Silken Berlaymont

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Address: Boulevard Charlemagne 11-19, , BRUSSELS, 1000, Belgium

Star rating:
4 star hotel

4.7

Dynamic, eco-friendly, chain hotel in the heart of the EU district.

If you’re visiting Brussels on business, this is the place to stay. Far from being soulless, the 214-room Berlaymont has a vibrant atmosphere, excellent facilities and it’s so close to the EU buildings that you can practically roll out of bed into the conference room. I was particularly impressed by the hotel’s efforts to be eco-friendly: a strict recycling scheme is in place, rain showers — that pump in air so less water is used — feature in the bathrooms, and all the lights are being changed to energy-efficient LEDs.

Location
4.1
90%
Eating/drinking
4
90%
Leisure facilities
4.6
90%
Service
4.3
90%
Value for money
4.1
90%
Bedrooms
3.5
90%
Public areas
4
90%

Location

Sits just behind the Berlaymont EU building. The Maelbeek and Schuman metro stations are within equal walking distance.

Bedrooms

The contemporary Holiday Inn-style rooms all feature a photograph taken by a European artist, are air-conditioned, and have WiFi or cable internet, a trouser press, mini-bar (with free water), slippers, a safe and tea and coffee-making facilities. In addition to this, the executive rooms and two junior suites have king-size beds and the room rate includes a free drink at The News bar, free use of the spa, free newspaper, free local telephone calls, free parking and 20 per cent of your L’Objectif restaurant bill. The junior suites also overlook the garden and have a lounge, Hi-Fi and Jacuzzi bath.

They also have a special non-smoking room for lone ladies, which is located near reception and features girly accessories in the bathroom (backlit mirror, super-duper hairdryer etc), flowers, a double door lock; it doesn’t cost extra, but you’ll need to book well in advance.
 

Public areas

Bright and modern with lots of wood panelling and metalwork. A nice ‘extra’ is the Zoom Gallery – a free art gallery that changes its exhibit every three months.

Eating and drinking

The extensive American-style hot-and-cold breakfast buffet is served in L’Objectif restaurant, which is also open for lunch (12pm—4pm) and dinner (6.30pm—10pm). The chef bases the menu on available seasonal products and – given the hotel’s proximity to the EU – he experiments with international cuisines; mains cost in the region of 18—20 euros. Notice the plates mounted on the wall! Every year the hotel hosts the Silken Photo Award. Until 2009, the winning photograph was printed on a plate and mounted on the wall of the restaurant, but now they’ve started adding the winning picture on the doors of a different floor each year.

The News bar (open: 4pm—1am Monday—Sunday) serves snacks and tapas and specialises in mojitos: they serve eleven different kinds, but I’d try the ‘Belgian’ which mixes gin (instead of rum) with green tea, mint and lime.


 

Leisure facilities

There’s a large, bright gym and lovely green and gold-tiled spa (10 euros/day; open: 7am—10.30pm) with Jacuzzi, sauna, Turkish bath and cold plunge pool — very relaxing; seven meeting rooms; and a 60-space parking lot underneath the hotel (24 euros/day).
 

Service

Ladies on reception were a bit dour, but other the staff I met were friendly and helpful.

Who stays there

All manner of Eurocrats

Price advice

They offer numerous money-saving packages — see the website for full details.

Amenities

  • Business Centre
  • Fitness Centre
  • High-Speed Internet
  • Parking
  • Restaurant

Recommended for

  • Business travellers
  • Couples
  • Singles
  • Sporty types
  • No fuss

Pros & Cons

  • Lovely spa and gym
  • There’s a specially designed room for disabled travellers
  • It's a 3km walk to the city centre
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