, you actually have to manually close the wooden blinds, but the room is pitch-black at night! In the picture below, you can see the blinds closed.
The room features a small desk which is adequate for doing some work on your laptop (wifi works well and is free). As you may have noted, the television is tiny for modern standards. It feels a bit like they put a TV in because they had to… For a one night stay, this is not really an issue, but I think they could do more of an effort here. They should offer something more modern and bigger, and if they really want to impress, they should combine it with an offer of curated movies and music.
This room is right above the glass roof of the historic Galéries Saint Hubert. You can see the roof from your windows.
Check out below some other pictures of the bedroom.
Each room has different art pieces on the walls, and the art is (refreshingly) not the typical boring and nondescript stuff that you usually find in hotel rooms.
You get a Nespresso coffee maker with a couple of complimentary coffee pods (plus a 50cl bottle of Bru water). The green background color creates a nice light effect and nicely matches the interior color of the bathroom.
Let’s take a quick look at the bathroom, which has super cool green tiles. You enter the bathroom through a sliding door, immediately on your right once you enter the room.
More green tiles! Just love them.
The rain shower is great (not walk-in though unfortunately). Toiletries are from Malin+Goetz. The toilet is in a separate space, next to the bathroom.
This hotel’s strengths are:
- Its design – it’s so elegant, fresh and original
- Its location – it’s hard to be more central in Brussels, and to be at such a beautiful location
- Its exquisite restaurant (did not try the breakfast though)
What could be improved:
- The service – it could be a bit more polished and personable (definitely for a boutique hotel)
- TV/entertainment in the room could be updated
What did I pay for the room? EUR 126 per night.
Would I stay here again? Yes, absolutely.