Surrounded by European Union government buildings, the quirky and characterful Aloft Brussels brings the Starwood brand’s lively spin on business hotels to the European capital. With sleek, loftlike rooms, 24-hour self-service dining, and all the highest-tech amenities (it’s the first hotel in the Benelux region to have a keyless check-in system), the hotel appeals to young professional travelers who don’t need the over-the-top services of a traditional business stay. Its boxy, avant-garde architecture and bold, colorful decor attract a more design-conscious crowd that values both style and substance, as evidenced by the regular artist- and creative-hosted events the hotel sponsors. But it’s the bar that says the most about how the Aloft Brussels stands out: the sprawling, vibrant lounge has pop art–inspired decor, a pool table, an outdoor patio, and regular live music; it attracts a young, attractive crowd for after-work drinks and late-night parties throughout the week.
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Located outside the city center, Aloft Brussels sits alongside the European Union government buildings just east of the historic sights around the Grand Place. As such, the area can be busy on weekdays and quieter on weekends, when the government and office buildings close, but the European Commission itself is worth a visit for the architecture, and the neighboring Parc Leopold is a pleasant spot to bask on a sunny day. Take a stroll through the sprawling nearby Parc Cinquantenaire, home also to the impressive Cinquantenaire Museum, one of the Royal Museums of Art and History. The eastern reaches of the city center—including the Parc Royale and the Royal Palace—are also within relatively easy reach.
Need to Know
Rooms: 150 rooms. From $99. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The hotel doesn’t have a restaurant, but it does offer self-serve snacks and light bites around the clock, which can be purchased with either a keycard or smartphone. The lobby lounge turns into a lively bar in the evenings, popular with an after-work crowd of well-heeled locals for its daily happy hours and regular live music. Spa and gym details: While the hotel does have a fully equipped, modern gym, it lacks a spa, but the oversized “spa showers” in rooms are almost equally restorative.
Who's it best for:Budget-savvy travelers on EU business who prefer modern design and a lively atmosphere. Our favorite rooms: All rooms are colorful and spacious, equipped with the latest requisite amenities, but those at the front of the hotel have the best views, overlooking the park and the Place Jean Rey. Art and performance: Every few months, Aloft organizes and hosts Live @ Aloft, a series of events and collaborations between local artists and creatives in music, design, and technology; check the calendar before you go to coordinate your stay.