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Review: the Brussels Marriott Hotel Grand Place

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This is our review of the Brussels Marriott Hotel Grand Place, part of Marriott Bonvoy.

The Marriott Bonvoy® American Express Credit Card® is currently offering 60,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy® points for a limited time. The offer ends next Tuesday, 2nd July.

To show you what sort of hotels you could visit around Europe with Bonvoy points, the HfP team split up and visited four different properties across four different brands in four different countries.  We have been bringing you these reviews on alternate Saturdays whilst the 60,000 points offer has been running.

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

The first review in this series saw Rob visit the Dorothea Hotel in Budapest, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection – click here to read it.

Conny headed to the fully refurbished Westin Grand Frankfurt – see here. Katie visited the Sheraton Grand Krakow in Poland – read that review here.

Today you’ll see what Rhys got up to in Brussels.

If you want to learn more about the Marriott Bonvoy® American Express Credit Card® 60,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points promotion, then read our article here. You only have four days left to apply.

Marriott provided all four hotels in this series for free for review purposes. HfP paid for all of its flights and incidental expenses. The articles are not sponsored and Marriott has not seen the reviews before publication.

Freshly refurbished

If the words ‘Marriott hotel’ conjure up visions of big, boxy characterless hotels, you’re probably not alone. The founding brand of what has become an empire of 30+ different sub-brands, many Marriott hotels have slipped behind the times.

Fortunately, things are changing. A number of UK-based Marriott hotels, including Edinburgh, Manchester and Glasgow have completed or are in the midst of extensive refurbishment programs. Others have been demoted, rebranded as Delta Hotels which is another Marriott Bonvoy brand.

The new design, which has started to roll out in the past few years, including at the Marriott Geneva hotel that I previously reviewed here, is a lot warmer and less businessy, incorporating more natural finishes such as wood and marble (effect – this is still a 4* hotel!). It’s not pushing the envelope in terms of design – that is left to the W and Moxy brands – but it is a satisfyingly contemporary update that should please almost everyone.

The Brussels Marriott Hotel Grand Place completed a full refurbishment in late 2023 and is now looking pretty swanky.

You can find out more on the hotel website here.

Brussels Marriott Hotel Grand Place location

Awkwardly, although it is named after the famous Grand Place of Brussels (home to the famous Gothic City Hall and stunning Baroque guildhalls) the Marriott is not actually on the Grand Place.

It is just round the corner on Place de la Bourse directly opposite the neoclassical Brussels Stock Exchange building. Whilst not quite as postcard-perfect as Grand Place, it is nonetheless an impressive and historic square, arguably livelier and less Disney-fied than the former.

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

If arriving by Eurostar from London, as I did, the hotel is a ten-minute tram ride from Brussels Zuid station. Simply take the #3 or #4 tram from the subterranean platforms at the station and get off at Bourse-Grand Place. There are station exits literally outside the hotel. It couldn’t be simpler.

(I don’t recommend walking from the station: Brussels is in the midst of constructing a third metro line causing significant disruption to the route, and the area around the station is quite rough.)

It’s a little further and more complicated from Brussels Airport, but Google informs me that it’s approximately a 35 minute car journey or just shy of an hour on public transport.

The entire city centre is laughably walkable from here with the main tourist areas of Grand Place and Galerie Royales Saint-Hubert literally five minutes away. On a quick stroll around you’ll find plenty of charming tea houses, bars, pubs, record stores and more, particularly on the Pentagone side of the hotel.

Inside Brussels Marriott Hotel Grand Place

The entrance to the hotel is on the side of the historic building.

No stone has been left untouched during the refurbishment and the lobby sets the tone for the rest of the stay:

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

In the centre is a cut through to the mezzanine floor above, where you’ll find the M Club lounge as well as a range of meeting rooms. At the rear you’ll find the hotel restaurant, Rotisse.

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

As part of the efficient and friendly check in process I was offered a little square of chocolate!

Rooms at Brussels Marriott Hotel Grand Place

The hotel has just over 200 rooms and 10 suites spread across a manageable six floors. It is a decent size although it doesn’t feel particularly big.

I was given an M Club Guest Room, a standard room albeit with access to the executive lounge included. I was lucky enough to have one of the better rooms in this category with commanding views across to the Bourse:

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

The room is a fairly typical 27 square metres, spacious by European city centre standards and with more than enough space even if you are travelling with lots of luggage.

Some rooms feature bathrooms with bath tubs, although this one only had a walk-in shower:

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

and

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

Annoyingly there wasn’t a soap dish, so I had to plonk it on the side:

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

Toiletries are by thisworks and mounted in pump bottles:

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

The marble-effect tiling was smart: I wouldn’t expect real marble in a 4* hotel. Likewise the convincing wood-effect timber floor.

