Sunday 5 June 2011

Sofitel Brussels Le Louise, Avenue de la Toison d’Or, Brussels

Conveniently-located between central Brussels and the European district, this Sofitel is an expensive, but comfortable place to stay in Belgium's capital. Avenue de la Toison d’Or is also on the doorstep of lots of shops and touristy restaurants. An escalator whisks you up from the front door under an eye-catching chandelier, made from pink beads, past some grand pillars, to the reception, which is opposite an enclosed and leafy terrace with chairs and tables. If you arrive at lunch time, there might be only one receptionist and checking in can take time. The comfortable bedrooms are decked out with contemporary furniture and fittings, in grey, brown and other neutral colours, offset by a funky purple lampshade. But the view out of the large window will probably be of the backs of buildings. The en-suite bathrooms are stylish with smart square sinks, minimalist rain showers and large olive tiles. The air-conditioning is mystifying, but you can open a window and sleep well. Wi-Fi in the rooms is free, but can be a bit flaky. There is also a sizeable safe and a flat-screen television. The Sofitel's in-house breakfast in the plush dining room is very expensive (a single cup of coffee is 6 euros), so you might want to head to a cafe. All-in-all, an upmarket and pricey place to stay. 6/10