Thursday, 14 July 2016

The First Euroflat Hotel, Brussels...fine, but no hot water in the shower

You can be staying in a fantastic hotel, in a great room, with a sofa, a balcony, a table, a minibar, wall-mounted television, a couple of cooking rings, a domestic-sized fridge, a decent enough view and even a few empty bookshelves to stack up should your stay be longer than a couple of days. But it's amazing how things can very quickly 'go wrong'.

First, the check-in: it was perfect. Quick is crucial and this involved a small form to be filled in and then being handed my key card. The elevator was quiet. Very quiet. So quiet I wondered if it was moving, but it was and soon I was on the fifth floor looking for room 510, which was on the left at the end of the corridor. The key card was good too: not a slot affair that doesn't work on the first two or three attempts, but like an Oyster card. The door never failed to open. Then the room. It was great and very spacious (see previous paragraph).

The European Commission – very close to the Euroflat
When I arrived at the First Euroflat I took note of the four stars that adorned the side of the building. Oddly, however, there was no restaurant, which, as I've said many times before, is not always a bad thing, although I'll admit that there's nothing like a decent hotel restaurant. It means you don't have to 'go out' and seek a decent meal and it means you can chill out and then jump in the elevator and head for bed.

The fact that there wasn't a restaurant, however, meant that I did have to go in search of a decent restaurant for dinner. It wasn't a problem as everything was close-by; sometimes taxis are involved and it's winter and that makes it all a little depressing, but it's the summer – it's July and there's still daylight, so all is well.

After dinner I returned to the hotel and went straight to my room. I watched TV and then, after using the spacious bathroom, I hit the sack. I got a reasonable night's sleep and headed down for breakfast around 0730hrs. The breakfast room on the ground floor was busy and it took me a while to find a table for myself. It looked as if I might have to ask, "Is this chair taken?" but fortunately I found an empty table. Five minutes later somebody asked me, "May I join you?" or something along those lines and of course it was fine.

The breakfast offering was fine as there was a wide selection of stuff: fresh fruit, cereal, cheeses, scrambled eggs, sausages, something else hot that I couldn't identify, pastries, bread, hard-boiled eggs, tea, coffee, fruit juices, the usual set-up and it was quite pleasant.

There was only one thing wrong with the hotel: the bathroom. Before breakfast I turned the tap of the shower and expected hot water, but all I got was cold. I let it run, but it was still cold. It took an age before things warmed up and where the shower was concerned I switched it off so that I could shave first, but when I turned it back on again, it was cold and I couldn't wait around so I went without. 

There wasn't much else negative about the First Euroflat – apart from the bar downstairs. There was never anybody there enjoying a drink or anything for that matter, and nobody manning the bar either. Not exactly welcoming. The only good thing about it was a tank full of tropical fish.

Check-out was as straightforward as check-in. I left my case in the storage room down the corridor from the front desk and went about my business, picking it up later when it was time to head home.

Excluding the bathroom issue, the First Euroflat hotel was fine: ideally located near to a handful of decent restaurants and about two minutes on foot to the Schuman railway station where a short journey took me to Brussels Midi and my Eurostar home. 

Would I stay here again? Probably, yes, but I'd be wary about the cold water issue. The rest was fine.

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