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“Lovely Hotel, Horrible Area”

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Novotel Brussels Midi Station
Ranked #5 of 22 Hotels in Saint-Gilles
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 April 2014

I stayed here with my boyfriend last weekend, We were impressed with the hotel. Lovely, clean, friendly staff, It has now changed to the Novotel which we were not informed of before, we happened to walk in and ask in this hotel.

We stayed around Grand Place during the day and were back in the hotel each evening, We had English channels 1 - 3 so were happy to chill in the evenings.

On the Sunday we went in to Bruges which was lovely and returned to Brussels Midi at 10pm. The area is really rough at night and I didn't feel safe walking the 5 min walk to the hotel. It is such a shame as we were really impressed with the hotel but the area is horrible. Not safe to walk at night. We were pestered by homeless locals looking for spare change at the station who got quite threatening when we went to walk away and this was at 11am on a Sunday morning. There were no police local to keep the crowd of locals away from the main station entrance.

I would really consider staying in Bruges for a better holiday than Brussels. But the hotel deserves its 4 stars, security was brilliant and we had no problems.

A 7 euro tax per night is also added to your bill at the end.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sarah C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joris C, General Manager at Novotel Brussels Midi Station, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2014

Dear guest,

Thank you for your kind review.

We are very happy to read that you enjoyed the Novotel Brussels Midi and the services provided.
Your concerns about the area will be transmitted to the local authorities whit whom we are regularly in contact.

We hope to welcome you back soon on your next trip to Belgium!

Kind Regards,

Joris Cammaer
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (764)
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244 - 250 of 764 reviews

Reviewed 28 March 2014

While the area may be a bit rougher than home, the hotel is new, it's immaculately clean, and well run...so we give it five stars. If you're a train buff, request a room facing the street and you'll get an amazing show of a busy transport hub (the Brussels Midi/Zuid/South station). Hundreds of trains carrying thousands of passengers pass by each day in a great show of activity. Noisy? Not with these very good, tight windows...it's very quiet inside. The morning breakfast offered a good variety of cold and hot foods including lots of fresh fruit, yogurt, cereals, eggs, cheese, meats (and beans) plus breads and rolls of all kinds. Gare du Midi, with lots of food and shopping choices (including an automated bread kiosk!) is across the street and there you'll find connections to Thalys trains to Paris (and Amsterdam) in addition to connections to locations throughout Belgium. Underground and tram lines also leave from the station.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
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2  Thank Tree-Top B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2014

I was fortunate to visit Brussels on the weekend of 15 / 17 March 2014 As I would be travelling to the city on the Eurostar I wanted a hotel near the Midi Station. Look no further than this hotel.
Only several hundred metres from the station on the Avenue Fonsy, the hotel Cascade fits the bill.
This hotel is well maintained,clean and is within walking distance of the city centre, with many attractions near by.

Room Tip: Rooms to the rear of the hotel would be quieter as there is a market across the road which starts at...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Berlinalan78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2014

Overall, it was really nice. The bed was comfortable and the bathrooms were cool. My room was a bit dusty - but I have seriously bad allergies, so I'm very sensitive to things like that. The hotel breakfast was good. I had breakfast in the hotel 4 times, but for some reason I was only charged for 2 (not complaining). I let the gentleman who checked me out know that I went more often, but he still charged me for only 2.
The location is great if you're going to be frequenting the Midi train station. I would stay more in the center of the city if you're not going to be using the Midi station all that often. The hotel staff were very friendly and helpful. Most of the reviews I saw talked about how bad the area is given the high occurrence of pick-pocketing. But as long as you are paying attention to your surroundings and belongings (like you should be in any major city), you'll be fine.
I had a room facing the train station and had no issues with noise. Also, the wifi was excellent (I was worried about that given what other reviewers have said). I was using multiple devices at the same time and had no connectivity issues whatsoever.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank Jackie V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2014

I thoroughly recommend this hotel. It is literally across the road from Midi station (exit at Fonsny, traverse the dual carriageway and go left from the Radisson in front of you). I agree with other reviewers that as the locale is behind the railway (somewhat reminiscent of old King's Cross in London) it is shabby and feels rather seedy.

