Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer Conscientious reviewer
Address: Rue de la Sablonnière, 30, City Centre, Brussels (Bruxelles/Brussel), Belgium
Coordinates: 50.851671, 4.367114 (accuracy not guaranteed)
Gîte d'Etape - Youth Hostel Jacques Brel is listed on the following booking sites:Gîte d'Etape - Youth Hostel Jacques Brel at Hostelworld Gîte d'Etape - Youth Hostel Jacques Brel at Booking.com Gîte d'Etape - Youth Hostel Jacques Brel at HostelsClub
Very Solid Hostel
One of the best deals in all benelux; a three person room with its own bathroom and shower will run you 20 euros a night, with cheaper prices for the larger rooms. Breakfast is standard, but free. The real draw here is the bar, where you'll find a wide variety of surprisingly inexpensive belgian beers to compliment people you'll meet. The staff are all extremely nice and helpful, and be sure to get a "Use-it" map from the desk, as it's chock-full of great info. The kitchen for travelers closes rather early, and wifi only works on the first two floors, but those are pretty minor concerns.
the dorm is tidy and new and have a good view of the neighborhood. the location is not far away from metro.
Although it's a bit out of the way and the rooms are iffy, HI - Brussels - Jacques Brel Hostel is a great hostel. Everyone is really cool and the atmosphere is awesome.
This hostel is kind of out of the way from the city centre, but it's well worth the trip. You have to navigate through some winding roads to find it, but it's right beside a lovely square, making for a pretty decent view from the window. On the bright side, there are so many little restaurants and shops nearby that it's not a big deal if you're not in the mood to trek to the city centre for dinner.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The rooms are small but decent. Everything is quite clean, and there are lockable cabinets for your valuables (bring your own lock). The view from the window is nice, and if you open it up you can get a breeze running through the room in lieu of air conditioning. There are lots of electrical outlets. The bathrooms are very small, and the shower is so awkwardly placed in a way that you could sit on the toilet whilst bathing yourself. Because there's only a shower curtain as a barrier, water gets everywhere. Also, the fan in the bathroom is really loud; much to the dismay of any roommate who is trying to sleep if you go in there at night.
The common spaces in this hostel are excellent; there's a courtyard with lawn chairs, lights, and a fountain that connects the bar and the computer area (free Wi-Fi as well, by the way). It's very easy to meet new people, as everything is open and the alcohol is flowing. The music in the bar is really loud, but the bartender is extremely friendly and even gave us each a free beer. Front desk staff are also amazing and very helpful.
There is a huge pinboard by the computers with pamphlets for tours and pub crawls, both of which we would highly recommend. Brussels is a beautiful city, and this is a cool home base for exploring it.
Good location and Clean
Good Points -- Friendly and helpful staff, Fairly clean, Free internet, Laundry, Good location (close to Metro), Bar, Outdoor seating. Bad Points -- No lift on my side of the building (My room was on the third floor, with the last floor up a narrow flight of stairs), Room was small, Shower head could not be adjusted (water sprayed toward the curtain).
I visited Jacques Brel on 9/06/06. room was fine, but the rest! do not use the iron in the laundry room. It burned a fist sized hole in an expensive shirt, and it was set on min. Also when i checked out, i left an iPod nano on the bed. when i went back thrre hours later, no one had handed it in and management wouldn't let me back in the room to look or ask the thiefs, sorry, people that were in the room now. just said "sorry. this stuff happens." basically you get what you pay for. so in summary if all you're looking for is a bed, ok. if you're looking for security and peace for mind about your belongings, look elsewhere.
The first thing the Jacques Brel doesn't have going for it: it's in Brussels! The rooms were always stifling hot and the Internet could only be accessed when the bar opened at night. What's worse, when the bar opened it doubled as the reception desk, so good luck getting service! I will give it some credit; even though it was filled with school groups during my visit, my room was remarkably quiet. Also, the breakfast was quite good and well-rounded, i.e. cereal, toast, jam, coffee, tea, etc. I still wouldn't go back or recommend it.
The hostel is situated at the end of Rue de la Sablonniere with many of its windows opening to a small square halfway between the underground stations Botanique and Madou.
The building is a bit of a labyrinth with lots of stairs to climb to get to the upper floors. The rooms are medium-sized if not exactly spacious. As with most hostels, the beds are bunk beds. Each bed is equipped with an individual light, which is a unique bonus. There are no chairs and table in the rooms, which can be a bit awkward if you want to eat in since there's no kitchen either. Magnetic cards are used as keys to unlock the doors. Padlocks cannot be borrowed but can be bought at the reception.
There's a bathroom for every room with basin and shower, but toilets are shared with people from other rooms. What's nice is that all bathrooms and toilets are spotless. The same is more or less true of the rest of the hostel as well. The rooms and public areas are generally nice and clean, but the place could do with a bit more colors and decoration to make it warmer.
Breakfast which is included in the price is not bad (the usual bread, cheese, something meaty, jam, cereal with orange juice and hot drinks). The capacity of the Internet area is rather limited but you can surf the net for free.
New arrivals can occupy their beds after 3 pm. The reception is closed after 7 pm, but latecomers can enter through the bar. The staff is far from being kind and helpful and not so good at foreign languages. Check out is late (11.30 am or 12.00 noon).
This hostel is ok and there's nothing outstanding one should really complain about, but it's neither extremely clean (sterile some people would say) nor very cosy. The lack of atmosphere - and also the lack of public rooms suitable for social activities - may be the reason for people not hanging around much making friends.
Decent overall. Short walk from the nearest metro stop, but close enough to the tourist center to walk there. Helpful staff. The room I was in was a little cramped for eight people. Great showers, bathrooms seemed clean to me. I recall breakfast being the usual hostel affair - no complaints there. While I was there, a huge school group arrived, a potentially huge annoyance. I might stay there again, or I might try something a little closer to the center.
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Groups (10+ people)
Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons
Lockers in Lobby
24 Hour Security
Credit Card Payments
Curfew: No Curfew