The room itself featured a corner unit with partially open wardrobe, storage shelves and mini bar:

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

A Nespresso machine was on hand as well as a kettle, with coffee pods from a local brand. The mini fridge underneath was empty.

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

Also in this area was a safe, ironing board and iron and a yoga mat as well as two robes and slipper sets.

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

The king bed features a padded green leather headboard:

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

The bed was comfortable and I had no trouble sleeping.

Room controls were easy to use and available on both sides of the bed. Each side had an EU-style mains socket as well as a USB-A and USB-C port.

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

I was tickled by this 90s style phone in what is otherwise a very modern refurbished room, although I suppose it is sustainable!

In the corner was a small circular table with a chair, with some convenient plug sockets next to it if you need to plug a laptop in.

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

M Club and gym

Additional facilities in the hotel include a spartan basement gym:

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

…. as well as the M Club executive lounge on the mezzanine floor.

This is a stylish room overlooking the street with tea, coffee and snacks throughout the day as well as breakfast in the mornings and happy hour in the evenings. Access is granted if you book an M Club level room or if you are Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite or Ambassador Elite.

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

I popped in at around 10am and it was very quiet, but I am told it is much busier in the evenings for happy hour, when beers, wines and a variety of light bights are served. This seems to be the all-day offering:

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

Marriott Brussels Grand Place dining

The Marriott Grand Place offers two restaurant/bars, both of which are on the ground floor.

The first, Barcine, is an industrial coffee shop during the day and bar at night, with colourful street art adorning the walls and floor and seating spilling out onto the street. It is something you’d expect to find at a Moxy rather than a Marriott but is welcome nonetheless.

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

On the other side of the building you have the hotel’s main restaurant, called Rotisse.

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

As you would expect, the focus here is on rotisserie with mains from €21-38. To start, I went for the pan-seared scallop:

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

Whilst you can opt for any one of the meat-heavy dishes, including veal, chicken and pork chops, I went for the caesar salad which comes with a side of rotisserie chicken breast and big chunks of pork belly and croutons. It was a fabulous take on a classic and I would highly recommend it:

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

If you fancy something cheap and cheerful then there is also a McDonalds in the bottom of the building, which I am told is a Brussels institution!

Brussels Marriott Hotel Grand Place breakfast

Breakfast is also served in Rotisse and I was pleasantly surprised by what was on offer. It’s the first time I’ve seen a chocolate fountain on a hotel buffet:

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

Belgians have a sweet tooth and there was a pancake machine as well as two waffle makers. I made myself a mini waffle and it came out perfect: crisp on the outside but lovely and soft on the inside.

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

Cold cuts featured smoked salmon, black forest ham, chicken and salami:

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

Houmous, sundried tomatoes, flatbread, aubergine and artichokes made up a mezze section whilst hot items included scrambled eggs, bacon, mushrooms, potato croquettes and baked beans. A separate egg station made your favourite to order.

Impressively, there was a mimosa / bloody mary station with complimentary vodka and prosecco, which I wouldn’t have expected at a Marriott hotel:

Review: Marriott Brussels Grand Place hotel

Conclusion

Let’s be honest: the Marriott brand is far from the most exciting in Marriott International’s portfolio of 30+ brands. W, Moxy and even The St Regis and The Ritz-Carlton are, for want of a better word, funkier.

What Brussels Marriott Hotel Grand Place has going for it is a great location, freshly refurbished rooms and a good food and beverage offering. It is comfortable and modern and gets the basics right. What more does one need?

Room rates start at £170 or 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. You can find out more, and book, on the hotel website here.

Comments (25)

  • RussellH says:

    In February we stayed one tram stop further north, at the Dominican (which is a Marriott Design hotel) by one of the exits from de Brouckère (though a long trek underground from the tram part of the station).
    Building with a lot of character and equally convenient for the same part of town. Best of all, only 17 000 points.

  • RussellH says:

    +1 for Rhys’ comments about the area around the Gare du Midi. I feel that it has definitely gone downhill in the last 10 years or so.
    Always used to be the area around the Gare du Nord that got the really bad press, especially at night (is there still a CP there?), but I have had no reason to be in that part of Bruxelles for years.

  • MKB says:

    The absence of a proper desk is a deal-breaker for me. How is that not a brand standard at a Marriott?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Co working space is the new buzz word ..

      • Rob says:

        Marriott seemed to remove it as a brand standard a few years ago but I understood that pushback had led to their return. They believe you are keen to sit on your bed with your lappy and work there like the kids do.

    • Rob says:

      Because someone planning a new hotel may pick another brand if the Marriott route means making rooms bigger to fit a desk.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Desk for work is one thing what about getting ready to go out etc it would probably stop many females / couples booking it too.

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