The Fonsny road is bit of a nightmare as it's a dual carriageway with buses and trams - being continental Europe there is no regard whatever for the disabled or infirm (or when you are hampered by large luggage such as I was) - you pretty much play chicken to cross the road on the nearest zebra crossing where cars stop entirely if they want to. Not like the civilisation in home sweet home UK!

The hotel looks very unprepossessing from the outside. But is clearly marked by blue and white vertical signage. Yes the area feels edgy but anyone with experience of London shouldn't be bothered. As a solo female I got my far share of slightly dodgy stares from men but nothing I couldn't handle and nothing worse than anywhere else on continental Europe. Little things like this do make you feel superior about the UK and London however - but in truth I was disappointed by Brussels generally (although people are nice the place is a dump IMO).

The hotel itself. Inside it looks brand new and has been very well modernised. The staff were lovely and helpful and polite. The room was new looking, clean and modern. On the 5th floor facing the railway lines I could hear no noise at all with window shut but this may be a different story on a hot night in summer when you need the ventilation. The air system in the room is as rubbish as any hotel anywhere including the UK so I wouldn't criticise Cascade's particularly.

The plumbing was superb - brilliant power shower and very clean loo. Clean and fairly fluffy towels. Yes there are complimentary toiletries and chocolates / coffee - but I had to buy tea bags / milk at the local shop (British travellers take note!). Word of warning - pillows are dreadful and lumpy but bed perfectly serviceable and firm. I cannot comment on food and services as I did not use at the hotel. However the hotel overall was better inside than the Mercure on fashionable Avenue Louise where I was for work the evening prior. At 65 Euros on laterooms UK I thought it was good value at the bottom end of 4-star.

Finally the wifi - no complaints at all as free and worked absolutely fine in room 519 with only 2-3 of 5 bars on my iPad. The tv had BBC World and ITV1 as per UK but no BBC1 as advertised.

Room Tip: Suggest a room facing away from railway side in the summer, just in case.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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3  Thank Sophia A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2014

I lived in Brussels from 1997 through 2003 and at that time, the area around the Gare du Midi was pretty grim and grubby. Going to Brussels the 24th of February of this year, it was a treat to find the Hotel Cascade a clean, new, friendly and convenient place to stay. The prices are reasonable and the entire area around this train station is being upgraded. It's a 20-minute walk to the Grande Place and the metros, buses and trams that go through the Gare du Midi will take you where ever you might need to go. The staff at the hotel was friendly and helpful...I give this hotel five stars...it was a really wonderful experience.

Room Tip: We had a room overlooking the Gare du Midi station and it was incredibly quiet. If you wanted to ke...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Diana B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2014

Stayed back in December for my birthday as a treat from my boyfriend. The hotel was very secure and in a good location. The rooms were clean and looked just like the pictures which is always nice to see. Although free wifi was available the connection was quite poor so could be improved. Otherwise lovely hotel and really enjoyed my stay. We didn't eat the food at the hotel so can't comment on that but the bar and the bar service was nice

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank NicoleB1993
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Novotel Brussels Midi Station

Address: Avenue Fonsny 5-7, Saint-Gilles, Brussels 1060, Belgium (Formerly Hotel Cascade Midi)
Region: Belgium > Brussels > Saint-Gilles
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Saint-Gilles
Price Range: £69 - £124 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Novotel Brussels Midi Station 4*
Number of rooms: 93
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Novotel Brussels Centre Midi Station, located opposite the Gare du Midi train station, arrival station for Thalys, Eurostar and ICE, and just 1.2 miles (2 km) from the Grand-Place of Brussels. In addition to its 93 spacious and air-conditioned rooms, the hotel proposes free WiFi, a bar and a secured underground parking. The Novotel Brussels Centre Midi Station is ideally located if you wish to discover Brussels, not far from The Square, The Egg, European Community, Expo and Atomium. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Novotel Brussels Midi Station Belgium

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