In July 2015, I had the opportunity to spend three nights at the Radisson Blu EU Hotel in Brussels, Belgium. The hotel is located directly next to the European Parliament, the governing body of the European Union. Its guests often include government officials, businessmen and members of the international media. Although the hotel is some distance from major tourist attractions like the Grote Markt, it is connected to those areas via wheelchair accessible city bus service. Information on public transportation in Brussels is available here.
During times when the European Parliament is not in session, the hotel is generally priced at affordable rates. A sample Tuesday night rate on September 1, 2015 was €132,80 at the time of posting. On some dates, room rates are as low as €89,00. Consult the Travel Resources page for more information on prices for specific dates.
As mentioned above, the hotel is adjacent to the European Union’s Parliamentary headquarters. The Parliamentarium is also located there, with exhibits on the formation and development of the E.U. It is less than one block away from multiple city bus routes (34, 38, 80, 95) which stop along the adjacent Rue de Traves. Almost all city buses in Brussels are wheelchair accessible with electronic ramps at the center doors. Half of the Brussels City Sightseeing Bus tour fleet is also wheelchair accessible and offers a stop in front of the European Parliament. Curb cuts are present at area intersections and the sidewalks in this area of the city are well maintained.
I made my reservation about one month in advance and called to ensure that my reservation reflected a roll-in shower. When I checked-in, I was given a standard room without any accessibility features. The hotel had given away both of the rooms with roll-in showers and was not able to move me until the next day.
The room’s roll-in shower was small, but functional. The fold-down shower chair was also quite small, but I was able to make it work for me. A grab bar was located on the wall, to the left of the chair (when in the seated position). The handheld, corded shower head is located on the same wall as the grab bar, along with the water controls. For my purposes, the room was sufficient and did the job.
A tub with grab bars was also in the bathroom. Towel racks were lowered and the sink allowed me to roll my legs underneath it.
The toilet is a standard toilet, but has space for a wheelchair next to it. A grab bar is available on the wall to the right of the toilet. Another grab bar to the toilet’s left can be folded down from the wall.
The room featured a king size bed of a standard height. Space was available for my power wheelchair along all sides of the bed. Wall power outlets were located at the desk to the left of the bed. These outlets cannot be reached directly from the bed. If you plan to charge a powered wheelchair or scooter while in Belgium, read the important article on voltage and power conversion.
The stay was adequate, despite my room not being accessible on the first night. For my own personal needs, the hotel’s accessible features fit the bill. Aside from some extra work in the shower, everything was grand in terms of access. This location is nice and quiet, near to the E.U, where one could spend at least half a day touring. The city bus options to Central Station and the Grote Markt are also a strong positive.
Additional pictures of this hotel are provided below:
To make a reservation for this or another hotel, support WheelchairTravel.org by booking your accommodations through the Travel Resources page.