Monday, June 29, 2015

Sheraton Brussels Airport

Hotel Details 
Hotel: Sheraton Brussels Airport  
Dates: June 27-28, 2015 
Rate Paid: $103/night 
Upgrade: Club Room ($155/night)
SPG Points Earned: 791 Points
Chase UR Points Earned: 206 Points

About a week before our intended stay in Brussels, SPG Hot Escapes had a flash sale where they were offering a prepaid rate at this hotel for just $103 USD. By booking in advance, we saved about $15 on a hotel we were going to stay at anyway. We earned 291 SPG points for our stay, another 500 SPG points for the welcome amenity and 206 Chase UR points for paying with our Chase Ink Bold (because our SPG Amex still charged FX fees).

Aside from all the amenities and features of this hotel, we picked the Sheraton because it was literally across the street from the Brussels Airport.

The Sheraton's front entrance was actually outside the exit from Airport Level 3. However, when you come out of the customs/immigration after arrival, you exit on Level 1. Finding the Sheraton from Level 1 (when you're under the overpass) isn't that obvious, as you have to find a small elevator with a Sheraton sign on it, so we'd suggest going up to Level 3 within the airport and then exiting the airport from there.

Since we were in a rush to get to dinner downtown, we were thankful the check-in area had a dedicated line for SPG Platinums and Gold elite members. Without having to mention it, my father was given all his Platinum benefits (including 500 SPG welcome points, free club lounge room upgrade and access, and high-speed wifi). We received our keycards and were up in our room #5028 within minutes.

As you can see, the room was basic, but very clean. The Sheraton Sweet Sleeper bed was as comfortable as expected and we definitely needed a good night's sleep in an air conditioned room after spending 2 weeks at my grandparent's spare pull out sofa bed.

They had a fully stocked mini-bar, which would be great if you were a single traveler, but not ideal if you were a young family who would prefer the empty space for our own things. Nevertheless, we took advantage of the 2 free bottles of water as we took them with us on our way downtown.

And since we were upgraded to the Club room on the 5th floor, we had access to the Club Lounge where they had complimentary drinks, including a beer machine serving chilled Stella Artois.

The Lounge was pretty empty at 8:15PM on a Saturday night, but that made sense since the hot food service was from 6PM-8PM.

It's important to note for airport hotels, that despite being so close to the actual runway (see below for the view from our 5th floor room), we didn't hear any planes at all. They put double glass on the windows so soundproofing was amazing. Combined with the air conditioning and the blackout shades, we had a great night of sleep.

The next morning, we woke up early at 6:30AM to make sure we had plenty of time before our 10AM flight. They always recommend people arrive at Brussels Airport 3 hours before international departures, but we took our chances that arriving 1.5 hours would be enough. After all, we already had our BRU-EWR boarding passes from when we checked in at Tel Aviv the day before.

Of course, if we did want to play it safe and happened to arrive at the gate with extra time, we could have visited the Brussels Airlines lounge in Terminal B. But we preferred to get some extra rest in our private hotel room.

Plus, since we were given complimentary hotel breakfast for being SPG Platinums, we'd rather have real restaurant food at the Sheraton over airport lounge snacks.

So around 8:00AM, we made our way down to Gulliver's Restaurant in the hotel lobby where they were serving a hot breakfast buffet.

And unlike most European hotel breakfasts we've had, this offering was very extensive beyond the typical yogurt, cold cuts and cheese.

If we didn't have the SPG Platinum status to get us comped breakfast, my father would definitely not agreed to pay in cash. Look at these prices! A whopping €26 per person for the American Hot Buffet that we just enjoyed!

Overall, the Sheraton Brussels Airport is an amazingly convenient hotel and we'd definitely recommend staying there for an overnight layover. Between the 791 SPG points (worth about $20), the 206 Chase UR points (worth another $4), plus free breakfast (worth only ~$30 to us, despite what the menu said), our $103 hotel could be considered just $51 of net spend. Pretty great deal!

However, if we had a daytime layover, we would probably have stored our bags at an airport locker and taken the 20 minute train downtown.

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