My wife and I stayed here in August, 2010 and September, 2010. These were our fourth and fifth stays here, usually a year apart. I've reviewed the hotel on TripAdvisor before. She's there on business and I'm a tourist on these visits.
This large property (if only 5 floors) was welcomed by Antwerp about twenty years ago as a gut renovation of a beloved old department store. It's a major destination for business meetings and Sunday brunch. Their ballroom was being used for rehearsals (not open to the public) of the Miss Belgium contest during our most recent stay. They have a superb business center adjacent to some of the meeting rooms. Wireless internet is typically at Hilton rates.
The rooms are large and comfortable, and I've never heard a sound from the street. Groenplaats (a major public square in front) has a lot of civic events, and is a convenient transit hub. In fact, the Hilton is a less-than ten Euro cab ride from the Antwerp Central ("Centraal") Railroad Station. Right in front of that train station, the #10 and #11 surface trams, marked "Melkmarkt" (that is, trams going to the left, just in front of the Radisson hotel you face when exiting the station), stop two short blocks from the Hilton. I've found them to have total walking distances less than the many underground trams from the station to Groenplaats. And it's a very fast ride, ten minutes maximum. There's a garage right under Groenplaats, and another public garage, "Meir" just a block away. Traffic can be heavy during rush hours, both downtown and on the highways.
Room rates vary tremendously here. They do tend to have busy leisure weekend bookings, unlike other cities where the hotels have trouble filling rooms on weekends. It has been my experience that early bookings are usually cheaper than last-minute. There can be lines at the front desk during peak check-in times. Every taxi or restaurant reservation I've ordered was taken care of precisely as requested. The staff is skilled and pleasant. Your room may not get made up until the afternoon, but that doesn't bother me.
We stayed in a large, attractive "Business Room" in August, and an "Executive Floor" room in September, which was an HHonors upgrade. Although it's still an attractive bonus, the Executive Lounge does not have as lavish a snack menu as past years, nor is food available for as many hours as it used to be. There's still and sparkling wine and aperitifs every evening, as well as bottled beers. Several after-dinner cordials are available later, but the lounge closes (I think...) at 10PM. The Executive Floor has a lovely view from the outdoor terrace, which faces the sunset (as well as the tower and carillon of the Cathedral.) There are nice lounge chairs there, but it's often cool or windy in Antwerp.
It's my own opinion, but when a previous reviewer describes the bathrooms as "outdated", he means that there are no jacuzzis and the separate shower stalls (not all rooms have both a tub and a shower) are smaller glass and tile, not jumbo and marble! Also, the articulated makeup mirrors don't have lights in them. But the bathrooms and rooms have been well-kept up, showing no wear and tear. This is not a St. Regis, it's primarily a business hotel, but at the high end of that category. For Europe, the rooms and bathrooms are huge. There are a few luxury boutique hotels in Antwerp, but they are not as well-located, nor do they all have adjacent parking garages.
It's quick and convenient to have the smaller hot buffet breakfast in the Executive Lounge when you're eligible for that floor. But the massive buffet in the ground-floor restaurant (with a greenhouse room beside Groenplaats) is more extensive and is as lavish as ever. Many Hilton bookings include breakfast, so consider your many options when evaluating a rate offer. If you're on a tight budget, there are at least six tourist breakfast spots within a block of the front door.
A few sightseeing notes for Antwerp: The superb KMSKA art museum has closed (October, 2010) for several YEARS of renovation. Luckily, the brand-new MAS museum on the waterfront is about to open its modern building. Some often overlooked gems in town are the Rockoxhuis Museum, which is small but important in the history of Peter Paul Rubens, the Rivierenhof park on the edge of town, which rivals the big parks in London and New York, and the Zurenborg architectural district, with literally dozens of magnificent townhouses from 1880 to 1940. The following excellent museums are within a five-minute walk of the Hilton: Mayer Van Den Bergh, Rockoxhuis, Plantin-Moretus, Vleeshuis (Butcher's Hall), Magdenhuis, Ruihuis (Sewer Museum !), Het Steen. The Grote Markt/Town Hall square, the Tourist Information office, the Cathedral, and most of the other major churches are also within five minutes.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Awarded the 2012 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, the Hilton Antwerp Old Town is an elegant hotel housed in an historic building of architectural importance, in the most central, prime location of any hotel in Antwerp, right on the Groenplaats Square. This luxurious hotel is within walking distance of the finest shopping the city has to offer, the best museums are a brief walk away including the fantastic new MAS, nightlife and fine dining all within 5 minutes walk of the hotel. Hotel facilities include the largest guest rooms in Antwerp with marbled bathrooms (with separate stall showers), Flat Screen TV's, minibar, coffee/tea making facilities, wifi throughout (at a fee), and for those needing that added bit of luxury, the Hilton Antwerp Old Town has the only true Executive Floor concept in Antwerp, with a classically elegant lounge and an exclusive outdoor terrace. For families, the hotel offers family rooms and family suites for up to 4 Guests. The new restaurant of the hotel "Brasserie Flo Antwerp", opened since July 2014, brings you the delights of a world-class brasserie on the Groenplaats. It is opened all day long from breakfast to dinner. This new Brasserie, combining stylish decor with inspired food and skillful, dedicated service, offers authentic French-Belgian cuisine using nothing but the freshest and finest products. The seafood counter brings the variety of this fabulous food from an abundant plateau fruits de mer to lobster dishes. Pass by the Bar and be surprised tasting some local beers or home-made cocktails. For meetings and galas, the Hilton Antwerp Old Town houses the elegant Belle Epoque Ballroom, the largest hotel ballroom in Belgium along with 11 other flexible and functional meeting rooms. Additionally, the hotel offers a 24 hour rooms service and renovated Lobby Lounge to take a coffee or savor the signature Royal Sinjoor High-Tea. There is a public Parking Garage on Groenplaats with direct lift access to the hotel lobby (via -1st floor of the parking). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Antwerp
- Antwerp Hilton