Novotel Tour Noire: A top choice for families visiting Brussels

Our stay at the Novotel Tour Noire couldn’t have come at a better time. We’d just finished off two weeks of urban hotels/rental/B&B stays in the UK . The kids were getting tired of trying to behave like adults and John and I were hoarse from loud shhh-shing.

If you’re looking for a centrally-located modern hotel in the center of Brussels that takes its commitment to families seriously, look no further than the Novotel Tour Noire. They really go out of their way to extend a welcoming hand to families. Here’s why:

1 (and 2): Location (and location)

Novotel is located right off the Place Sainte Catherine, a café-lined traditional square overseen by a 19th century church. The square is a great place to stretch your legs.

novotel square


In summer, you don’t have to look far to find outdoor seating to savor traditional Belgian food including, of course, mussels and lapin a la kriek, a rabbit stew cooked in cherry beer.

Belgium with Kids2

The new central pedestrian area means you can walk to the Grand-Place from the hotel with virtually no car traffic. If you’re traveling further afield, the Sainte Catherine metro stop is steps away.

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2: Swimming pool

It doesn’t seem to matter how old the kids get (ours are 15, 13, and 8), they cannot seem to get enough of hotel swimming pool. And John and I can’t get enough of reading magazines while they splash around. We love that the pool is open late enough for a quick sleep-inducing late evening dip (see more tips on getting your kids to sleep in a hotel room).

novotel 6

3: The lobby

The lobby is large, modern and buzzing. But what sets it apart is the adorable play center, which entertained our three while we checked in and out, and sometimes when they just wanted to play. They had comfortable seating, a video game console, a two-person video table, as well as blocks and other toys.

The hotel also has a separate public computer free to use for those all-important pre-boarding check-ins. Again, not a problem when the kids are occupied.

4: Best connecting rooms ever

Now that we have two teenagers (I know, crazy!) and an eight-year old, the days of squeezing into one large hotel room are over. Novotel’s connecting rooms were massive and really gave us a chance to stretch out. I particularly appreciated that fact that of the two bathrooms (both very modern), one had a bathtub and one a rain shower—a very nice touch for those traveling with young children who require a tub and those, like my husband, who prefer a large rain shower.

novotel 1

Belgium with Kids4

The trundle beds worked great for us. So often in American hotels, even family rooms just have two double or queen-sized beds or a pull-out double sofa bed. These never quite work for us since our boys don’t love sharing a bed. At the Novotel, everyone had their own bed and it made for a lot less kicking, whining, and ultimatums.

Thank you to Novotel Tour Noire for graciously agreeing to put us up (and putting up with us) for the night.



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