Last weekend, I headed to Brussels for the first of (I hope) many European city breaks this year. The plan was to uncover the very best experiences the Belgian capital had to offer, so after a long day of touring the major sights and indulging in some of the local delicacies (waffles, anyone?) I headed to the Royal Windsor Hotel Grand Place in search of the best hotel experience in the city. Part of the Warwick hotel group, a brand synonymous with exceptional service, comfort, and style – not to mention incredible locations – Warwick hotels are known for echoing the culture and charms of their destinations; the ideal way to experience Brussels.
Situated right in the heart of the city centre, just a stone’s throw from the iconic Grand Place, the Royal Windsor Hotel was in the ideal location for exploring the city’s major landmarks and museums, hitting the shops, or sampling some of the best restaurants and cafés in Brussels. Warwick hotels are known for their exceptional locations, and the Royal Windsor Grand Place is a classic example, with the city centre right on it’s doorstep and everything within easy walking distance.
Being so close to the Grand Place has certainly influenced the luxurious and grandiose décor of the Royal Windsor. The huge red brick hotel, built in 1973, ties in fabulously with the surroundings of the neighbourhood, where grandeur and luxury is the name of the game. A grand entryway – with golden door frames, a revolving door, and a red carpet worthy of Hollywood – completes the building’s grand façade, leading to a lobby of jaw-dropping Old World elegance – a huge space of marble tiles, rich wooden furnishings and glimmering polished surfaces.
If the aesthetic was one of true elegance, this was amplified by the fabulously attentive staff. Excessively polite and welcoming, they treated me like a VIP at all times, adding to the ambience of the hotel and creating an environment of total luxury. No matter how palatial a hotel seems, it means nothing if the staff don’t treat you like royalty, and thankfully at the Royal Windsor they truly understood good service, living up to their name and then some.
My room, a Classic double, was one of the simpler ones in terms of décor – especially when compared with the suites – but it was still sumptuously luxurious and, more importantly, wonderfully comfortable. A simple, tasteful room with a soothing, pale colour scheme and a killer view of the city from my sixth floor window, this was the perfect place to chill out after a long day exploring Brussels, and the super soft bed was heaven. The bathroom, with it’s marble tiles and vintage style shower head, was a fabulous collision of old fashioned elegance and contemporary comfort, with a high pressure shower, a gorgeous bathtub, and an array of decadent complementary toiletries. A hot bath and some Belgian chocolate in such surroundings was just what the doctor ordered after an intense day of city sightseeing.
Elsewhere in the hotel, facilities included a fantastically well-equipped fitness centre, recently renovated, along with a sauna for even more relaxation. I was particularly enamoured by the Waterloo Bar, a classic, wood-panneled affair with plush leather armchairs, a cosy atmosphere and a fantastic array of Belgian beers, all surrounded by the soothing sounds of live piano music. A local favourite, Chutney’s Restaurant serves incredible cuisine in a dramatic setting of Victorian décor, with black ironwork and silver candelabras setting a distinctly grand tone. Breakfast, however, was served in the Royal Windsor’s second restaurant, the Salon Grand Place, a less dramatic but equally refined setting where elegant silverware, crisp table linens and immaculately uniformed staff.
Far from a humble breakfast buffet, this was a banquet-like experience worthy of royalty, with rich wooden tables laden with a feast of delectable breakfast treats. Hot food, such as bacon and eggs, was all well cooked and kept very fresh by the attentive wait-staff, while an enticing array of exquisite pastries and cakes kept me going back for more. Healthy options exist too for those who care, but in preparation for a day hurrying around Brussels in the icy cold I felt it was more than necessary to fuel up sufficiently with the tastiest breakfast I’ve had in a while.
Heading out into the cold streets of Brussels after such a wonderful stay in one of the city’s most splendid, and iconic, hotels, was a difficult feat. The royal welcome, blissful relaxation and total luxury I experienced at the Royal Windsor would be hard to surpass: this was a truly wonderful hotel experience in a fabulously grand setting. I can’t wait to return!
Royal Windsor Hotel Grand Place from Warwick Hotels – 5 Rue Duquesnoy
Call +32 2 505 55 55, email email@example.com, or visit the website to make a booking.
NB – except where otherwise stated, all images are courtesy of the Royal Windsor Hotel Pinterest Board