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Scandic Brussels Grand Place {BEL} (no longer Honors)

Scandic Brussels Grand Place {BEL} (no longer Honors)

Old Aug 19, 03, 12:47 pm
  #1  
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Scandic Brussels Grand Place {BEL} (no longer Honors)

I have a business trip to Brussels coming up and one of the preferred hotels for my company is the Scandic. Has anybody stayed there? How does it compare to the Sheraton?
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Old Aug 20, 03, 4:55 am
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The scandic is closer to the grand place than the sheraton, but otherwise the sheraton is a better property. The rooms are better and they usually are quite good if you have starwood status. Opposite of the sheraton is the new hilton brussels city. They should be priced about the same and if you have hhonors gold status it should be more interesting (free breakfast, free gym use and upgrade). But if you're a starwood plat, the sheraton might be a better pick.
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Old Aug 20, 03, 8:57 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by AABelflyer:
The scandic is closer to the grand place than the sheraton, but otherwise the sheraton is a better property. The rooms are better and they usually are quite good if you have starwood status. Opposite of the sheraton is the new hilton brussels city. They should be priced about the same and if you have hhonors gold status it should be more interesting (free breakfast, free gym use and upgrade). But if you're a starwood plat, the sheraton might be a better pick. </font>
You might have to fight for the free breakfast if you stay at the Brussels City. I only managed to get a little off the buffet breakfast price, after a protracted discussion. I did get an upgrade, though.
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Old Aug 24, 03, 7:03 pm
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I stayed at the Scandic Brussels in January 2003. all scandics could be had for only 10,000 points (Level 1) at that time; don't know if this is still true. Clean, efficient rooms typical of European business hotels. No upgrade and no breakfast though. I thought the location was nice; just a short walk from the train station if you take the airport line into town.
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Old Feb 19, 04, 8:34 pm
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Scandic Hotel Grand Place in Brussels still coming up at 10,000 points / C101 cost for March 2004. Given what the Euro has been doing, a very good deal, though it is a Scandic...
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Old Apr 2, 04, 6:06 pm
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Scandic Brussels award stay

A classic MR, with fun, moules et frites, Vlaamse karbonaden and lots of ales had by all (Belgium is the place for ales - perhaps 600 and counting!) And we stayed at the Scandic Grand Place in Brussels, 10,000 HHonors points per night, no troubles reserving, in spite of the popularity of the hotel (location for tourism, and reliable for Euurocrats.) We arrived at Gare Centrale / Centraal Station via rail (in this case, from Brugge and Gent, but trains direct from Zaventem International arrive here too,) and hauled our wheeled carry-ons a quick three blocks to the hotel. Consult a map - or have good directions, It is a large station, and there is street construction going on.

We were awaded a room on the first floor (second floor, for Americans,) the Scandic frequent guest floor. The rooms around the shaft over the restaurant are much quiter than the rooms facing the street, which has lots of traffic and occasional loud revelers. The room was typical (older) Scandic, small (in the European style), with two tiwn beds touching each other as a double, with comforters. A minibar, closet safe, trousers press, desk, and pay WiFi Internet access, decent bathroom, completed the offering.

We were greeted courteously, and my Diamond status got us a fruit plate in the room (brekkies was already part of the package - see below.) There were no extras, so we had a good stay in what was described as a €250 rack rate room that seemed to go for €150, on a weekday with the EU and NATO in session.

Scandic stays include a generous breakfast buffet, regardless of kind of stay or frequent guest status. We were quite happy with breakfast. Though there is a restaurant, we ate out - Rue des Bouchers (with its many restaurants - we avoid the ones with barkers trying to hustle you in) is a five minute walk, and if one wants to sample brews nearby with some classic rye with cream-cheese munchies, the appropriately-named La Mort Subite pub with many ales - including scarce ones- is just around the corner. The Grand Place is a ten minute walk at most - that long only because there is always somehting to slow down and look at.

At Rue des Bouchers, if you want good service and good Franco-Belgian food (with some Flemish tossed in,) try the large, clean and long-lived Leons. For Flemish-Belgian food, go down Bouchers and around the corner to your right on Rue de la Fourche to Au Pot Carré - they have Jazz Saturday nights, no cover, as well. Both of these restaurants will give you excellent value for your money, and not rip you off. And if you want to visit another pub, the wild Delirum Tremens is in an alley off Rue des Bouchers.

