- Check-in: Clipper Lounge, Terminal 2, Mumbai
- Airborne: Flight 9W228 (BOM-BRU), Jet Airways, Premiere (A332)
- Hotel Manhattan, Rotterdam
- Hotel Sheraton Brussels Airport, Brussels
- Check-in: Jet Airways Lounge, Brussels
- Airborne: Flight 9W227 (BRU-BOM), Jet Airways, Premiere (A333)
After my few days in Rotterdam, I headed back to Brussels on the train network. Luckily, I was only making one stop transfer this time around, and made it to Antwerp with 20 minutes to spare before I was going to get to my train to the Brussels National airport. This was good enough time to catch a helping of Fritters, which is something I make it a point to have when transiting via BRU and staying overnight.
There are various hotel options for an overnight stay at Brussels, but this one is right across the road from the Departure gates of the airport, which makes it the most convenient option to stay, in case the only agenda is to check out in the morning and get on a plane.
I arrived at my hotel at about 7 PM, and there were quite a few people waiting to check-in. So, I waited in the lobby for a short while. There were separate queues for checking-in the SPG Gold & Platinum elites, and a separate queue for non-status members.
I proceeded for check-in, and picked up my room keycard after providing ID. I requested to see if there was the possibility for a complimentary upgrade, but I wasn’t hoping for much, since this hotel had never upgraded me as a mid-tier Gold elite, and I did not think they would do so when I’d lost all my SPG status. So, they told me I was upgraded to the SPG floor, something I immediately countered by telling them was the standard for my past 6 trips to this hotel. Anyways, they said they could not do much and I moved on to my 4th floor room, one short of the Executive Floor with Lounge access.
View from the elevator
Announcing the SPG floor
Pastel shades in the lobby
What I did not like was encountering another whole pastel colour palette in the lobby, but at least my request for a runway view room had been honoured and I landed up in a room overlooking the parking lot, however, in the backdrop was the runway strip of BRU airport. Like is the usual, I went for the king size bed, and the rooms over the years have been given an uplift and the electronics upgraded. I remember in September 2011, when I was last in this hotel, they still had CRT television sets, which had now been upgraded to flat screens, finally! There was also a smart and extremely useful work desk.
The room was a nice spacious room, with the runway view like I mentioned above. With the EU not allowing night flying, the traffic here was relegated to some small jets at this hour. The bath was small and efficient, with the standard Shine for Sheraton Mandarin+Mint amenities coming along. These are not the best amenities designed by Bliss, however the soap has some great scent.
The minibar was loaded, and I found a couple of complimentary bottles of water left behind as my complimentary amenity. These were going to be pretty useful, because for the first time I did not have access to the Lounge, which meant I could not be bringing along water bottles at will.
I did not go for in-room dining, since the hotel restaurant Gulliver, in the lobby, is pretty average at best in my past encounters. The same reason I signed on for a room only rate, because I decided I wanted to get breakfast at the airport because of the average quality of food here. However, here is a picture of the lobby restaurant I got on my way out in the morning.
I was informed that there was a round of continental breakfast that was served from 4:30 AM in the morning to 6:30 AM in the morning, while a more elaborate American breakfast was going to be served 6:30 AM onwards.
The better option to eat around, if you arrive at a reasonable time, is the airport itself. There is a good burger joint, a beer cafe, a Starbucks which are open till about 9-10 PM in the night. In fact, I did catch up for a drink with travel blogger Bart at about 9 PM and the airport was still buzzing with activity.
Since I no longer had any elite status, Internet access was not going to be free but Euro 10 per 24 hours. However, the hotel did offer 2 blocks of 30 minutes Internet access complimentary, which was good enough time to check emails in the night.
In the morning, since I had a 10 AM flight, I decided it would be a good decision to check out by 7 AM, which would give me enough time to beat the crowd at the Jet Airways counters, which are pretty crowded when they open, and grab a waffles breakfast inside the airport.
The runway view did come handy in the morning, when take offs begin to queue up. There was a good view, however, I could only get a few pictures from where I was given my necessity to leave in time.
While I could have stayed around longer, I was on my way out quickly and arrived at the check-in counters 5 minutes later.