I was recommended this hotel by word of mouth and I didn't check the reviews on online before I booked. When I did read the online reviews I was anxious. However, it turned out all right in the end. Obviously not the Royal Palace of Belgium, but considering the low price, I found it good value for money.
The location is very good being near to the train station and the main high street, which is obviously very beneficial when arriving and leaving.
The exterior of the hotel is surprisingly grand and it is situated in an attractive square. The grandness of the exterior does not continue indoors where a more minimalist look is employed.
Our double-room was small and basic but clean and the view over the square was very pleasant. There is a small TV with BBC News, CNN and other channels. There was no hair-dryer, kettle or fridge. We only really missed the hair-dryer (although we never got around to asking if they lent them from the main desk). The lighting is subtle and relaxing but the room would have benefited from a desk lamp for when reading or using a laptop. The room was warm with an under window radiator (we stayed in January).
Breakfast was included and offered a hot and cold buffet including scrambled eggs, bacon, mini-sausages, cheese, ham, bread, orange juice, fruit salad, yoghurt and cereal. There was a good selection of make-your-own hot drinks but the trendy coffee cups were too small for tea (this might only be a problem if you are British).
By hotel standards, the free in-room Wifi was very good indeed. I was given a real WEP password at check in. I had to enter the password only once and the Internet worked all week. I found it reliable and fast.
The hotel restaurant is fantastic. We found it hard to find toddler friendly restaurants in Leuven and so we ended up eating in the hotel most nights. Our toddler very much liked the friendly Romanian waiter who went out of his way to make the baby comfortable. The restaurant serves as the bar and lobby too, there is no separate downstairs accommodation. There was no English language menu but the Romanian guy spoke perfect English so it was not a big problem. Obviously I don't know if we just got lucky or if all their waiters are helpful.
The stairs have pretty marbled effect tiles and I expect most people use them as the only other people we saw in the lift were the cleaners. The lift was really the biggest flaw because it did not always want to stop on the right floor and basically had a mind of its own. (Although bizarrely every lift we used in Belgium seemed to be antiquated, ugly and/or broken in some way - in Britain we would call these goods lifts rather than lifts fit for customers - especially beware of the lifts in Brussels Midi station - very nasty). Apparently there was a way to avoid these problems by standing at the back of the lift but it did not work for us. The pretty tiles can echo somewhat if people move around outside your room.
The staff were helpful and accommodating and the best thing about the hotel. Check out was somewhat early at 11 rather than the standard noon. We could leave our bags in the hotel reception after checkout.
Good: Restaurant, breakfast, wifi, friendly staff, price
Bad: Lift, Lift, Lift
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- Also Known As:
- La Royale Leuven