For touring or business, the Brussels Scandic Grand Place is a well-sited, decent mid-level hotel in the Scandinavian tradition - rumours say soon te be renovated, a welcome thing - with a giveaway price in HHonors points at 10k.

Last edited by JDiver; Apr 4, 04 at 2:59 pm
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Old Apr 4, 04, 11:19 pm
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Thumbs up Scandic Brugge / Bruges

In March, one never knows what the weather will be like in Belgium - well, that's true for any time! But we decided on a combo MR / holiday using AA's great prices and bonus mile offers to visit Brugge (Bruges is what you will see in many brochures, but that is the French rendering, and you are in Flanders here...) and wound up being endorsed over to BA out of SFO, as ORD weather was what was terrible, but that's another story.

On arrival at Zaventem International / Brussels, we hiked the long, empty corridors after cursory Immigration and Customs controls, and made prompt use of one of the cash machine / ATMs (to the far right as one enters the arrivals hall) for some Euros.

From there, downstairs to the rail station, with one of the most disinterested clerks I've yet come accross. A question about gates and schedules was answered with a general wave of the hand... but we got our tickets. The train took perhaps 20 minutes to Brussel Noordstation / Gare du Nord Bruxelles, where we transferred to another train to Blankenberge / Knokke (by this time, it was raining, of course!) A few stops, and we were at Brugge, where we took a taxi to our hotel for about €10.

We had booked the Scandic Brugge online, with reasonable rates - €97, including fees and taxes, plus the very decent and comprehensive Scandic breakfast buffet. We were upgraded on arrival to a Junior Suite, and made to feel welcome in this mid-level Scandinavian hotel. The suite's table contained a welcome note from the GM, a basket of nice fruits, silverware and glasses, a bottle of fairly decent South African red wine, and a nice box of Belgian chocolates. The room also had two white terry robes and slippers, a la Hilton.

The Junior Suite was near a corner, on the 4th floor, very spacious with lots of wood - flooring, furniture, etc. Furnishings included a queen bed with typical Euro bedding and bench, small chest with automated minibar and color tv, trouser press, desk with high speed Internet access (I didn't use,) square table with chairs, spacious shower-bath (though the toilet stool is cramped into a corner and makes you think of NW's DC-9 seating.) Heat controls worked well, but as usual with central heat and air, it didn't cool and one had to open a window to cool the room off decently. The only downside is that the spaciousness (this room is HUGE) is broken up by faux dormers causing slanted-in wall lines in a couple of places (like near the desk, where you can bump your head.)

The location is adjacent to a large field populated by sheep, not far from an industrial area (but far enough to not deal with the noise, traffic, etc.) Downtown Brugge is a 20 - 25 minute walk, or a taxi ride (the desk sells a booklet of two chits, each good for a one-way trip to town, for €10, a savings of perhaps 40 - 50%.)

Visiting business- and trades-people stay here weekdays. It can get crowded weekends or during the season, with tour groups and many visitors from throughout Europe (the UK is not far by Eurostar to Brussels, and Paris even has a daily Thalys connection.) Staff seem to be able to cope quite well, and English is spoken widely (here and throughout Flanders.)

The lobby was split - one side near the check-in desk, and a longer one between the entry and the restaurant, which also contains a nook with toys for the kids. Unfortunately, it was all smoking, and pretty smelly at that - not the most healthful environment for the kiddies, Sigge!

"Ter Poele" (The Pond) is the restaurant / bar and sitting area with cozy fireplace. There is an extensive list of booze and (of course!) Belgian ales, and one can drink and enjoy hors d'oeuvres or pub snacks at the bar, or at high tables with stools. The restaurant has a decent selection of OK-priced food, ranging from a few Flemish specalties, to French offerings, and while we were there, Kangaroo steak (you should try it - low cholesterol, and tasty, if you are a carnivore.)

Staff was attentive, and both the extensive breakfast buffet and the pub snacks were well prepared (we took our main meals in town.) The restaurant portion seems to be no smoking, with the pub and sofa "conversation pit" around the fireplace are smoking.

Tour companies will pick up at the Scandic, and there is plenty of free parking space. The hotel is easily accessed from local roads and highways, but if you do not have a vehicle, you will have to use taxis (best to use the chits aforementioned) or "shank's mare" and walk (which we like to do), as no city bus comes out this way that we could see. Bicycling is good too, but nobody rents bikes out in this far from town.

