Continuing on my journey from Bonn, I did a day trip to Leuven before making my way to Antwerp where I will be staying for the next 4 nights! I was excited to be visiting Antwerp and have huge plans for the city! Besides Antwerp being one of the cities that is missing from my lineup in Belgium, I will also be meeting a good friend over there that lives in Antwerp! One of my Singapore friend will also be joining me for the stay and we will be touring around. I am so glad and honoured for Antwerp to be the 100th city that I have visited in the world and to do it this way, there is nothing else I could ask for more! I will certainly be sharing my thoughts on Antwerp in a post later! After much rebooking and monitoring, I managed to stay at the Hilton Antwerp Old Town, a hotel that I have very much wanted to visit and review the hotel.
Booking Process & Pre Arrival
Prior to my stay I was pre-upgraded to a Groenplaats Suite but sadly due to the requirement for a twin bed configuration, I can only get the junior suite. Later on, the staff contacted me via the app chat and told me that they could offer an extra bed and offer me the Groenplaats Suite which works very well for my stay. The Groenplaats suite is also the highest level available for Diamond upgrades. This suite normally cost 300 Euros a night. Hilton was running a sale and my nightly rate was around 137.5 SGD including the tax. This was brought down by utilising my Citi Prestige 4th night benefit. Hilton Antwerp Old Town features 210 guest rooms and suites. The 210 rooms and suites are spread across 11 categories. You can find the breakdown below.
|Rooms||Executive Lounge Access||Room Size|
|Double King||No||33 Sqm|
|Double King Executive||Yes||33 Sqm|
|Junior Suite||Yes||35 Sqm|
|Groenplaats Suite||Yes||57 Sqm|
|Ambassador Suite||Yes||56 Sqm|
|Royal Suite||Yes||75 Sqm|
|Twin Royal Connecting Suite||Yes||75 Sqm|
|Royal Sinjoor Suite||Yes||122 Sqm|
I arrived close to 5pm in the evening after arriving off a train from Leuven. The hotel is in Groenplaats, right smack in the city centre. It is about a 10 mins walk away from Antwerp Central Station. It is easy to do so since you just have to walk past the main shopping street. However, the gloomy and wet weather made me super lazy and with the heavy rain, I decided to just take an uber which is kinda expensive for the short distance. The trip cost me 10 Euros. Hilton Antwerp Old Town really have an amazing location and everywhere is nearby!
Upon entering, I was warmly welcomed and thank by the guest service manager for being a Diamond Member. Check in was prompt and fast! It was pretty quiet given the hour and also the hotel on low occupancy. The hotel has a pretty lovely lobby area with plenty of seatings. It is nice to see the place is decked out in festive decorations as well. There is also a priority queue available for Gold and Diamond members. My late check out has been extended till 3pm given my late train departure and I am asked to check for a later timing the night before departure which was then extended till 5pm. I really appreciate it given how late my train ride is to Paris. The staff assured me that I will be pleased with the suite that they have assigned.
I was locked into one of the amazing Groenplaats Suite in the 5th floor on the hotel. This is also the executive floor. The Groenplaats Suite is a mid-level suite and measures 57 Sqm. It is quite a walk from the lobby due to the orientation of the building. You know that you are in for a treat when you are assigned a named suite. This is one of the best suites in town and it’s right by the presidential suite. While it is clear that the rooms here are of the previous decade the lounge was still super spacious and luxurious. It is in a rectangular configuration and upon entering you can find the living room area. I appreciate that they had some hangers just by the door which is very useful for placing your coats. Immediately, you can see the spacious sofa set that could easily seat 4 to 5 people and surround a coffee table. Left on the table was a generous welcome amenity consisting of a bottle of red wine and some chocolates! When in Belgium, you got to have chocolates! This is alongside a personalised note from the GM!
Facing the sofa set you can also find a huge and large high-quality Smart TV. While the room remains dated, I am glad that the furnishing inside wasn’t the same case. It comes with a good selection of cable TV channels and you can even connect your phone to the TV using Chromecast. You can find a chest below the TV for extra storage.
The living room is really a nice place to have guests over! At the side, a proper working desk is located together with a leather arm chair. The chair provides awesome back support and it’s a gem to work from here! Outlets are readily available and the wifi in the room was strong and fast. Of course by being a diamond member I do get access to the premium internet as well.
Behind the work desk, this is where you can find the minibar area. It does look a little bare for a suite. You can find some instant tea and coffee. A kettle and a fridge in the cabinet below is provided too. The fridge is kept empty these days due to hygiene concern. In addition to the instant coffee, I also appreciate having a proper coffee machine in the room. This is crucial since the lounge is not in operation all day long. While it isn’t my usual Nespresso brand it still does a great cuppa.
Being a full suite, the living area comes with a half bath which can be located alongside the walkway, to the bedroom area. It’s rather weird that the half bath only consists of a toilet and not a basin or even a small sink? I am sure that people in Belgium do wash their hands after peeing right? It’s nice to see that there is an actual door separating the living area from the bedroom area.
The bedroom area is in a squarish orientation. Along the walkway you can find the bathroom to the right of the corridor. The bathroom comes with only a single sink and the decor is certainly of the older decor of Hilton. I love that it was spacious and comes with both a standing shower and a separate bathtub! It is certainly nice to be able to have a soak in this cold weather.
The standing shower was a tight squeeze. Water pressure was alright and not excellent. Toiletries provided are from Crabtree and Evelyn.
