One of my favorite places to stay in the European Quarter of Brussels, Belgium is the 4-star Renaissance Brussels Hotel. Just steps from the European Parliament (and its fantastic museum), the hotel is in a great location for tourists and business travelers alike.
The hotel has many modern amenities and accessible guest rooms with bathtubs (no roll-in showers, unfortunately). If the accessible room features are suitable to your needs, I am confident that you will enjoy your stay at this beautiful property.
Reservation & Room Rates
Reservations can be made online via the Marriott Hotels website. Be sure to tick the box for a “mobility accessible room with tub” before checking out.
Because of the hotel’s proximity its to the European Parliament, demand and room rates are high when the body is in session. Weekend rates throughout the year are typically around $100 USD per night, which is a very good deal. The screenshot above shows sample room rates for a single-night stay during the month of May 2019. They range from €83 to €449 EUR per night. If your travel dates are flexible, it will be possible to score a favorable rate.
Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Room
I reserved a deluxe room with a king size bed and was assigned to room #105, located on the first floor. At this property, the ground floor is level 0, so I had to take an elevator up to my room.
The platform bed was comfortable, with soft sheets and a plush comforter. It was only a few inches taller than the seat of my wheelchair, so it was fairly easy to transfer into.
There were no power outlets within reach of the bed, so I unplugged the floor lamp in the photo above in order to charge my power wheelchair. Note that electricity in Belgium is delivered at 220 volts. Travelers from the U.S. and North America will need to use a step-down power transformer to charge wheelchairs that use the 120V standard. Please see the guide to charging a power wheelchair abroad for more information and tips.
The room was spacious and accommodated my power wheelchair nicely. Both sides of the bed were accessible to my chair. The large windows in the room were a treat and allowed a lot of natural light in.
Pictured above is the guest room door, as seen from inside the room. There is a closet here as well, with a full-length mirror.
Opposite the bed is a dresser with many drawers for clothing, as well as a flat screen television and a desk. The desk was wheelchair accessible, and the provided desk chair was on wheels.
There were power outlets at the desk, which I used for charging my mobile phone and laptop.
Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom
The bathroom was clean, modern and large enough to move a power wheelchair around in. A red emergency alert cord was attached to the walls near the floor—a great safety feature to have in case of a fall.
The vanity was large and set at the appropriate height to accommodate wheelchair access. There was space to park my wheelchair directly alongside the toilet for a lateral transfer, and multiple grab bars to use in the process. The grab bars were small and poorly placed, which was disappointing.
The bathtub was accessible, in the sense that it had a couple of grab bars and a handheld shower head. There was also a ledge that could be used as a seat at the head of the tub, but this wouldn’t have worked for me. I requested a chair to place in the tub and was given the one shown in the picture above. It was not ideal, but I made it work.
I hope that during the next remodel, the hotel will consider providing rooms with roll-in showers and accessible rooms that adhere to widely accepted accessible design standards.
Restaurants & Dining
The Renaissance Hotel has a fantastic restaurant, the Parnasse Bistro, as well as a lobby bar and 24-hour room service.
The bistro and bar are both located on the ground level, and both are wheelchair accessible. Pictured above is a ramp leading down to the bistro’s seating area.
Each morning of my stay, I enjoyed the delicious breakfast buffet offered in the bistro. Being able to order an omelette from the chef while enjoying fresh fruit and juices from the buffet made for an excellent start to the day.
In the evening, I sat in the lobby bar and ordered dinner from the menu. Pictured above is one of my favorite meals – salmon, mashed potatoes and assorted vegetables. Paired with Leffe Blond, my favorite Belgian beer.
Location & Transportation
The Renaissance Russels Hotel is located right across the street from the European Parliament and the Bruxelles-Luxembourg train station. On weekdays, trains run between this station and the Brussels Airport—the journey from airport to hotel couldn’t be more convenient! Just be sure to book your boarding assistance 24 hours in advance. Numerous city bus routes also stop near to the hotel, including a bus to/from the airport.
Many attractions are located within walking/rolling distance. A tour of the Parlamentarium should be required of every visitor to Brussels. You can learn more about Europe at the brand-new House of European History, explore the Museum of Natural Sciences, sit in Luxembourg Square or take in the beauty of Leopold Park. It’s all so close!
I love staying at Marriott Hotels because of the consistent atmosphere and experience they offer all around the world – it is comforting, and makes me feel at home.
Accessibility is inconsistent however, and the level of accessibility offered in my hotel room was not great. I made it work and enjoyed my stay, but it wasn’t worry-free. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide if the level of accessibility offered by this hotel will meet your needs. If the accessible features are enough for you, I’m sure you will have a great stay. The staff are friendly, the location is great and the bed is comfortable. It’s a fantastic combination!
Feature image courtesy Renaissance Brussels Hotel.