July 6th, 2019 – Brussels, Belgium
The Hilton Brussels Grand Place
Little did we know when we arrived at Central Station in Brussels that the whole centre ville was shut down. The taxi would not take us, we asked why and in a very heavy french accent they said “you don’t know?, the premier etage is here”. Now, having had a mother who taught French in high school, and having not paid attention to my French teachers for 7 years, I don’t much, but what I did know is that premier etage meant first stage. I also don’t anything about cycling but my knowledge of sports and sporting events is vast, so my immediate thought was Tour de France. “What do you mean, I replied. Tour de France, it’s starting here! in Brussels! No way!” The cab driver smiled and replied “oui”. Well, talk about excitement.
We had to get on the metro, with our bags and get off 3 stops away and walk on the cobble stone streets through hordes of racing fans. I thought American football fans were nuts. These people were off their rocker – in a good way of course. I mean, loud and screaming and having fun and drinking and drinking and drinking. The family unit was not taking it in as much as I was. They just wanted to get to the hotel and play some mind numbing BS on their mind numbing devices, that me and the Mrs. so mindnumbingly say yes to more often than not. Anyhoo, La Tour De France, a 21 stage, 14 day grueling event that takes place mostly through the country side of France. It has different starting points every year, so I learnt from some lovely Italians who were there cheering on their countrymen. Who signs up for this? Not for me, but wow do people get excited about it. Unfortunately for us, we did not get to see any of the race, as we arrived too late, but the streets were still buzzing there was music in the cafes and revolution in the air. We walked and walked and walked and ate and then it was time for sleep…..
The Mrs. and I on a king north American style and the kids on 2 cots end to end – not bad actually. Quite a nice family room with a couch and sitting area, a bureau, or desk for those not as in tune with their French as me. Two bathrooms and a large shower and tub.
The interesting part about this room to me, is that I only booked it a few weeks prior and when I asked the check in counter how I was able to get the room with the festivities going on, she told me I was tres de la chance.
Although only for one night, I would go back to this hotel, not so much for the buffet that was included or the location but for the mattress. They got this right. Hotelys is a French manufacturer of beds for the hotel industry including Hitlon, Shangri-la, and Novotel to name a few. This particular mattress was medium firm pocket coil that had a zipper removable pillow top. Neat idea as opposed to replacing the mattress every 10 years or so, they probably replace just the top and get some more life. Cushiony, but not overly, really just right for me and for anyone who is a side sleeper. Relaxed feel on your hips and shoulders with some good support so you are not sinking down so spine alignment was right. Sitting on a slatted bed base for good air circulation and to allow for some movement. If this Hilton was only in Paris……
A good night’s one even though we had an early morning wake up to get to the airport. 11 PM – 6 AM.
LINENS AND MORE
Exclusive Linens is a UK base company for the hotel industry. Good not great set up here with a 100% cotton linen, duvet cover, and pillow cases. Nothing out of the norm here and nothing really exclusive either. The pillows were soft and fluffy and comfortable. Kids beds had the same linens and pillows.
A really nice day and night in a small quaint city. Lots of hustle and bustle and streets were alive, not so sure there is much to do here outside of a stopover. The mattress made it a pleasant one and the hotel was quite lovely. Check it off the list. ✔ 🚲
GREAT RELATED LINKS
https://choco-story-brussels.be/en/Homepage-en – Chocolate Museum – no visit to Belgium is complete without it.
My son had a few of these. Waffle covered in goodness.