Friday, January 07, 2011

Rating Hotel Stanhope*****, Brussels


When visiting Brussels in December 2010, I stayed at Hotel Stanhope, described as a boutique hotel decorated in English Country style. It certainly deserved all its five star rating, and it was the best hotel I stayed in in 2010.

Total score: BBBBB (4,82 points)
  • Location: BBBB+
  • Service: BBBBB
  • Room: BBBBB
  • Breakfast: BBBBB-
  • Facilities: BBBBB-
  • Price: BBBBB
Hotel Stanhope is located in a quiet side street in the European quarter. The nearest subway station Troon, is just a few minutes away.  A classic Brussels 19th century building has been transformed into a beautiful secluded haven in a British country style.

The service in the reception, the bar, breakfast room is exquisite. Helpful, elegantly dressed staff takes excellent care of you. They blend into the elegant surroundings and you feel like a guest in a manor house, slightly out of place, but that is your and not the staff's choice.

I was located in a room with a brass sign showing that this was the "Willoughby". Entering you suddenly fell being in a luxurious classic manor house just picked out of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility.

The room was by far larger than many of the other rooms I have lived in, in Brussels. The sense of space was further strengthen by the the fact that it was from 12-15 feet up to the white ornate ceiling.

You moved up 4-5 stairs and you came into a narrow corridor and you had to ascend another 4-5 steps to find closets and a small exquisitely marbled bathroom with a large sink and a bath tub!!   

The centerpiece of the room was an enormous bed with a large canopy holding classic fabric in silver and burgundy, with matching pillows and clean white sheets. The room was held in a classic coffee colour. 

Very rarely you experience such a skill in creating a classic interior. Period, mahogany furniture, old paintings and etchings, beautiful fabrics.  A large beautiful chandelier shared a magic light over the room. A beautiful blue Delft inspired vase was placed in the window overlooking a quiet back yard.

The only thing I saw that reminded that you were safely in the 20th century was the presence of electricity, a large flat screen TV and a phone.

There was a modest amount dust found on top of picture frames or other hidden surfaces, and all was immaculately maintained.

Breakfast was not included in the price, but we decided to pay for breakfast as it was offered at a 30 % discount on weekends. It was served in the very tasteful breakfast room, and you could indulge in a large  breakfast buffet with a wide selection of cold cuts, sliced and smoked salmon, cheese, as well as healthy options as fruits, cereals and yogurts.

I prefer eggs and bacon as Sunday breakfast. I found the scrambled eggs disappointing. Strange rubbery texture and with absolutely no taste. The bacon was steamed rather than crispy and delicious. We were, as a result of this, not entirely satisfied with the breakfast. Sad really as the rest was delicious.

The Stanhope Hotel has:
  • Inhouse restaurant & bar. The library bar is a great place to end a busy day in a classic interior. The service from the staff was excellent
  • Fitness studio and sauna, and you may book you own personal masseur.
  • Free WIFI all over the hotel and free PC in lobby. Air conditioning throughout the premises. Many spots where you could rest in the hotel. 
  • Immaculately maintained and clean. 
I paid 168 Euros for two nights, an unbeatable price considering the standard offered. 

Stanhope Hotel is absolutely one of the best hotels I have stayed in for a long time, and by far the best during my years in Brussels. Be aware that my price is a special offer, and you may end paying 4-5 times as much  during weekdays. I will however look for another bargain when I visit Brussels in 2011, and I hope I get one.

Address:        
Stanhope Hotel
Rue du Commerce 9
B-1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 506 91 11
Fax: +32 2 512 1708
http://www.thonhotels.be/stanhope

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