The plush king-size bed takes up most of the space in the room. This is one of the comfiest beds that I ever had. It was firm to my liking and offers awesome back support. The beddings were smooth and the pillows were pretty good. At first, I was really afraid that the bedding might be bad which is common in older hotels. Nightstands flanked the bed on both sides and outlets were readily available to be found. One of them even comes with an alarm clock.
I love how and really appreciate that the hotel offered this extension plug to allow guests to use USB chargers to charge their devices. What an attentive thought! This is the first time that I have seen a hotel doing so and this is what all hotels should be doing so. It shows the effort and the understanding of their consumers. While they are limited by the hotel age they still look for ways to improve it. However, I didn’t like that the lights here are not centrally controlled and you have to switch them on and off one by one!
Opposite the bed, you can find a luggage storage rack and a huge Smart TV perched on the wall. It’s the exact same size as the one in the living room. This is great for a cosy movie night in which I use every evening. The premium wifi for Diamond members was a godsend. We enjoyed catching chick flicks on Netflix. Below the TV, you can find a chest which gives you some extra storage in the room. This is also where the hairdryer was hidden. A bit of hide and seek going on.
The wardrobe was located next to the bed and it was a spacious one. It comes with the typical amenities and you can find plenty of hangers. Inside, a safe and an ironing kit was offered too. Weirdly, I thought the hairdryer should be located here instead of the chest earlier.
On the other side, you can find some seating consisting of two armchairs and a coffee table. They are located just by the window.
The view is the most amazing aspect of the room. There is such a mesmerising view of the entire Groenplaats and Cathedral of Our Lady Antwerp. I just wish that they could have unlocked the window just so that we can open it up and check out the view better. The view was jaw-dropping. In fact, the orientation of the bed and the TV should be swapped such that you can have a view of it from the bed which will be the best sight you want when you wake up every morning.
Or in the evening!
While the product might be underwhelming in the hotel, the staff here are excellent. I have nothing but good things to speak about the hotel staff. I even had a lovely chat with one of the front office associate who grew up in Singapore. They are excellent. I was surprised on my second day where they set up something to celebrate Antwerp being my 100 city that I visited!!! I really appreciate the thoughts! Thank you Hilton Antwerp Old Town.
In the middle of the stay, the front office surprised me with even more chocolates as well. Thank you! You really made my stay especially sweet! Hartelijk dank!
The gym is open 24 hours and you do not have to make reservations or anything. It is a pretty nice space with all sorts of equipment that you might need. I love that the place has a nice view which makes it very welcoming and love the abundance of natural light.
The actual Executive Lounge is currently closed due to low occupancy and refreshments are offered in a space at the restaurant from 4pm to 7.30pm. Evening cocktails starts from 5pm to 7pm. I do have to say that it is one of the more generous hours out there. This might actually be an upgrade since the actual lounge is old and dated. A part of the restaurant was cordoned off to be the lounge. I was down to check it out and there is clear signage on where it should be. The restaurant is a pretty lively space in the evening.
Everything is self-serviced including drinks and snacks. You can find a sparkling wine, two choices of white wine, a Pinot Grigio and a Chardonnay. You also have an Italian Red Tuscany which was rather delicious.
You also have some spirits including Whisky, Rum, Vodka and Gin. Non-alcoholic drinks include some water and soft drinks. Hot tea and coffee can be requested from the staff as well.
There was only a hot snack and weirdly on the first night it was left out there but on subsequently nights a platter was brought over individually by the staff. I love the croquettes and prawns. The refreshments change day to day as well which was great! Most of the time it’s just some fried stuff and nuts. On the weekends they put out a larger spread. The staff were excellent at the restaurant and offer great service for loyal members.
I managed to get a look at the usual lounge space and it was pretty spacious but dated. The nearby outdoor terrace would be a very good space during evenings in warmer weather.
Breakfast at Blend 32 Kitchen
Breakfast is served at Blend 32 Kitchen, the hotel main restaurant which is just off the lobby area. Breakfast service starts from 7am to 10.30am on weekdays and till 11am on weekends. I was promptly welcomed in by the staff. No reservations are required and from the size of the restaurant, you should not have an issue getting a seat even during peak periods. It certainly gets crowded over the weekends, especially over peak hours. Breakfast is in a self-service buffet concept. There is a nice buffet line consisting of a salad bar, fruits, cold cuts, cheese and smoked fish.
Then you have a good selection of pastries and bread. I love this pastry that comes with a custard filling and chocolate at the bottom. If anyone knows with it is, do let me know!
Hot dishes consists of items such as scrambled eggs, hash, sausages, bacon and beans. In addition, you can also order eggs cooked to your liking from the staff. Throughout my stay, I tried the omelette and fried eggs which were well executed!
Drinks-wise you have an assortments of juices as well as coffee and tea. Their juice was fresh and really good.
For those who prefer a lighter touch, you can find some continental selection too.
Being in Belgium, you also can’t miss out on the crowd-pleaser, be it kids or grown-up. A chocolate fountain! This might be a rarity elsewhere but definitely common in Belgium! It was a good breakfast! I really appreciate being able to enjoy this on account of being a loyalty member.
This is an excellent offering for Hilton members in Antwerp and is certainly a better choice than the Hampton Inn near the central station. If you are travelling for leisure, this is the place to be. I had a fantastic stay. Excellent elite treatment for members here and the staff are really good. I enjoyed the suite despite the dated decor. The generous space was very much welcomed. I will come back and stay here when in town. For Hilton loyalty members that’s a no brainer. All it needs is to refresh the rooms slightly and it will be perfect! Next up, I will be sharing about Leuven!