One can spend a couple of days wandering the historic section of Brugge- and I recommend it. In spite of its touristiness, it is a lovely place, with lots of history, ancient buildings and art, lovely canals to reflect it all, and a ton of eateries and gift shops. Belgians eat well, so there are many delis, restaurants, pubs, chocolate manufacturing shops, bakeries, etc.

A few recommendations we can make:

Quasimodo Tours offers small bus and bicycle tours in and about Brugge. Lode Notredame (get it?) (ably assisted by his competent and friendly wife, Sandi) do the tours - and Lode is a veteran cyclist, so he can arrange almost anything in that line. Lode has been running these tours for 15 years, has a dry wit and lots of knowledge and quips - a tour with Lode is a painless learning experience. All tours in English. Highly recommended for local history and colour, or to visit the battlefields of Flanders (if you have a request regarding the battle areas or grave of a relative, let him know in advance.)

Brasserie Vivaldi at Wijngaardstraat 24 (Phone +32 50 34.44.68, no website, near the Begijnhof at the southeast end of the historic center) is a very good place for lunch. The restaurant has a pleasant two-level restaurant out front, and an area for tour groups "behind curtain number one". Food consists of Flemish specialties (Vlaamse karbonaden - beef stew marinaded in local ale - a potful of mussels cooked in ale with a mound of twice-fried chips on the side, etc.), and as busy as it may get, the staff is efficient and warm.

The excellent De Vlaamsche Pot (perhaps named after a famed Dutch tv comedy in the 90's?), Helmstraat 3 - 5 (off Nordzandstraat, a shopping street a couple of blocks from the square) is another good Flemish restaurant with decent prices and a friendly, welcoming host / owner, with a no-smoking area to boot. Waterzooi (chicken or fish soup), beef stew, rabbit, the whole Flemish gamut, in a nice, atmospheric and moderately-priced restaurant. Highly recommended.

For a brewery visit, try De Gouden Boom at Langestraat 45 (Phone: (050)33 06 99, E-mail: [email protected], tours available but seem to vary on time of year, etc. This is a genuine brewery in Brugge (operating already in 1455 as t Hammerken,) and they out out some nice ales (Brugse Blond and Brugse Tripel, 9% Alc. by vol., as well as the Steenbrugge line of beers. Very nice museum, and a tasting bar. (Notice how the head is cleaned of larger bubbles with a spatula, so the larger CO2 bubbles don't give you a headache!)

A family "brewery" that advertizes is De Halve Maan (The Half Moon), Walplein 26, which brews "Straffe Hendrik" (Strong Henry) apparently out of town, has a very decent economical restaurant and tour of the brewery museum (open in 1564)- with a narrow-stepped tower that leads to good views. Also near the Begijnhof. Avoid the restaurants across the street that try to shill you in - there's a good rea$on they do that!

WAY too many places to list... and there are nice places to stay downtown too, but they can get quite pricey, and noisy during the height of the tourist season - which seems to be every weekend and holiday, as well as Spring - Fall! But this is a start, and I recommend the Scandic for a nice, new, clean Hilton property out in the quiet zone, attentive to HHonors elites, and families. Brugge can be quite the romantic destination, and Flanders can offer much to everyone from visitors to the battlefields to those who want to see historic buildings, picturesque canals and a vibrant Flemish culture.

Last edited by JDiver; Apr 4, 04 at 11:28 pm
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Old Apr 18, 04, 6:54 am
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Scandic Belgium questions generally

Despite my having reviewed a number of recent Scandic-themed messages, there's a few issues I still am unclear about.

I am Hilton Silver. Can I and Lady Rasputin expect to receive free breakfast at all/any three Scandic properties (Brussels, Brugges, Antwerp/Anvers)?

Also, is there any public transportation options to the Brugges and/or Antwerp/Anvers hotels. What with the dollar being what it is against the Euro, we'd like to economize whereever possible.

If public transport is not a decent option, how long will the walk from the train station to the hotel, and/or the the walk from the downtown areas of Brugges and Antwerp/Anvers to the respective hotels take?

Thanks very much for any other advice you may have about maximizing our stay experience in Belgium.
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Old Oct 24, 04, 11:41 am
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Scandic Brussels - any thoughts?

Hi,

I've had a dig around and there's some comments that seem relatively encouraging here for the Scandic in Brussels.

Anyway, i've picked up a weekend rate for €99 a night, including tax, breakfast, welcome drink & box of chocolates...

