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“The extras are there, but the basics are not”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of The Phileas Fogg

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The Phileas Fogg
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“The extras are there, but the basics are not”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2013

Let me start by saying this is a really neat Brussels town house that has been thoughtfully decorated. The wifi worked well, and the breakfasts were lovely. We found our host to be gregarious and welcoming. The location is pretty easily accessible to central Brussels by a long walk or by the subway (Madou), and it's in a quiet residential neighborhood.

However, we were very unhappy with our room. My husband and I were having a last hurrah before our first baby arrives, and I thought I'd gotten a great deal (47.50 euro/night rather than 125) on a really nice, romantic hotel. Like others, I'd neglected to check TripAdvisor this time, and got burned. We were put in the basement room, the "Studio Henri". The water pressure was pretty good, and the room was thoughtfully decorated. However, there were many basics expected of even the most bargain-basement hotels that hadn't been taken care of:

-Decent pillows (ours were small, thin, and lumpy, and we had exactly 2 - I haven't had a worse pillow since staying at the YHA in London - and this did not make things comfortable for my 7-months-pregnant self. We made do by rolling up the duvet under our heads and scrounging for a sheet to cover our legs, which we mercifully found.)

-Toilet paper holder (I was always searching for the TP in the middle of the night)

-Ventilation (exposed wiring where the bathroom exhaust should have been, and no way to open windows) - the room was very hot and stuffy as Studio Henri is where the water heater is located.

-Hand soap

-Housekeeping (no one touched our room in the 4 nights we stayed)

It was also very strange and *not* in the least bit romantic to have glass on the door to our room with nothing covering it. We were given our privacy, but it still felt like anyone could look in at any time.

There were other inconsistencies... we had a tea kettle and a very nice coffee maker, but no cups or spoons - however, there was a colander, a frying pan, four plates, some salt, and some coffee in the kitchenette. I was able to ask for tea cups from the kitchen, but it was just sort of odd.

To be fair to the hotel, I never complained, because I felt we were paying a fair price for the quality of the room we got. But it also looks like ours was definitely not a unique experience. Needless to say, this ended up being just a place to crash rather than a fun romantic getaway. With a few tweaks, this place could really satisfy its customers and live up to its web site's claim to be a boutique hotel, but I feel like the owner has certain things she cares about (decor, breakfast) while ignoring the practical, boring things that customers expect (decent pillows, finished electrical works).

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank ebmargit1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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152 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    11
    74
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Bordeaux, France
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2013

For us, we hungry and tired travelers that had already done 1500km in bike to get to Brussels! We had a great time in Brussels (too much for all the cycling left...) and thanks to Karin and Omar we were able to leave fast. The rooms were perfect, location too but the best part of our stay was how nicely we were treated: they even made us sandwiches for the road !! 20/20 thats all ive got to say. I hope to return one day,

Philippe and Vincent

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Philippe B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 May 2013

Spent 2 nights with a good friend of mine, and we both agreed that the place is ideal for couples. Place is beautiful, great interior decoration by the owner, and it's only 10min walk from the city centre. The host is very nice and accommodating.

Only issue we have is the bathroom, not the best experience to take shower in the bathtub. Otherwise definitely recommend to anyone spending some time in Brussels.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Timothy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 April 2013

If you are going to Brussels, I highly recommend this nice bed and breakfast. The owner is so charming and welcoming, plus she speaks a lot of languages. The design of the place stands out, to be honest Is very hard to think in a better place to stay based on the price and how welcomed you will feel. In few words, this is a beautiful place with an amazing host!!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank IagoCC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 December 2012

I had to find a place to stay while working in Brussels and found that getting a flat was a poor option because the landlords always wanted a 1 year lease and my stay was only a few months. I decided to stay at a B&B to keep it simple, and stayed at the Phileas Fogg, an old house built in 1888 with a huge kitchen and a pretty garden and a variety of rooms. Karin, the owner, was a gracious host always ready to provide help and advice whether it was directions, sightseeing, where to get the best bread, chocolate, coffee or antiques, and even getting help from the Police for my residency permit.
She was always so very helpful, generously taking care of my laundry each week herself when her in-house laundry machine broke down, and even buying my favourite beer at a much lower price than I was getting at the shops I knew. She even gave me a ride to the train station when I was leaving Brussels, something she certainly did not have to do.
Her adorable and energetic young daughter Nerjis was always loads of fun, drawing -even singing and dancing to entertain guests at dinner at times- what an amazing talented young lady she is.
Her loyal dog Nefi and I bonded, I enjoyed taking her for walks around the neighborhood.

