Alison recommends you:
The Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Brussels
Is the #affordable yet fantastic hotel the proverbial needle in a haystack? Not at the #Radisson Blu in #Brussels, Belgium. Relax and test the barmen's imagination with personalised #cocktails before treating yourself to a Michelin Star worthy dinner at one of the on-site #restaurants.
A Lovely Stay
Fine dining, great gin cocktails and luxurious rooms await you at the Radisson Blu Royal hotel in central Brussels.
Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Brussels
Chocolate Tour Brussels, Belgium
Belgian Beer Tour
You may recall that back in February, I was invited to Paris to visit several Radisson hotels to become a brand ambassador and one of the #BluBloggers. A few weekends ago, Andrew and I were able to visit one of the Radisson properties right here in Brussels – The Radisson Blu Royal.
We arrived on a Saturday afternoon to maximize the amount of time we’d have to enjoy the property, and were immediately greeted by a warm and friendly host at reception. We were then whisked to our room by the lovely sales and marketing coordinator, Maëlle, who made our visit possible. I use the term room loosely here. We were actually shown to a space almost as large as our flat.
I use the term room loosely here. We were actually shown to a space almost as large as our flat
We had a bedroom separate from a vast living room and dining area.
Our bathroom(s) contained a huge tub and large rain shower, in addition to acres of counter space and plenty of toiletries.
Our Executive Suite isn’t even the largest of the rooms in the hotel. If you really need elbow room, you can opt for the Ambassador Suite or treat yourself to the ultimate stay in the Royal Suite.
If you don’t need quite so much space, even the Standard and Business Class rooms are spacious (26m2) and include free Wi-Fi, coffee and tea service, air conditioning, a safe, and flat screen TVs. Business class will also give you access to the Fitness Club and include the giant buffet breakfast.
Our room was very comfortable and quiet. I loved soaking in the enormous tub (once I figured out how to work it!) and when we called down to the front desk for some sheets of paper to make notes on (yes, we’re working even when we’re not supposed to be), it was delivered within 5 minutes.
In fact, our only hiccup was Sunday morning before checkout. To make a long story short we had a customer service issue, which we found disappointing, especially since everyone had been so friendly up until that point (and no, the rest of the staff didn’t know we were there as bloggers.)
What is great about the Radisson brand however, is their commitment to customer satisfaction. Radisson has a 100% Guest Satisfaction Guarantee – they will make it right, or you don’t pay.
Radisson has a 100% Guest Satisfaction Guarantee – they will make it right, or you don’t pay
When I expressed my concern to the management, it was dealt with swiftly and the problem was rectified. Things sometimes go wrong, that’s unavoidable. It’s how a company deals with issues that is crucial.
The Good Stuff
But on to the most important part – the food and drink!
We are big gin and tonic fans, so when we heard that the Radisson Blu Royal has recently launched a Ginothèque, we had to give it a try (for research purposes of course!). The bar is located in the bright and open atrium (conveniently located beside the Atrium Restaurant) so we opted for a pre-dinner cocktail.
The bar has a good variety of high-end gins and half a dozen kinds of tonic (including two of my favourites). You can mix and match your own or ask the bartender to create something to your taste.
You can mix and match your own or ask the bartender to create something to your taste
We left ourselves in the mixologist’s hands and were definitely happy with the result! It’s also possible to order a variety of tapas and snacks with your drinks, or just cozy up on the sofa-style seats with a coffee and enjoy the atmosphere.
The Atrium Restaurant
The Radisson Blu Royal is home to two restaurants: the famous Michelin two-starred Sea Grill (which is privately owned and leases space from the hotel) and the Radisson owned and operated Atrium Restaurant. Whilst I’m still saving my pennies to dine at the Sea Grill someday, I’ve had the opportunity to dine at the Atrium twice and both were positive experiences.
My first visit was with Andrew, directly after our Ginothèque experience. We moved into the dining area, beside the remains of part of the old Brussels city wall.
beside the remains of part of the old Brussels city wall
I loved how they saved this piece of history and incorporated into the design.
I started with a duo of smoked quail breast and seared foie gras with a cream of sweet potatoes and crisp of apple. Delicious!
Andrew tested the Ostend Grey Shrimp croquettes. Crispy outside, gooey inside!
I chose my main course from the seasonal asparagus menu; slowly cooked lamb filet, stuffed with asparagus. I could have handled my meat slightly less done, but it was still very tasty and a great combination of flavours. I also loved the potato gratin that came on the side – give me cheese and potatoes any day!
Andrew ordered the oven roasted ‘Piétrain’ pork filet and crawfish tails and enjoyed the flavour combinations. We both felt that the portion sizes were ample and our wine suggestion was excellent as well.
We both felt that the portion sizes were ample and our wine suggestion was excellent as well
There wasn’t much room left for dessert, but I couldn’t pass up the creamy chocolate with cherries and cinnamon. It was rich and delicious.
Andrew is never one to pass up a good crème brulée and this was indeed a good one.
Overall, our service was excellent and our food was very good indeed. We loved the open atmosphere of the Atrium and the prices were fair, especially for a hotel restaurant.
We loved the open atmosphere of the Atrium and the prices were fair, especially for a hotel restaurant
My second experience at the Atrium was over lunch with Maëlle from Radisson, and my fellow #BluBlogger Emma.
This time I started with the Asparagus “velouté” with sliced Dublin bay prawn. It was creamy and wonderful and the prawns were a nice addition.
My main course came on the recommendation of the Restaurant Manager: Belgian pigeon breast and crispy sweetbreads with roasted endives and truffle sauce. I love pigeon but I have to say sweetbreads are not normally my favourite thing. This dish definitely won me over though. The coating on the sweetbreads was very crispy and almost had a popcorn-like quality. The pigeon was perfectly cooked and the colourful vegetables complemented the proteins perfectly.
For dessert, I went with a simple gratin of local strawberries, vanilla from Madagascar and almonds milk ice cream – a classic combination well executed.
While I choose my dishes a la carte, the three service chef’s selection menu is a great value at around 35€ or 49.50€ with wines included.
My recommendation – start with a custom gin at the Ginothèque and then head to the Atrium for a lovely meal in a beautiful location.