There is one special place in Brussels which should be your choice for a place to stay when you’re there. Marie Ange from Sleep Well Youth Hostel explains why.
How did you decide to open a hostel?
I didn’t open the hostel. Sleep Well was born in 1977, so nearly 40 years ago… Here is its story in short 🙂
The story of Sleep Well has to be read through the various social projects which the hostel introduced and developed. When, during the course of the year on 1978, Gustave Stoop and the members of the Community of Finistère opened the youth hostel, they indeed pursued an exclusively social objective. They hoped to make some profit to support “SOS Young people”, a reception center of six rooms for young people in distress which Gustave Stoop had accommodated, from 1976, in the same building. Very quickly, the cohabitation under the same roof of two groups of individuals whom everything separates turned out to be impossible: on one side, young people in trouble (given drugs, absconders, etc.) and on the other one, young backpackers. At that moment they decided to build a new building to accommodate the backpackers. Today, the promoters of the Sleep Well wish more than anything to continue to support social projects.
What is the biggest challenge you are facing in running/managing your hostel?
At the moment there are 2 big challenges: the competition and the terrorist attacks. And they are linked. There are more and more low price beds available in Brussels and less travellers…
What makes your hostel unique?
Sleep Well is unique because it combines the hostel spirit with hotel comfort. All our rooms were recently renovated and each room, even the dormitories, are equipped with private bathrooms. At Sleep Well there is something for everyone! Everyone can find something that suits him. All rooms come with free breakfast. The building and rooms are suitable for wheelchair users. Sleep Well commits to minimizing its impact on the environment and was the first eco-labeled youth hostel in Brussels.
What is the one thing that your guests like the most in your hostel?
They love the free WiFi, the excellent free breakfast buffet and, of course, the fact that most of Brussels’ attraction are within the walking distance from Sleep Well.
What makes your destination/city a place everyone should visit?
Brussels is the heart of Europe. It’s also the city of multiculturalism. When you travel to Brussels you meet people from all over the world and this is very rewarding. Brussels is a culturally rich city and there is always something happening. And last but not least, we have the best chocolate 🙂
What is the best time of the year to visit you?
Spring&fall. In May, June, and September there are numerous free events, parties, concerts and festivals in the city. Everybody is outside on terraces and in parks enjoying life!
What would you recommend to your guests as a must see/must do in your city?
You have to see our legendary Mannekenpis, the famous Atomium and the wonderfull grand-place. But I recommend you also to go out off the beaten track, have a long walk in the city, admire all the comic strip painting on the walls of the buildings, have a look at the flee market in the authentic “marolles” district and take a rest in one of Brussels numerous beautiful parks.