Discover Benelux, Issue 53, May 2018

Page 66

Discover Benelux  |  Profiles  |  Hotel of the Month, Belgium

HOTEL OF THE MONTH, BELGIUM

Your hotel in the heart of Europe TEXT: MARTIN PILKINGTON  |  PHOTOS: HILTON BRUSSELS GRAND PLACE

It would be difficult – or maybe even impossible – to find a hotel closer to the heart of Europe than the Hilton Grand Place in Brussels. And given it is such an amazing venue, why look elsewhere anyway? When Swedish group Pandox bought The Hilton Grand Place Hotel in Brussels for 55 million euros in September 2016 they were buying a great hotel with a fabulous location. They then began a major programme to make it even better. The real estate cliché ‘location, location, location’ holds true in the hotel business too, and The Hilton Grand Place has a 66  |  Issue 53  |  May 2018

location second to none: “Brussels is at the centre of Europe politically and economically, and our hotel is in the heart of Brussels,” says Alia Beskok, cluster director of business development. Its address on the Carrefour de l’Europe pretty much says it all – it means the crossroads of Europe – and its centrality within Brussels itself is emphasised by the city’s Central Station standing just opposite.

Investment programme Pandox took to heart that concept of Brussels being at the centre of and intimately linked to Europe in one of the projects it undertook between June 2017 and February this year, in a three million euros investment

programme within the hotel: its stunning restaurant, Sentro Lounge & More, has a name that incorporates the word centre, and melds it with another that speaks volumes about its ambition – senses. “Sentro Lounge & More is almost symbolic of what the hotel is about,” says Alia, “as it makes creative use of Belgian produce, not least the wonderful meat supplied by our partner Dierendonck, a company founded 39 years ago dedicated to sourcing the very best products available, and there are always authentic Belgian dishes and specialties.” Head chef Vincent Masson is passionate about diners being able to experience the