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In July 2015, I spent one night at the Brussels Marriott Hotel Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium. The hotel is located at the intersection of Rue Auguste Orts and the lively Boulevard Anspach. The hotel’s guests are primarily tourists and vacationers due to its prime location.
The Marriott Grand Place is one of the city’s nicest hotels. I utilized the hotel’s Look No Further Best Rate Guarantee to snag an incredible Monday night rate of €91, plus tax. The rest of my time in Brussels was spent at the Radisson Blu EU Hotel. Brussels is one of the best deals for summer travel in Europe, but rates at this hotel can be expensive. A sample search for March 2016 yielded nightly rates ranging from €99 to €299 per night at the time of posting. Consult the hotel website for more information on prices for specific dates.
The Brussels Marriott is located across the street from the Brussels Stock Exchange building, and only two blocks from the Grote Markt, or Grand Place. Other attractions within rolling distance include Manneken Pis (7 minutes), the Parliament of the Brussels Capital Region (7 minutes) and the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula (13 minutes). The Boulevard Anspach has a several block stretch that is closed to vehicle traffic and expressly reserved for pedestrians and bicycles. The boulevard is lined with restaurants and shops, all within walking distance. Many of these businesses are wheelchair accessible, though nearly all restaurants have tables lined up on the sidewalk.
Multiple city bus routes stop within a few blocks of the hotel, including line numbers 29, 48, 66, 71, 86 and 95. There are also many night bus routes that serve the immediate area. Almost all city buses in Brussels are wheelchair accessible with electronic ramps at the center or rear doors. The nearest wheelchair accessible metro subway station is De Brouckere (lines 1 and 5), located three blocks from the hotel. The City-Sightseeing hop-on/hop-off tour bus stops one block from the hotel, at “Bourse.” Curb cuts are present at area intersections and the sidewalks are well maintained.
Hotel & Room Accessibility
I arrived at the hotel and found that the front entrance was an automatic revolving door. It was large enough for me to maneuver my wheelchair through. There are two manual doors on either side, both which lead into the hotel lobby. The manual doors do not have an automatic push button opener, but the hotel staff are more than happy to assist.
My reservation was for a standard room with a roll-in shower. Check-in went smoothly and I took the elevator up to my room on the first floor. The elevator was large enough to accommodate my power wheelchair and 2-3 additional guests.
The room door was large enough for my power wheelchair to pass through. The door is manual and opened into the room, but has a feature that delays the door’s closure. It will close slowly behind you, and allows enough time to enter before the door is released.
The King size bed was very comfortable, though it sat fairly high. There was space on both sides of the bed to maneuver my wheelchair. Power ports were also available on both sides, but behind the nightstand tables. I chose to plug my wheelchair into the power outlet at the desk. The cable of my off-board charger was able to stretch to the bed without issue. If you plan to charge a powered wheelchair or scooter while in Belgium, read the important article on voltage and power conversion.
The space in this particular wheelchair accessible room, #136, was sufficient, though not spectacular. It was a standard sized room, with perhaps a small amount of extra space. The room’s features included one chair, an ottoman, a desk with office chair, safe and big screen television. The room’s free space allowed for the free movement of my wheelchair.
The bathroom sink was well designed and allowed my power wheelchair to roll beneath it unobstructed. Bath towels were left on the sink’s countertop and drying towels were hung from a bar in front of the sink. Wash cloths and soap were within reach, as were two complimentary bottles of still water.
The bathroom had a wheelchair accessible toilet. Grab bars were located on both sides of the toilet. One of these grab bars could be folded up or down from the wall. There was space to roll next to the toilet to allow an easy transfer.
The room’s roll-in shower was sufficient in size, well placed and functional. The fold-down shower chair was of typical size. A grab bar was located on the wall, to the left of and behind the chair (when in the seated position). The handheld corded shower head is located on the same wall as the left side grab bar, along with the water controls. The shower head was fastened high on the wall, but could be lowered to any desired height. The power controls were located below the grab bar on the wall, within perfect reach of the wheelchair user.
Throughout the bathroom were numerous towel racks, all at a level easily accessible from a wheelchair.
The hotel has a restaurant and bar, the Midtown Grill, that serves food throughout the day. The restaurant is located a few steps below the lobby, but there is a ramp that allows wheelchair access. If you’d prefer to eat outdoors, there is a small dining area on the sidewalk. Menu prices are typical of a European hotel, with a standard entree ranging from €30 to €50.
If you’d like to eat outside the hotel, there are plenty of options along the surrounding streets.
I very much enjoyed my stay. The hotel’s staff were very friendly and the accessible features of my room were exactly as described. Service in the hotel’s restaurant was more than adequate. The atmosphere of the hotel was professional, in spite of it being a destination for tourists.
I was very pleased that the hotel offered me a 4pm late check-out, which allowed me to tour the city in the morning and return to rest before my evening train to Paris, France. I should note that it is possible that my Marriott Rewards status made the extended late check-out possible. Such requests are always dependent on hotel occupancy.
I look forward to staying at the hotel again in the future. Its location set me close to many of the most popular sights, and only a short 10-minute taxi ride from the train station. I am sure other wheelchair travelers will be impressed by the convenience and accessibility offered by the Brussels Marriott Grand Place.