This hotel is dreamy in more ways than one.
If I told you I stayed at the dreamiest hotel imaginable, what comes to mind? Frills and lace? Lots of pink bows and frou-frou design? The Dream Hotel in Mons is a travel lover's dream come true, but there's not a bow or frill in sight! Instead you get an incredibly unique property, an ultra chic design, and the perfect base for exploring the city of Mons. This character-full hotel is the ideal compliment to the European Capital of Culture!
Housed in a centuries old former convent and chapel, the exterior facade melts into the city-scape. Inside, however, things are nothing but modern and chic. There's such a great marriage of the old and new and I especially loved the funky detail like the cool main floor bar, the bright red murals, and the funky black printed carpets and walls in the hallways.
The funky touches continued into the rooms, with black and white murals all over the walls. While I'm not entirely sure I'd decorate my own house in this style, it was such a refreshing change from the generic chain hotels of the world. And for our three day stay, staying in such a stylish, unique, property made for such a memorable trip.
Aside from the great design, The Dream Hotel had all the other components of a great stay. Our room was large and spacious, with a sitting area, desk, large closet, and plenty of storage. The large skylights let in a lot of light by day but could easily be shaded by night. The king sized bed (really two twins together, as is common in Europe) was comfortable and we slept soundly - which is the most important thing for me in any property!
There's just one thing that I wasn't crazy about in the room design and that was the bathroom layout. The large shower was only partially enclosed and, if you weren't careful you could easily end up spraying the walls and floors. And there weren't many towels to spare for clean up! We came back from a day out to discover the shower head had been moved during cleaning and, caught unaware, we basically soaked the entire room when we turned the water on. Oops!
Our beautiful top floor room wasn't the first room we were assigned at the Dream Hotel. We were first in a standard room - one that was anything but standard! The ceilings were at least 15 feet high, in order to accommodate a stunning, massive, original window frame that was as old as the property itself. If you can imagine the stone shell that remains long after a church window loses the stained glass, you'll have an idea of the fantastic feature of our first room.
Unfortunately, there was a problem with the thermostat and the incredible staff handled it with textbook professionalism. They first invited us to the bar and offered us complimentary drinks while they investigated and, when the problem did not resolve, they moved us to an even bigger room. There are always little bumps on the road when you travel and what really sets a hotel apart isn't whether or not they have these bumps but instead how well they handle them. In this case, the Dream Hotel did everything right and we couldn't have been happier with their work.
I have to take a minute to talk about the amazing breakfast that was a part of our package. There were all the standard goodies of a regular hotel breakfast bar, including pastries, buns, fruit, and toast. There were also baked beans, bacon, eggs, cheese, and cold cuts. It was a huge spread and added tremendous value to our experience.
Best of all was a machine where you could load oranges into a chute and fresh squeezed orange juice came out! I can't exactly explain why this made me so excited (the orange 'drink' that passed as juice in Athens may have something to do with it) but I was absolute enamored with it and credit all the fresh squeezed orange juice I drank for warding off illness between two major conferences.
Mons may not be the top destination on every traveler's list of European cities and it is often overshadowed by popular destinations like Bruges and Brussels. But there is so much to see and do and, with places like the Dream Hotel, the city is ready to shine as a Capital of Culture.
PS: You can see what other travelers have to say about the Dream Hotel on Trip Advisor.
How has a hotel handled a problem for you in the past? What's the most important thing a hotel can do to resolve a situation?
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Our visit to Mons was facilitated in part by Belgium Tourism and we thank them for their support.