GTMC Experience Day in Brussels

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Members of the Accommodation Strategy Group were invited to travel to Brussels with Eurostar to experience the Business Premier service and learn more about the different brands offered by Accor.

We met at the Business Premier check-in desk, scanned our tickets and quickly passed through dedicated lanes for security and border controls and made our way to the spacious Business Premier lounge. There were a variety of drinks, snacks, newspapers and magazines to keep us occupied until it was time to board.

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We were welcomed on board by friendly hosts who were quick to offer us hot towels once we set off and served a great selection of drinks whilst we chose our selection from a menu specially designed for Eurostars Business Premier passengers by Michelin starred chef, Raymond Blanc OBE. The food was delicious and was accompanied by fine wines followed by tea & coffee if required.  The two hour journey sped by and we were soon making the short walk from the platform to the Pullman hotel, our home for the night.

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We received a warm welcome from Tom Kluft, Sales manager travel agency partners Benelux for Accor, and checked into our spacious rooms.  After a quick freshen up, it was time to take the Metro to the Hotel Sofitel Brussels le Louise in the prestigious Avenue Louise district nestled amid quiet streets lined with chestnut trees designer boutiques and art deco mansions.  This five star hotel has spacious rooms with luxury MyBeds, rain showers with luxury Hermes and Lanvin lotions along with the luxurious Crystal Lounge , an adjoining cigar lounge and an open air terrace.  The weather allowed us to enjoy some fantastic finger food on the Terrace whilst learning more about Accor from our generous hosts.

After a hearty breakfast, we enjoyed a lively update session on Accor from Tom and Kris Vanderstappen, ‎Director of Sales Belgium & Netherlands Corporate, MICE & Travel Agency Partners at Accor.  We then headed to the Metro again to experience the rest of the Accor brands available  in Brussels including the Ibis and Novotel Grand Place along with the Ibis Brussels Centre St Katherine. It was very useful to see the brands next to each other and gave us a good understanding of both products including the improvements they are making to Ibis.  We enjoyed a fabulous lunch at the Novotel Brussels Centre Noire which has its’ own pool – a rare occurrence in the city.

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It was then time to head back to Gare Du Midi for the Eurostar home but not without the obligatory stop at a chocolate shop ! The journey home was quick and easy and we were soon saying our goodbyes at St Pancras after an enjoyable trip.

Due to the recent terror attacks , Brussels, Paris and Eurostar need our support to get business back on track. Brussels has fantastic facilities at all levels and we all felt perfectly safe walking around the centre and travelling on the Metro.

Many thanks to our Industry Partners Accor and Eurostar for their hospitality and to Devi Virdi and Sarah Gaze for making the trip possible.

Julie Cooper, Manager Membership, GTMC