Read more from this trip – 17-days in Europe and the Middle East:
- Introduction: 17-days in Europe and the Middle East
- Finnair Business Class New York to Helsinki (JFK-HEL)
- Finnair Business Class Lounge – Helsinki (HEL)
- Finnair Business Class Helsinki to Brussels (HEL-BRU)
- Hilton Antwerp Old Town
- Iberia Dalí Premium Lounge Madrid
- Nakar Hotel – Palma de Mallorca
- Sala VIP Formentor Palma de Mallorca
- W Barcelona
- Tickets Food Review
- Royal Jordanian Crown Business Class Barcelona to Amman (BCN-AMM)
- W Amman
- Hilton Dead Sea Resort and Spa
- Royal Jordanian Crown Lounge Amman
- Hilton Tel Aviv
- Dan Lounge Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv (“TLV”)
- Iberia Business Class Tel Aviv to Madrid (TLV-MAD)
- Iberia Velázquez Premium Lounge Madrid
- American Airlines Business Class Madrid to New York (MAD-JFK)
- Dates of hotel stay: 2 nights – July 27-29, 2019
- Where: Antwerp Belgum
- Status at time of stay: Hilton Diamond
- Paid stay / points: Paid
There were a few more modern hotel options available in Antwerp, but I had points / deal related motives for staying at this property.
I signed-up for Hilton’s Summer Go More, Get More promotion, which offers double base points starting with your second stay. My trip included several stays at Hilton properties so I was eager to get the first stay out of the way. I also signed-up for an Amex offer, which gives you $100 back when you spend $500 at any Hilton property in Europe, which I wanted to take advantage of.
I’d earn 34 Hilton points per dollar spent on this stay using my Hilton Aspire card and 44 Hilton points on each stay thereafter. That’s a return of approximately 20% in points before taking into account the Amex offer.
Assuming you fly into Brussels I recommend you take the local train service, SNCB, from Brussels Airport to Antwerpen-Centraal. The trains run every 20-minutes and will take you about 30-minutes to reach Antwerp. On SNCB’s English language website you can purchase tickets in advance and check train schedules, which conveniently tell you what platform your train departs from.
Once you arrive at Antwerpen-Centraal the Hilton Antwerp is conveniently located 0.9 miles from the station. You can reach the hotel on foot, which will take you approximately 18-minutes or hop in a cab, which will take you 10-minutes assuming there isn’t any traffic. The Hilton Antwerp is in a prime location overlooking Grote Markt (“Great Market Square“), which is in the center of the old city.
Pro tip: The taxis in Antwerp don’t like to accept credit cards. Have Euros ready or pull money out of the BNP Paribas ATM, which is open 24-hours and located inside Antwerpen-Centraal Station.
I originally booked a King Hilton Deluxe room, but was upgraded at check-in to a Groenplaats Suite thanks to my Hilton Diamond Status. The room comes in at 613 sq. ft. and features a separate living room with a loveseat, chair, and television. One unique feature is a half-bathroom adjacent to the living room. The decor was definitely a bit dated, but everything was in really good condition.
If you’re planning on getting some work done, the living room has a desk with multiple power ports.
The suite features a large master bedroom with a king sized bed, 2 chairs and a spacious bathroom, with a bathtub/shower.
My suite had nice views of Groenplaats or ‘Green Place’, which is one of Antwerp’s most important squares. There was a large terrace outside of the bedroom, which could be accessed through a glass door. The hotel could improve on this space by adding chairs and perhaps laying down concrete instead of pebbles.
My Hilton Diamond Welcome amenity consisted of a Belgian beer and chocolates. The beer is local to Antwerp and according the the breweries website the nickname Bolleke comes from the shape of the glass.
For those giraffes who like to exercise while on the road or who feel guilty after eating the welcome Belgian chocolates, head down to the the Hilton Antwerp Fitness Center.
The fitness center features Technogym equipment, which I love and is the standard at most higher end hotel properties. There’s 2 treadmills, several elliptical machines, a boxing bag and a variety of strength training equipment.
The free weights only go up to 22kg (48.5lbs) so if you’re looking to lift heavy you may have to go elsewhere.
I was only able to visit the Executive Club for breakfast one morning so I can’t comment on the afternoon tea or evening cocktail selection. I’ll do a more thorough review of these offerings if I return to this property.
The breakfast featured standard American fare with scrambled eggs, breads, jams, cereals, coffee and juices. The dining area was very crowded so I didn’t take any pictures out of respect for peoples privacy. The selection was adequate and the quality of the food was good, but I expected more from a property of this caliber.
The unique feature of the Executive Lounge was a fantastic outdoor terrace with tables and chairs for dining or lounging. It was quite cold and rainy during my visit so I only ventured outside to take a few pictures. I imagine this space would be lovely on a warm summer evening.
The Executive Lounge outdoor terrace also has views of Cathedral of Our Lady.
The front desk staff at the hotel were generally courteous and service oriented. One issue I had was with umbrellas. It was raining during my stay so I wanted an umbrella. There weren’t any umbrellas in my room, which is something I expect especially when staying in a suite.
When I approached the front desk to ask for an umbrella the staff seemed inconvenienced to sign one out for me. In addition, I was only offered 1 umbrella despite being with another hotel guest. This happened on 2 separate occasions with 2 different staff members. The hotel could improve their service by buying more umbrellas and offering them to guests with a smile.
First Class Giraffe Approved
The Hilton Antwerp is starting to show its age, but it’s clean, comfortable, has an excellent location and offers an excellent value for Hilton elite members. You shouldn’t go-in expecting the quality of the Conrad Tokyo, but it checks all of the boxes. Just come with your own umbrella.
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