Hotels are dotted all over the city in Brussels, but the cost is as you would expect to find in a city centre – expensive! When looking for a hotel to cover the one night we were staying in Brussels, I tried to find something that wouldn’t break the bank, but that was also going to be comfortable as we’d had a busy 10 days beforehand.
With only 12 rooms, Hotel Cafe Pacific definitely has the personal touch, and I wasn’t sure we were actually at the hotel as we arrived at the reception, as it’s very modest. This isn’t a huge branded place, run by faceless execs in a boardroom miles away – we were actually greeted by the owner. Unfortunately when we arrived we were too early to check in, but the owner was more than happy to let us leave our bags in the room to the side of the reception, which actually turned out to be the cafe. We weren’t sure about leaving all of our stuff there, but the cafe wasn’t open and we had little choice as we had too much stuff to carry around with us for the couple of hours before we could check in.
Where would I find it?
Brussels isn’t a huge city, and most hotels are likely to be within walking distance of Grote Markt. Hotel Cafe Pacific is a five minute walk from Grote Markt, just around the corner from Sainte-Catherine Church. Located on a main road, there are plenty of restaurants, bars and coffee shops just steps from the hotel. A couple of minutes walk and you’ll be at Bourse metro station, which takes you directly to Brussels-Midi Station, where you can catch the Eurostar as well as many other domestic and international trains.
So the room was like…?
Huge, to say the least! We’ve never stayed in a room quite like the one here before. We were between levels, so the lift wasn’t much use for our heavy suitcase, and my boyfriend had to lug it up the staircase. As we entered the room, there was a small lobby area, with a laundry basket and a clothes rail. Behind huge sliding doors was the bathroom, with the obvious amenities and a standalone bathtub with rain shower above it. Beyond that were some more huge sliding doors and the bedroom, with a double bed, bedside table, another table, chair and a TV with DVD player. Above the bed was some kind of art piece – red baubles hanging from the ceiling with some having messages on them.
Anyone who has read my previous hotel reviews will know that I love a nice bathroom. No real reason, I just think there is so much potential there! As the bathroom here was in the middle of the two other rooms, it meant that I wasn’t able to enjoy the huge bath without my boyfriend traipsing through every now and then. The bath was my favourite thing, as it was so big I could sit up in it and the water still came high up on me. Unfortunately, although there was a rain shower we couldn’t work out how to get it to turn on. There’s a heavy curtain surrounding the bath, and the tap was actually behind that curtain. We hadn’t worked that out until my boyfriend was getting ready to have a shower. By that time, I’d already resigned to starting my day with a wash in the bath, which is my least favourite way to start the day.
The bed was quite a tight fit in the space of the bedroom, and there was only space for one bedside table. That meant we had to choose who had their phone next to them and therefore had to set the alarm, but also who had control of a bedside light. The most important thing though – the bed was comfy. We needed a good nights sleep as we’d been travelling the day before and were travelling home the next day, so wanted to be well rested.
A girl’s got to eat!
Breakfast wasn’t included in our room, but the cafe were we had left our bags offers a breakfast if you fancy it. There are also loads of food places close by, and we actually had a couple of croissants and a coffee from a patisserie across the road.
Wi-Fi is free here, which is always a lovely bonus. And it actually worked, which isn’t something we’ve always found with free Wi-Fi. This may be due to the fact there are only a few rooms at this hotel, but it was much appreciated. There’s also a safe in the reception if you need it.
I also think the receptionist at this hotel was brilliant! She was nice enough to point out some things to see in the city, even circling them on a map to make it clear for us. While this may fall into the job responsibilities of a receptionist, she was so lovely and when we were checking out to come home, we had some soaking wet clothes we needed to pack (it had been raining…heavily). Ideally we’d have popped them into a plastic bag before putting them into the suitcase to save everything getting soaked, but we didn’t have one. When we asked if she had any spare (we weren’t sure if it was something hotels/cafes had?) she said no, but then checked her own bag to see if she’d stashed one away, before looking in the kitchen and offering cling film as the only alternative she could find. Most people would probably have just said no, but the extra effort she made for us was so appreciated, especially given that we were soaking wet and had actually already checked out.
Would I recommend this hotel?
If you’re looking for something modern and at an affordable price, this place is just what you need. However, there’s no safe or fridge in the room, which is something I always value quite highly. If they were to put these into each room, I would definitely consider staying here again if the price were right.
The important stuff!
Hotel Website: http://www.hotelcafepacific.com
Official rating: 2 star
TripAdvisor rating: 4 out of 5