Wednesday 23 January 2008

Sofitel Brussels Europe, Place Jourdan, Brussels

Recently-built, stylish and understated hotel in Brussels' European district with young, friendly staff and spacious, cool, mostly white rooms, tastefully decorated with restrained prints. The large soft beds are exceptionally comfortable and the windows and walls well sound-proofed so guests returning from sampling Brussels' limited nightlife don't disturb each other. A coffee-maker, a large flat-screen television, a cordless phone and very quiet air-conditioning are among the mod-cons designed to justify the pricey 235 Euros room-rate. The in-room broadband Internet service is easy to access, but it costs almost 20 Euros for 24 hours. The buffet breakfast in the light, but surprisingly ostentatious, restaurant costs a further 25 Euros. As well as the usual yoghurts, cheeses, fruit and other cold fare, English breakfast fans will find delicately-spiced sausages, expertly-cooked scrambled egg and flavoursome mushrooms. Unfortunately, this 'hot' food can be tepid by the time you heap it on to your plate. Moreover, you may find the constant mood music in both the restaurant and the foyer loud and jarring. 6/10