24 Hours in Gay Brussels
Obviously, you can’t hope to get to know any city via just a one day stay but, if you know how to organise your time, you can combine a relaxing and luxurious break with enough of a flavour of the place to make it a memorable experience and Brussels is perfect for such a trip. Without much time available to travel too far from your base, choosing the right hotel is essential, it being required to deliver all the necessary wining, dining and pampering needs and easy access to other amenities is also essential.
Located on the Boulavard de Waterloo in the Louise district of Brussels, the equivalent of Chelsea or Knightsbridge, but without the pretentious feeling that often is associated with those parts of London, The Hotel Brussels, is an ideal base of operations to explore and soak up the city’s vibes. Continuing the theme of concise titles, The Restaurant offers a weekly menu with the focus on local, fresh and seasonal produce that combines both the authenticity of Belgian cuisine and chef Pierre Balthazar’s own unique creativity. It should be noted that vegetarians may find their hot breakfast options to be a little on the limited side.
The rooms are an oasis of refinement and space, the decor is modern and light, though one drawback is that the bathrooms are not only open plan but the toilet door is hinged to serve also as the shower door. Fine if you are staying with someone who has seen it all before, not so ideal if you are just sharing with a friend.
The Hotel also offers a spa and fitness suite, located on the 23rd floor of The Hotel meaning that whilst you exercise you can take in the sumptuous views of the city. It’s a little on the small side but the views do make up for this. You can also indulge yourself in a visit to the sauna or steam room and spa treatments are also on offer.
What to do when in Brussels
You could use the combination of dining, relaxing and wellbeing as the extent of your visit, but step outside the hotel and a wealth of experiences opens up. If Belgium is known for one thing it is chocolate and Groovy Brussels offers a walking tour to help you appreciate this most exotic of foods. Over two and a half hours you will visit six of the most beautiful chocolate shops found in the heart of the medieval city passing along beautiful galleries, romantic city views and impressive monuments. The tour might not be your cheapest activity around but you will come away from this memorable experience with a much better understanding of the history and culinary art of chocolate.
If something more social is your goal then there are a cluster of gay bars nearby such as the iconic Le Belgica, with its wealth of drinks, including the world-famous Belgian beers, and top DJ’s pandering to all of your House and Techno needs. There is also a great selection of restaurants nearby especially if you want to find something away from the hustle and hassle of the tourist routes around the Grand Palace.
And as you want to get the most out of your brief time in the city, it is worth noting that the Eurostar terminal is an easy walk from The Hotel allowing you to maximise your time getting to know the city itself.
Written By: Ray Si – Proud Member of IGLTA