Good place for a budget city-break. I was prepared for the worst after reading some of the reviews below and almost cancelled at the last minute. Either the hotel has upped its game or some people are hard to please for the room rate. Believe me, I've stayed in lots of 4 and 5 stars where the rooms have been smaller and the service abysmal.
I'd say the rooms here are bigger than your average budget hotel and my room was impeccably clean. The shower/bathroom was spotless and everything had obviously been recently refurbished. I was so expecting the worst on arrival that I had a slight argument with the charming receptionist who insisted that my room was ready, even though I was convinced it wouldn't be (by reading the reviews). How sad is that? - but we had a good laugh about it once I was convinced!
Breakfast was your normal continental - Dutch style - breakfast.... but then that's healthy isn't it? Lots of room too in the breakfast room.
As the hotel is so close to the central station I arrived on the high speed train from Brussels (c.50mins) and combined my stay by going north one day (74 mins to Amsterdam going first class on a £3 supplement with free food and drink) * Remember if you travel from the UK on the Eurostar service you currently have free onward travel for 24 hours anywhere in Belgium. (Also, by the way, the price of Amsterdam budget hotels are approximately double the price of Antwerp's so if you want to see both cities this is a good arrangement.
Alternatively, if you insist on renting real estate, a room with a view or poolside, go for the Hiltons and the Radissons in Antwerp. But they'll eat into your shopping money and believe me there is a lot of niche shopping in this city of diamond dealing.
I was so impressed by the wonderful architecture still left and rennovated in the city considering the amount of tonnage thrown at it though two world wars. You don't need to be a train buff to admire the jewel-box of a central station (on 4 levels) and the Zoo and park is right next door for a relaxing afternoon. There are plenty of cafes for people-watching about 20 mins walk (or 5 mins on the metro) around the cathedral. The Boerentoren or KBC tower is 26 storeys of pure deco - like a mini-Empire State Building - and was apparently the first skyscraper to be built in Europe. Check out wikipedia for more if you must and enjoy your stay!
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- Also Known As:
- Tourist Hotel Antwerp