Sometimes we get the opportunity to stay at a really cool hotel, in a Country that deserves more recognition than it gets. Well this one hotel took us by complete surprise, especially as it is in a city and Country that frankly does not get spoken about.
We were on a European Christmas Market tour and our last stop was in Brussels, Belgium. All we were told was that this was one of the best hotels to stay at in Brussels, so we had high expectations of the Marivaux Hotel, Brussles. Our first job was to find it, driving around Europe with Google maps plugged into the car (see our other review – Android Auto) we punched in the address and drove passed it, as it was easier to find than we first thought.
One the second loop, we drove down the wide, one way road and found the hotel on the left, opposite Waterstones book shop. It was not as we expected it to look. Instead it had a classical and historical look with a modern facade.
It really is only a stones throw away from the busy shopping centre and it is on the main Street that goes straight through Brussels.
What’s so Special?
Stood in front of the Marivaux hotel, with the large revolving door in front and the Meat Me Brewery, Steak Brasserie on the left, it can be forgiven that people miss the original, large and impressive purpose built archway to the right.
This hotel is something special, it has a history and beauty that they have not tried to hide it, instead they have embraced it and made it a feature of the hotel.
In 1924, the Théâtre Marivaux opened, one of the most beautiful Brussels cinemas of its time, offering a huge room with 1500 seats in Art Deco style with a garden and two balconies.
In 1967, the Marivaux Theater became the Cinema Marivaux and the original space was then divided into two smaller rooms in order to make the premises profitable.
And that is what makes it special. A purpose build theatre then cinema, with a history of stars performing and big screen pictures being shown, now a wonderful hotel.
Going through the revolving door a large open and inviting reception greets all visitors, with smart and multi-lingual staff waiting to serve.
They offer all the modern services and the best bit is that they offer a parking a valet service. We discovered that guests can abandon their cars at the front of the hotel on the road, hand they keys to the reception and all is taken care of, all for only 20 Euros. Considering the closest car park is at the back of the large shopping mall a good 300 meters away and charges 17 euros a day, this service is very reasonable.
Through the reception, there are some wonderful meeting areas, with high back chairs, modern fire places and the start of the adventure through the hallways and spaces of the building.
The use of props and imaginative signs help keep the old feeling, of an impressive Theater alive. The signs and numbers appear on old film looking scrolls and the decor fits as a grand theatre.
The hotel has a number of lifts, getting people to right area of the hotel. We had a wonderful room at the front of the hotel on the 3rd floor, overlooking the wide street. Going in, it gave a feeling of space, warmth and a little bit of luxury. Walking passed the wardrobes on one side and the bathroom on the other, the bed takes centre stage in the room. A huge, comfy bed with an impressive headboard makes any visitor want to jump on it and feel like a movie star.
Checking out the rest of the room, there is a big TV, a comfortable bench seat and large wardrobes. An amenities set is left out as well as a fridge and safe. It has air conditioning and everything a hotel room needs.
The bathroom is modern and spacious with shower gel, shampoo and soap along with big soft towels. Although this may not surprise anyone, the shower has a on and off button, rather than a turn knob, it is the little things like this that make a room feel a little bit more special.
What more can you do?
If you get the chance wander through to the conference hall and around into the old grand entrance, with steeped and vaulted ceilings, it is a magnificent sight and anyone can feel the history in the stone.
There is a small gym area with enough equipment to keep anyone entertained for an hour or so, the bar area is a beautiful place to spend some time, sleek, modern and inviting.
If you are staying for more than a night or two, you are probably going to want to get out and explore and we found a brilliant little bar called The Flamingo. About a 500 meter walk around the block to a cool and sophisticated bar, they do amazing burgers and oriental food. Visitors have to try the soup and dumplings and the Belgium Cherry beer, Kreik. It has an amazing atmosphere and they have live music events, it is a great way to spend a few hours chilling out.
If you find a trip to Brussels necessary we cannot recommend the hotel highly enough. Thanks to the Marivaux and thanks to Flamingo, both businesses made us very welcome and wanting to return for another glass of Kriek and some VIP treatment. If you do drop in to either of these 2 great places, say “The Caveman” sent you. We hope to see them again soon, perhaps in the summer?