I recently had an incredible stay at the five-star Stanhope Hotel in Brussels. The Stanhope had all the luxury touches I love– dreamy beds and fluffy pillows, a decadent breakfast, and central location– but with the added bonus of an elegant historical setting and top-notch personal service.
The Stanhope’s Hotel Lobby and Service
The Stanhope is a gorgeous boutique hotel, set in a turn-of-the-century building. I loved the cozy feel of the Stanhope– it felt more like an elegant home than a hotel. While the lobby decor featured luxurious furnishings, the playful colors and comfy sofas and chairs made it inviting.
For me, though, it was the personal service that sets the Stanhope apart. I cannot overemphasize the friendliness and warmth of the entire hotel staff. As a solo traveler, I relied heavily on the front desk staff and concierge for directions, recommendations and transport assistance. There was always a staff member ready willing to assist me. No matter what random questions I threw at the staff (and I asked plenty!) I always got a thorough, on point answer.
I was delighted when the Stanhope’s concierge even tipped me off to “insider” places I hadn’t thought to ask about— for example, I never would have discovered the lively local Chatelain market by looking in my guidebooks. The front desk was also incredibly efficient in arranging taxis and printing out train tickets for me.
The Room at the Stanhope Hotel
My room at the Stanhope was perfect for my needs– an incredibly comfortable bed (my most important criteria), a desk with chairs, and windows that opened up onto a quiet courtyard (and lovely view). I took a bath in the ample tub, wrapping myself in the plush robe and slippers. The wi-fi was fast and always worked, another huge plus.
The Food at the Stanhope
Breakfast was delicious with a huge variety of hot and cold options (eggs made to order, bacon, sausage, crepes, chartcutierie, warm croissants, yogurt, etc). It was hard not to overindulge. The coffee was strong and smooth, a perfect way to start my early days.
Feeling under the weather, I ordered soup from room service one night– it was the perfect antidote on a cold, rainy evening.
The Stanhope’s Location
The Stanhope has an excellent location, in an upscale area right by the EU Parliament (only a 5 minute walk away– there are lots of restaurants in this area too). The Stanhope is on a quiet street just outside the busy tourist area. It’s only a 15 minute walk to the Grand Place, and a scenic one at that, taking you past the Royal Palace and lush gardens. The Sablon area, known for its antique shops and Parisian-style restaurants, is also right nearby.
It was helpful to have the metro only a block away. I took it back and forth from the Midi station (just two stops away) to catch my high-speed trains to London and Paris (Eurostar and Thalys both operate out of Midi).
The verdict? The Stanhope Hotel is a perfect fit for the Smart Luxe traveler. Compared to London or Paris, Brussels is a far better value and less crowded, making it a true hidden gem. The Stanhope’s attentive service and old-world charm set it apart from other luxury hotels, and earn it our top recommendation.
Stay: The Stanhope Hotel, 9, Rue du Commerce, Brussels 1000, Belgium