The Pullman Hotel at Bruxelles Midi

Introduction

The Pullman Hotel Bruxelles Midi belongs to the Accor group of hotels. It is located inside the railway station building at Bruxelles Midi. There is a direct access to the hotel from the railway station.

Reception

The reception area is kept in white and cream, which makes it seem very bright. During my stay two of the reception desks are permanently attended and the staff are friendly and very efficient. That is one of the things I really like about the Accor hotels. The check-in is always very efficient. Sometimes, you get to a hotel and it takes them an eternity to check you in, even though you’ve supposedly already given them all your data at the time of booking.

Of course, it also helps that with my status I can pretty much count on an upgrade everytime I stay at one of the Accor hotels.

Superior room with city view

I’ve been upgraded to a superior room with city view, which is slightly larger than the standard room. The white and cream colours continue in the room, which is quite daring. I’m guessing it must take a lot of work to keep it looking clean. But they pull it off. The room is clean and looks well maintained.

The main difference to a classic room is that there is a larger sitting area – which I promptly take advantage of to spread my mess…

Amenities

The room is equipped with an electric water kettle and a Nespresso machine with four capsules. Cream and sugar are also provided. In addition, there is a bottle of complimentary still and sparkling water in the fridge.

Welcome gift

On the small club table there’s also a small box with hand sanitizer and santizing towels and a box with four Belgian chocolates. Basically, it’s a ginger cookie with a white cream piled up on top of it and then smothered in chocolate. They’re good, but very rich.

Lavatory & shower

The lavatory and shower are separate. There’s no bath, but a nice walk-in shower with good pressure and reliable temperature control. And, you don’t end up flooding the whole room trying to have a shower. The amenities are by Biggleow’s.

Bed

The king bed is large and comfortable. I prefer a firm matress to support my back, which is not something you get very often in a hotel. This one is adequate though.

Bar & restaurant

A bar and restaurant are located on the first floor, which is also where breakfast is served. The breakfast is a buffet with hot and cold dishes, but there is also the option to have hot dishes made to order. The breakfast is fine, but nothing to write home about.

Luxembourg to Brussels by Car and the Belgian State Railways

On Friday afternoon I hitch a ride with the flying Dutchman from Luxembourg to Liège, which is about a ninety minute drive from Luxembourg in good traffic.

In Liège I head across the square to the main entrance of the railway station that was designed by Calatrava and clearly carries his signature style.

Travelling by train in Belgium takes a lot of patience – especially if you’re from a place like Switzerland, where the federal railways have a bit of a paranoia about punctuality. My first stop is at the ticket machine to try to purchase a ticket to Brussels. Only, the ticket machine won’t accept credit cards, I keep getting an error message. Cash seems to be working, but only if you’re paying only in coins… At some point I give up and join the queue with what looks like seemingly half of Belgium.

Eventually, with my ticket in hand I board what should have been the 15h01 train to Bruxelles Midi. Only, we’re running fourteen minutes late. Fourteen seems to be something of a magic number for the Belgian railways, because most trains appear to run late, and most of the time the delay is fourteen minutes.

In any case, the journey from Liège to Bruxelles Midi should take exactly one hour. Only, by the time we finally arrive we’re somehow managed to pick up a further delay and are running twenty minutes late – giving me a total journey time from door to door of 3h20. Still, if I’d taken the train all the way from Luxembourg, I would have first had to get from the Kirchberg plateau to the city centre, which is where the railways station is. And then from there, make the journey from Luxembourg to Brussels with the direct train, which is 3h15. Plus a very likely delay…

In Brussels I’m staying at the Pullman Hotel at Bruxelles Midi, which sits atop the station and has an entrance onto the main passenger concourse. The hotel looks as though it has only recently been refurbished and even still retains that nice smell of new furniture.

The room I’m in is very big and spacious and comes with an electric kettle and a Nespresso machine. The drinks in the fridge are complimentary, although I think that’s because of my Platinum status. The cosmetics in the bathroom are by Bigelow Apothecaries.

Breakfast is served on the first floor in Victor’s restaurant. The buffet is quite extensive and offers a very wide range of hot and cold dishes. On the downside though, when I come down at 09h30 for breakfast, the place looks like a bomb has just gone off. The staff seem to be doing a lot of running around, but without really getting anything done. Most tables are still full with the old dishes of the previous guests, and those tables that have been cleared away have not been set for the next guests. And the buffet is a barren wasteland…

Despite the breakfast, I like the Pullman Bruxelles Centre Midi. The design and finish of the room and of the public areas is elegant in a simple way and comfortable at the same time. The breakfast experience could be improved though…