The newest addition to the Juliana Hotels group (following properties in Paris and Cannes), the Hotel Juliana Brussels provides a truly luxurious retreat from the harsh chill of Brussels’ cold, cobbled streets.
If you’re in a hurry to book and just want our yay or nay verdict on the property, then it’s a yay – and a resounding one at that. If you want to know why we feel so emphatically about the property, read on for all the finer details…
Tucked away on ‘one of the most iconic neo classical squares in Brussels’ (and really, who are we to argue) the Juliana is situated just one short laneway from Rue Neuve and the vibrant shopping streets of central Brussels.
You’ll have to escort your luggage across a cobblestone lined square, so if accessibility is a concern for you, you may wish to contact the hotel to arrange for staff members to meet you and assist with your bags (the team kindly took our bags to our Uber on departure). The hotel is approximately a 30 minute drive from Brussels Airport (and restaurant Bon Bon for the gastronomes out there) but beware – traffic can be slow on rainy days. Ubers are easily booked, however, unlike neighbouring Antwerp where finding a taxi is a near-impossible task.
The hotel has been designed to feel like you are staying in a grand home; its dark, moody and oh-so-cosy decor envelops you like a warm embrace the moment you step inside its doors. There are couch-lined meeting areas near the entrance and a small restaurant where breakfast is served (and a very good one at that). The hotel also has a spa which currently is serviced by outside practitioners, bookable in advance should you wish to indulge in a treatment.
Being a brand new opening (and we mean brand new) the hotel is still ironing out the last few tweaks, but what we loved above all else, was the willingness of the hotel staff to find a solution for any issue presented – surely something that will stand this hotel in good stead indeed. The service truly is top notch, the staff friendly and helpful.
Even the housekeeping is some of the best we’ve seen, and of a higher standard than what we’ve seen at many luxury chains recently. We loved the little touches of a lone jumper being neatly folded, an errant pill that escaped our vitamin jar carefully placed on top of a linen napkin, just in case it was important (it wasn’t, but we appreciate the care). The evening turn down service included slippers being placed by our bedside (rather chic black slippers embroidered with the Juliana logo, it is worth noting), a large bottle of water placed next to the bed and the curtains closed.
Our Junior Suite, clocking in at 65sqm, did not have a seperate lounge room but with its high ceilings, felt very airy and spacious. A tablet is provided in room with all hotel information such a the room service menu, and power-wise, the room was for the most part well equipped. We spotted at least three USB charging points in the room (including one on each bedside with EU outlet) which was very convenient, however, the room did not have any international power sockets and there were no adapters were available to borrow – so don’t forget your international adapter, as we did!
A large TV takes centre stage in the lounge area of the room, with English channels available for the most part (CNN wasn’t functional during our stay) and while the YouTube function was not yet operational, there was an option to Google cast from your device if you are an android user. There is also a separate desk, couch, arm chair and chaise lounge.
The bathroom is excellently appointed with a large shower with both rain and hand held options, Molton Brown toiletries, a heated towel rail with a timer (why don’t they all have this very sensible function?) a double vanity and a large mirror that is both heated and lit. The bathroom linens are superb, with possibly the plushest towels we’ve encountered at a hotel and deliciously soft and cosy robes provided. A dental kit (also Molton Brown), loofah and vanity kit plus hairdryer and scales are also tucked away in the vanity for your convenience (we love that these are supplied and not on-request as with many hotels in the post-COVID era)
The room also features a fridge, fancier-than-the-norm espresso maker that is exclusive to suite level rooms (never fear, however, standard rooms are equipped with Nespresso machines so no guest goes without their morning fix) and should your shoes need shining, you’ll find a machine in the lobby bathroom.
Last, but certainly not least, special mention goes to the bed. On arrival, we did our usual bed check and found the bed to be a tad too firm for our liking. We always like to give the hotel (or restaurant, as it may be) every opportunity to remedy or improve a situation, so on our way out for the evening we asked the front desk if the bed could be made softer in any way, just on the off chance a topper or similar might be available. When we turned in for the evening, we were blown away at the huge difference in the comfort level of the bed (perfect for our tastes, anyway). The bed was soft, plush, and rather indulgent, just how we like it. Surely, we thought, this could not have been achieved with a simple topper. Our suspicious were confirmed the next morning when the staff enquired as to how we enjoyed the bed change. It turns out that the mattress that had been in our suite was one of the most firm on the property, so housekeeping went to the rather extraordinary effort of completely swapping out the mattress with their softest instead – outstanding service in our books. Unlike our recent encounter at the St Regis New York, the Juliana team were able to deliver a dreamy bedding experience just to our liking – now that is what we call luxury. The beds also feature (very) large Euro and lodge size pillows, so if very high pillows aren’t your thing, we advise you do as we do and BYO your favourite.
Breakfast at the Juliana is a pastry lover’s delight. A well curated selection of danishes, breads, slices, donuts and cakes is on offer (don’t miss the excellent carrot cake if you can stomach the sugar rush first thing in the AM), as well as yoghurts, dried fruits, a wide selection of fresh juices (and we mean wide – think ruby grapefruit, strawberry, cucumber spinach and more) plus honey straight from the comb. Hot a la carte dishes are also available and the menu features the usual suspects – eggs benedict, avocado on toast with salmon…but we say, go for the waffle (when in Belgium, right?). We indulged in the classic local delight both mornings of our stay served with red berries, maple syrup and cream and we do rather think it was worth the calories. Fresh fruit, cured meats and cheese are also available on request. A concise but very high quality breakfast offering that is worth getting up early for (the buffet closes 10am weekdays and 10:30am on weekends).
It’s simply impossible not to fall for this gem of a property. It’s plush in every way, with special attention paid to the many important details we’ve recently noticed larger chains neglecting. Even the fussiest luxury travellers (of which we are one) would struggle to find a fly in the ointment at the Juliana (we couldn’t). Book without hesitation.