Overview of The Dominican

If you’re looking for an ideal sanctuary for a working getaway, look no further than The Dominican, Brussels, a Member of Design Hotels. This trendy haunt used to house a monastery and with it centuries of conflict and resolution between Dominican friars, Calvinists, revolutionaries and artists.

Illustrious artwork hangs on the walls, the originals having been painted at the old home of neoclassical painter Jacques-Louis David, which is now a part of The Dominican’s facade. Each of the 150 rooms has a story to tell and offers comfort and respite to the discerning business traveler. For a lively and sophisticated getaway, look no further than The Dominican.

How I Booked The Dominican

I had a bunch of free night certificates from various Marriott cards that were due to expire throughout 2022 after being extended at least once during the pandemic. That meant it was time to put them to good use. And what better use is there than a nice hotel in a major city in Europe in the summer?

The Dominican, Brussels-Deluxe Double Room Gueset Room

Deluxe Double Room Guest Room | Photo courtesy of Marriott.com

I booked a Deluxe Double Room Guest Room for four nights with four of these certificates. I also used suite night upgrade awards, but they didn’t end up clearing ahead of time and were returned to my account.

It’s also possible to book this hotel with Marriott points, which can be earned with a couple of Marriott credit cards.

The Dominican Location

The Dominican runs along the famed Rue Leopold, right next to The Royal Theatre of la Monnaie opera house. It stands within the center of town, just steps from Delirium Cafe (and the Jeanneke Pis statue) as well as the winding streets that eventually lead to the Grand-Place.

The Grand Place, Brussels

The Grand Place is a highlight of Brussels — don’t forget to visit at night. | Photo by Charlie Lewis

It’s simple to get to this property as it’s just a seven-minute walk from Brussel-Centraal station. You can take the InterCity Direct train from Brussels Airport for just 15 minutes to the station. Alternatively, you could take an InterCity train to Brussel-Schuman station and then hop on the metro after that. Note that if you’re flying into Brussels South Charleroi Airport, it’ll take significantly longer to get into town as Charleroi lies roughly an hour south of Brussels.

This location is perfect for folks who like to be right where the action is, and it’s especially great for first-time travelers who want to see the parts of Brussels that folks like to visit. You’ll never be far from a great Belgian tripel or a Nutella-topped waffle, which is enough to sell the location for me.

Best Parts of The Dominican

It’s friendly towards digital nomads

The Dominican makes a point to advertise their lounge bar as a co-working space, meaning digital nomads shouldn’t have trouble tucking into a dark corner with their laptops for a while.

It’s right in the heart of the city

Again, this location is great! The Dominican is located in central Brussels, which means it’s easy to find some great nightlife, a cozy bar and fantastic shopping nearby.

It has great amenities

Even with the variety of things to do just outside, you don’t really have to leave this property to have a fun time. Not only does The Dominican feature a comprehensive on-site dining concept, it also has a fitness center, sauna and hammam spa for your wellness and enjoyment.

The Dominican Drawbacks

It isn’t geared towards families

While small families are certainly welcome at the property, the hotel is really geared toward adult business travelers, solo travelers, couples or small groups of friends.

It’s right near tourist hotspots

Depending on how you like to travel, this could be a good thing. But if you’d prefer to be farther away from where the people are, then this may not be the property for you.

It isn’t an intimate or quiet spot

Following that last point, this property is likely to be busy. With 150 rooms and a bustling bar for residents and non-residents to enjoy, The Dominican can get much more lively than it was during its time as a monastery. If you need a more silent retreat, then pick a place that is more monastic in reality than just in its facade.


Thematically, the hotel is dark and mysterious but also inviting. Like many hotels that occupy the remains of historical buildings, The Dominican expertly combines its dramatic and artistic history with modern design touches. It’s fancy without seeming stuffy, sophisticated without being exclusive, and deeply historical without seeming out of date. I felt immersed in the vibe as soon as I set foot in the lobby, and I appreciated their attention to detail.

Check-in at The Dominican was easy, flexible and friendly. I came in by train and arrived just before noon, but they had a room available for me already and graciously offered it without any issues. I always appreciate a quick and easy check-in, and this was exactly that.

I have Titanium status with Marriott and was treated to free breakfast throughout my stay and was provided a room upgrade at check-in.

The Room at The Dominican

True to its history, visitors are treated to Gregorian chant music as they make their way through the corridors to their rooms. As for me, I booked a Deluxe room with a king bed, perfect for a cozy solo trip. This relatively spacious room features 24 square meters (258 square feet), a king bed along one of the side walls, several plush chairs with a small side table, a work desk and a Nespresso and tea station.

The Dominican, Brussels-Deluxe Double Room Gueset Room

The Courtyard Guest Room has a great desk for those working remotely. | Photo courtesy of Marriott.com

To my luck, I was upgraded to a Courtyard Guest Room when I arrived, even though my suite upgrade request didn’t clear ahead of time.