There is a big medical conference going on in BRU the previous week so many hotels are very expensive on the Friday night, including the Sheraton (which is the only chain we've got status with).

We're not going to spend long in the hotel and need to be close to a station, so I think we've made the right choice, but if anyone has any other observations, i'd appreciate hearing them!

Many thanks

Tony
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Old Oct 25, 04, 2:37 am
  #10  
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I've also been digging around for Brussels hotels at the moment!

Without going totally OT, the Holiday Inn near the European Commission is down to Euro 41 for the Saturday night I am looking at. If they are not sitting then no-one goes there, even though it is next to a metro station. Possibly worth a look - tripadvisor reviews it OK.

Hyatt has 'faster free nights' back at the moment if you pay on Mastercard, and the Brussels Hyatt is probably the cheapest in Europe. If you are staying two nights and have a MC then this is worth a look - you can use the free night in Paris, Milan etc for a room that will be worth more than you pay for 2 nights in Brussels.
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Old Oct 25, 04, 2:45 am
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Originally Posted by RJB
I've also been digging around for Brussels hotels at the moment!

Without going totally OT, the Holiday Inn near the European Commission is down to Euro 41 for the Saturday night I am looking at. If they are not sitting then no-one goes there, even though it is next to a metro station. Possibly worth a look - tripadvisor reviews it OK.

Hyatt has 'faster free nights' back at the moment if you pay on Mastercard, and the Brussels Hyatt is probably the cheapest in Europe. If you are staying two nights and have a MC then this is worth a look - you can use the free night in Paris, Milan etc for a room that will be worth more than you pay for 2 nights in Brussels.
The Hyatt Regency Brussels Barsey is a nice hotel, however you need two seperate stays for one Free Faster Night award and it is not close to the main station at all, but has a tram stop 50 yards away.If you need more info on the property, please do a search in the Hyatt GPP forum, the hotel has been discussed intensively.

The Scandic is indeed close to the main staion front entrance, probadly 200 yards away, rooms are relatively small, the lobby restaurant small as well and a little dark.Breakfast is solid, but inferior to other Scandic properties like Frankfurt or Essen.

Anyway a solid choice with a convenient location !
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Old Oct 25, 04, 5:11 am
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Originally Posted by Swiss Tony
Hi,

I've had a dig around and there's some comments that seem relatively encouraging here for the Scandic in Brussels.

Anyway, i've picked up a weekend rate for €99 a night, including tax, breakfast, welcome drink & box of chocolates...

We're not going to spend long in the hotel and need to be close to a station, so I think we've made the right choice, but if anyone has any other observations, i'd appreciate hearing them!

Many thanks

Tony
Tony,

If you have any HHonours points, the Scandic Brussels is a 10K reward.

Mary
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Old Oct 25, 04, 11:38 am
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Thanks all for the advice - I think the Scandic's the way to go.

We were offered a good rate at the Renaissance too - €139 for two nights incl. Breakfast, welcome drinks and tour of a brewery, but it's the hassle of having to get a taxi or tram to/from the station (a total of 4 times...)

I know this is quite subjective, but 10k on the HH awards doesn't sound too good to me given that would be without breakfast, so only worth around €70. Will save the few HH points I have for when I need a mid-week stay I think.

Cheers

Tony
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Old Oct 31, 04, 11:45 am
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Originally Posted by Swiss Tony
10k on the HH awards doesn't sound too good to me given that would be without breakfast, so only worth around €70.
I'm confused. I stayed 3 nights at Scandic Bergen City for 10k/night this summer, and got the full breakfast each morning. (What I DIDN'T get, due to it being an award stay, was the meal voucher, but that's for meals other than breakfast.)

I am not aware of anything that says you don't get breakfast on an award stay at Scandic. (Unless it varies depending on your HHonors level? I'm Diamond this year.)
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Old Oct 31, 04, 6:31 pm
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you most definitely do get breakfast at that hotel with an awards stay. my last stay at the hotel in question was last sunday, and they all know me by name. i've arrived early enought to even get breakfast on check-in and no one cares. true, it is more limited than other scandics in scandinavia. also, they have a 2-for-1 happy hour from 17h-18h every day. and if you are a hhonors you get a coupon either 5 or 10 euro for discount on dinner purchase per day depending on your stay. this is only if you are paying, and not using an award. basic and convenient is the best way to describe it. the little arcadia cafe across the street has nice light food and deserts for a quick bite.
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