As the capital of both Belgium and the European Union, Brussels attracts its fair share of business travelers. As a result, the city has an ample supply of upscale hotels, but only a limited selection of mid-range and budget options in the sort of central locations that tourists would prefer. Therefore, visitors to downtown Brussels in search of a good bargain must choose their hotel carefully.
Bargain hunters should keep two things in mind when looking for a hotel in Brussels. First, half the travelers in Brussels are there on business. That means the hotel industry is busy during the week but often slow on weekends, especially in July and August, when so many Europeans are on vacation. Weekend discounts are therefore usually available at hotels catering to business travelers. Also, the larger hotels will often discount their rates with a little negotiation, so it is worth inquiring directly with the hotel. Visitors who combine these two factors might be able to negotiate a room rate in a top Brussels hotel only a little higher than what they would pay at a mid-range establishment.
Arlequin Grand Place Hotel
The Arlequin enjoys a truly central location in Brussels, with the back entrance on the restaurant street of Rue des Bouchers and views of the Grand Place from the upper floors. The decor of this mid-size hotel's guest rooms and public spaces is in a simple, minimalist vein, but every room comes with a flat-screen TV and a work desk. Wi-Fi is available, but it isn't free, and some rooms lack air conditioning. On the plus side, however, the Arlequin Grand Place is one of the Brussels hotels that offers regular weekend discounts.
The Bedford has a saucy history as the hotel of choice for World War Two pilots on both sides in search of a place for a romantic meeting in Brussels. Today it is a family-run hotel with more than 300 guest rooms and apartments decorated in a contemporary fashion with overstuffed leather furniture and amenities such as Wi-Fi and cable TV. The Bedford is only two blocks from the Grand Place, although Fodor's described it as being in a "seedy part of town."
The 17-room Welcome Hotel offers comfortable, upscale rooms at reasonable prices and lies only a six-minute walk from the Grand Place. Each of the rooms and suites is individually decorated in a distinctive geographic theme, such as "Bali," "The Silk Road" and "Zanzibar." Guest rooms are spacious, with even standard rooms averaging about 160 square feet. Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout the hotel, and breakfast is part of the room rate. For those driving in from other parts of Europe, the Welcome Hotel offers cheap on-site parking.
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