The bathroom is modern and trendy, featuring a vessel sink, toilet, a full-length mirror and a makeup mirror, soap and lotion in fixed large bottles, a stand-up shower and ample counter space. There was no shortage of hot water and good water pressure, and I made frequent use of the hair dryer and bathrobe.

The room itself is standard and comfortable with climate control and a decent-sized window, but there wasn’t much of a view from my angle. That isn’t a problem for me. I could have booked a different room if I needed a great view, but there simply wasn’t one from my window.

I found this particular room to serve its purpose well, but I also think that the common spaces in the hotel might be even cozier. Instead of making use of my own work desk, I opted to set up shop at the lounge bar for most of my working needs. At the end of the day, though, I was pleased to return to my soft bed for a deep, comfortable slumber.

Overall, the room was standard and met my expectations of comfort. I may have expected something a bit more extravagant for the price point, but the room was comfortable and served its purpose.

Food and Drink

Breakfast is not included in every booking so be sure you understand the terms of yours, but I do recommend adding breakfast if you enjoy a good buffet and a made-to-order Belgian waffle station. Since I have Titanium Elite status and breakfast is complimentary, I took advantage of the breakfast every day of my stay, and it was delicious!

The on-site restaurant has a few different seating areas but is encompassed by one main eatery. Grand Lounge, designed by FG Stijl, is the place to go for classic dishes, starters, mains and desserts served throughout the day. The lounge bar offers a wide variety of drinks and wines, and it’s perfect for an afternoon cocktail or a late-night date.

Under a starry sky, the courtyard offers some of the most coveted outdoor seats in town. This garden patio, surrounded by trees and arches, is the perfect spot to get together with a few of your favorite folks and toast to friendship, food and, of course, a great getaway.

While there are plenty of delicious things to eat onsite, The Dominican sits among dozens of excellent restaurants that could cater to a variety of tastes. Check out the on-site offers, but don’t forget to do a fair bit of exploring, too.


One neat thing about The Dominican is that access to the fitness center, sauna and hammam are included in your daily rate. The fitness center includes cardio machines, weights and a boxing room. Plus, the sauna and hammam are perfect for rejuvenation after a good workout.

The Dominican-amenities

Access to a sauna and hammam is a unique luxury. | Photo courtesy of Marriott.com

If you’re visiting The Dominican with colleagues, the property features several meeting rooms and festive spaces for your professional event. They offer half- and full-day meeting packages, plus add-on options for refreshments, wine and meals. For professionals needing a tag-up space, The Dominican has you covered.

I should also note that this property offers serviced studio and duplex apartments for extended stays of one month minimum, catering to those who are in Brussels for a longer stint. This is a great option for business travelers who have a long contract in Brussels but still want a hotel setting and amenities.

These apartments offer weekly linen changes, a stocked kitchenette with a hotplate, microwave and dishwasher, a bathroom with a walk-in shower, a separate entrance and an elevator. These apartments, in line with The Dominican’s attention to remote workers, could be ideal for a long-term digital nomad or contractor.


Service at The Dominican was, as I expected, friendly and helpful. I was so appreciative of their flexibility, especially considering my early check-in needs. Apart from reception, I had no major issues but will point out that the lounge bar can get pretty busy at times. If you turn up during a rush, then do expect to wait a bit before receiving service.

This is a perfectly reasonable consequence of having such popular dining, but just be forewarned that it can get busy some evenings, offering you the opportunity to spend even more time at the bar. No matter how busy it became, though, I was always greeted with a friendly face and expert local advice from the staff. These small details are always appreciated.

The Dominican Family Friendliness

Everybody is welcome at The Dominican, but there certainly is a more mature vibe than a kid-friendly one. The largest suite offers a spacious 77 square meters (829 square feet), which could be ideal for families with small children. However, there aren’t any dedicated activities or accommodations for children. Depending on what the kids like to do, it might be more fun to stay closer to The Children’s Museum or at a property more geared towards family-friendly activities.

Final Thoughts on The Dominican

Overall, The Dominican is an excellent spot for business travelers, solo travelers or couples who are looking for a quirky, trendy place to stay in the center of Brussels. This is especially well-suited for remote workers or digital nomads, as the common areas are worker-friendly and the property offers a huge variety of rooms, suites and apartments for extended stays.

I enjoyed access to the fitness center, sauna and hammam as well as the buffet breakfast. What can I say? I love waffles! The location was also important to me, with such easy proximity to some of Brussels’ favorite bars.

I felt that the price point is slightly high for what you get, but I was able to mitigate that a bit using my status and points. That said, if you have the points to spare and you’re headed to Brussels, spending them on a few nights at The Dominican is absolutely a safe bet.