Karin has recently rennovated several rooms in the house and they are quite spectacular now- making me wish I could have switched to one of them and stayed longer. I believe she is ultimately going to be rennovating the whole house but right now she already has several amazing new rooms that are quite beautiful.

Her dinners were always a treat, and when the house was full and the dinner table crowded with people from all over the world it made travelling all the more enjoyable- after-all, that's what it's supposed to be about.

Some important information for those who don't seem to get it when it comes to staying at a B&B:

It's not a hotel, so don't expect room service, TV, a pool or a bar or a 24 hour concierge.
There's no cafe, table service, restaurant or typical 'North American' menu. Your breakfast is continental- and that means a cup of coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice with bread with jam- not a customized breakfast with eggs and bacon however you want it, like what a Hotel catering to western travellers might offer.
I always just went to a grocers and got my own food and prepared my own breakfasts lunches and dinners, unless of course Karin had a house with guests and I arrived home from work in time for dinner! Then it was always a treat to join the table and sample something new.

You need to provide your own toiletries such as soap and shampoo, although towels are provided.
A B&B is NOT a hotel. It's a home away from home you live in temporarily and as such you take care of yourself as if it's your home and I think this is something many people fail to comprehend, and where those who don't enjoy their stay are missing the point.

Karin has recently brought in a manager to help take over much of the B&B's operations and this lovely young lady named Marta brings more energy to the house, and I believe she too speaks at least three languages.

If you travel to Brussels and want to have all the conveniences of a typical North American Hotel with your pay-per view, HBO, swimming pools, 24 hour room service, non- Belgian meals, lock yourself up in your room and never even meet your fellow travellers in the Hotel then you are unlikely to enjoy this B&B.
But if you like to take care of yourself when you travel, want to meet people from all over the world and stay in a charming rustic two centuries-old house and meet an amazing hostess who speaks a staggering seven languages [yes, seven] and feel like a real world traveller meeting people from around the world, cooking dinners together and making new friends and having great conversations together then this is the sort of place to stay.

Room Tip: Some rooms are small while others are larger, and not all rooms have a in-suite bathroom so if that...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Aurore_de_Blois
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Drama, Greece
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 November 2012

It was the most awful experience we had with my wife during our stay in Brussels last September. No one to welcome us..one towel (not very clean..) for two persons, one spare and spent toilet paper, no soap for hands, no shampoo, a broken soap dispencer...a poor breakfast and totally misleading photos in the internet. Spider webs hunging above our heads too!!! Please read the reviews before booking. The woman responsible charged our debit cards although she should not do it according to the rules stated in the site venere,com. She also took the money in cash and told us that she should cancel the charge in our debit card. After a month of plenty of mails and call phones, she finally returned our money. What an attitude!!!!

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
11 Thank Alexis T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Saint-Josse-ten-Noode hotels

Kichijoji, Tokyo, Japan
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 October 2012

i stayed at the phileas fogg for 3 nights and it was great family atmospher
the price is reasionable..karin got great language skils.the breakfast was nice
the place is very clean
i would highly recomend it for singles and famillies
khaled elio

Room Tip: the blue room
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Yuka T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Phileas Fogg

Property: The Phileas Fogg
Address: Rue Van Bemmel 6, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Brussels 1210, Belgium
Region: Belgium > Brussels > Saint-Josse-ten-Noode
Amenities:
Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — The Phileas Fogg 3*
Number of rooms: 3
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Phileas Fogg Hotel Brussels
The Phileas Fogg Brussels, Belgium

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