The point is that Brussels does get its fair share of negative connotations - but it's still a great place to meet!It's a pretty city with plenty on offer to suit all tastes and budgets. For one or two day meetings, you have a top selection of hotels and meeting rooms covering an eclectic range of three, four and five star hotels. For longer-stay events there are a number of specialist conference and congress venues and locations.
We visited Brussels last week for the annual EMIF Trade fair and took the opportunity to stay at a new conference and meetings venue - the Dolce La Hulpe - a newly opened facility. Dolce have a number of properties in the US and Europe and claim their target market is both business and leisure.
The hotel, a former IBM Training Centre, had not been open very long when we arrived - a couple of weeks at most - and it showed a little bit, with an army of tradesmen still beavering away around us!
The Dolce, which claims to be Belgium’s first Hotel, Resort & Conference Destination is located 15 km (9 miles) southeast of Brussels City Centre and is situated in the middle of the Sonian forest, surrounded by a huge swathe of green countryside.The airport is also just 9 miles away and for Eurostar passengers, the Midi railway station is a 25 minute drive.
264 guest rooms and suites
25 meeting rooms including 2 auditoriums (500 seats and 150 seats) and a large 750 m2 multi-purpose area for events & exhibitions
Main restaurant up to 320 guests and a gourmet restaurant up to 54 guests
2 bars, private dining and banqueting rooms
Indoor swimming pool and fitness centre - and, from March 2007, a steam bath & sauna
Onsite sports facilities include 2 tennis courts, a beach volleyball field, fully laid-out jogging trails, mountain biking, golf and horse riding.
We enjoyed a pleasant stay at the Dolce and can appreciate the attractions if you're looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre and if you want your delegates to remain 'on site'. However, if its convenience for the city and all its many attractions you're looking for, maybe you'd be better using one of the many meeting facilities closer to the city.
Brussels is also a great destination for a short break with plenty to see and do in the area. For eating and drinking in a convivial atmosphere, you'll not find many better places in Northern Europe. In addition, of course, its proximity to the UK, with a journey time of just a couple of hours by train - or slightly longer by road - makes it a popular destination.
The bars, restaurants and nightspots of the city are highly atmospheric - and, of course, there's probably no better place to go for a beer! Just north of the Grand Place you'll find the Ilot Sacré – a maze of narrow streets filled with restaurants. Prices make Brussels a cost-effective destination for meetings and incentives - and for short leisure breaks.
Room rates and incidentals are on a par with most other European capitals although it is possible to snap up a bargain when the Eurocrats decamp! Good rates for meetings are also available.
If you'd like more information on Brussels, why not contact Nice Work? You'll find a link to the Nice Work at the foot of the page.
And if you'd like to add your comments about Brussels, we'd love to hear from you!