Discover Benelux | Hotel of the Month | Belgium
HOTEL OF THE MONTH, BELGIUM
Beating the bustle in Brussels Belgium’s capital is buzzing, the EU’s racing heart packed with dynamic corporate HQs and multiple must-see tourist attractions too. So finding city centre accommodation that creates a relaxing home-from-home haven will delight business and leisure travellers alike. TEXT: MARTIN PILKINGTON | PHOTOS: JADCAROLLSTUDIO.COM
Thirty years ago the Ascott Group opened its first international-class serviced residence. The concept was simple – making guests feel at home instead of constantly reminding them they’re not. Easier said than done, but with 45 of their Citadines apart’hotels in Europe alone now, it has clearly worked. The Citadines SainteCatherine in Brussels, recently named best serviced residence in Belgium, demonstrates how. “We provide a guest-friendly combination of spacious, comfortable and – vitally – private apartment living, with a wide range of convenient hotel services available,” explains Frédéric Carré, the group’s area manager for Brussels and France North. “So here they can cook for themselves in their own well-equipped kitchen – with supermarkets close by for supplies – or stroll to one of the city’s celebrated restaurants. They can relax in bright contemporary surroundings – that’s the way Citadines wants to welcome its clients – with free WiFi and cable TV. And we look after the bedding
24 | Issue 12 | December 2014
and the cleaning on a weekly basis, and can help with things like babysitting and dry-cleaning.”
Place Ste Catherine: “Along with the chalets there’s a skating ring, and even a luge track!” says Carré.
There are 169 apartments in the Ste Catherine residence, mostly for two but 44 accommodate four guests. While it’s in a business district, and as you’d expect business travellers love the mixture of home comforts and privacy, the building’s proximity to draws like the Royal Palace, the Grand Place (and that naughtiest of icons the Manneken Pis) and the Opera means plenty of tourists book too.
Though the Ste Catherine metro station is nearby some guests arrive by car; even the hotel’s garage displays thoughtful innovation, working towards a cleaner, quieter world: “Ascott is uniquely positioned to play an active role in transforming business practices and employee mindsets to make them more eco-friendly,” says Carré: “So Citadines Sainte-Catherine Brussels now has two recharging stations for electric cars in our underground car park. We like to lead the way.”
Another huge attraction will be on the doorstep from the end of November to early January – the Christmas market in the
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.