Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Stay Report: Ibis Brussels Centre, St. Catherine (February 2017)

Stay Report: Ibis Brussels Centre, St. Catherine
comment below and let me know your thoughts :)

I was going to be in Brussels for one day so I wanted a hotel that was close to the city center.  I was originally going to stay at the Hilton Brussels - Hilton was having a sale so I got a very good rate - but I when I talked to someone who was from Brussels they said that the Hilton was on the border between a nice and not nice area.  Based on their recommendations, I decided to move hotels and they said the St. Catherine area was very good. 

I was going to be in Brussels for one night, but I was not going to arrive until midnight so I needed a place that was going to be open late and allow me to store luggage the next day (this ruled out many AirBnB's, which was another option I was considering).  Based on my criteria, I decided to stay at the Ibis Brussels Centre. 

I have stayed at Ibis's before so I know they are basic, budget-friendly hotels with average
facilities and free, decent wifi.  This set-up was perfect for what I needed - a decent place to stay the night as I was not planning on spending a long time in the hotel.  The ibis Brussels St Catherine is centrally located to many points within Brussels.  The hotel is located across from the Novotel and right next to the St Catherine church.  The hotel is about a 5 minute walk from the main center and is conveniently located to many services and attractions. 

As you enter the hotel, on the left is the check-in desk, elevators to the rooms, as well as the breakfast area.  To the right is the bar plus a computer area to access the internet.  I had arrived late at night and when I arrived at the hotel, the attendant at the checkin desk was on the phone (clearly not a work call) and did not bother to get off the phone to greet me or welcome.  It was a bit rude but I checked in and got the key to my room.  Again, the elevator was very small and could barely fit me and my stuff.  The small size continued to the room because it was tiny.

When you open the door you literally hit the bed.  The room has one straight wall and one angled wall making the room very small.  The bed was against the angled wall and the edge of the bed was literally right next to the door.  Across front the bed was the TV on the wall.  Next to the TV was the entrance to the bathroom.  Across from the bathroom, and next to the bed, was desk.  There was also a shelf/bench underneath the window in which you could either sit or place your luggage

The bathroom was equally small as it was located on the angled wall.  As you entered the bathroom, you literally hit the sink in front of you.  To the left was the shower, which was tiny and not suited for a tall or thick person.  On the other side of the sink was the toilet, again on the angled wall so your knees hit the wall if you sat straight on the toilet.  Ibis does not provide any toiletries, but does have a shampoo/body wash/soap all in one bottle connected next to the sink and a dispenser in the shower.  Its not the best but basic

Ibis are known to be budget and to provide the basic items.  They have basic room with a
decent bed and free WiFi.  The WiFi was free and fast (you could connect as many devices as you wanted).  Everything else needs to be paid for.  I knew this going on and I was only going to be here for one night and the hotel was centrally located, so given all that it was fine.  However, I am not sure I would choose this hotel if I would be here for many days. 

Another negative note was the hotel's policy in keeping bags.  In most hotels, after you checkout you can leave your bags there while you roam the city; this done as a courtesy for the guests.  When I asked at the Ibis, they had a room with lockers and I either had to pay for the lockers or leave my stuff in the room next to the lockers.  This is the first time I had experienced this and it was not very customer-friendly.

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