When You Arrive At A Hotel Only To Find That It’s Bankrupt…

Filed Under: Hotels, Starwood Preferred Guest

While it’s rare to see this happen to major chain hotels, the Sheraton Brussels Hotel has gone bankrupt and closed their doors as of this week. Per a message on the hotel’s Facebook page:

Following the bankruptcy of SBH SPRL, the operator of the Sheraton Brussels Hotel, the property has been forced to close. The closure will be effective Wednesday December 14, 2016 from noon.

The forced closure of the hotel is due to the financial situation of the operating company and is not related to the Sheraton brand.

Sheraton has successfully managed the hotel from the day of opening in 1973. In 2009 Sheraton signed a long-term management contract with SBH SPRL. Hotel management are now working with all current and future clients to secure alternative accommodation in the city. We understand the impact on our valued and loyal guests and sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused.

The hotel is one of the biggest in the entire country with over 500 rooms, and has apparently been doing especially poorly since last year’s attacks in Brussels. The hotel is also desperately in need of a renovation, and that’s money that the hotel’s owners don’t have.

So the hotel filed for bankruptcy this week, and closed its doors just days later.

Interestingly enough, a reader emailed me last night about his experience trying to check in at this hotel yesterday. Reader Rob had a reservation at this hotel last night, though showed up to find locked doors and the following sign posted on the door:


That’s an unpleasant surprise for a hotel you’re expecting to be able to check into! Here’s what Rob had to say about his experience:

Tonight we arrived at the hotel at 6.30pm local, and found the sign on the door – with the doors locked.

We called Starwood who couldn’t find our reservation. They told us that they had emailed customers in advance and that the hotel had gone bankrupt yesterday. However, I’m not sure how true that was. Perhaps we didn’t get an update as we were booked through a 3rd party. Anyway, Starwood couldn’t be more unhelpful as they didn’t offer us a refund or alternative accommodation.

We then called booking.com who were good. They cancelled the booking and arranged a refund. We have had to book another hotel ourselves but booking.com have promised to refund us the difference in price considering it’s last minute. They have alsoĀ offered to reimburse any other minimal costs. It’s not their fault so totally happy with their response.

Eeek, what an experience! While hotels rebrand or close all the time, this is the first such bankruptcy I’ve heard of in a while, where a hotel went bankrupt and closed from one day to the next.

So if you happen to have a reservation at the Sheraton Brussels, you’ll probably want to look at alternative accommodations. šŸ˜‰

  1. What’s the advantage to using a 3rd party like Booking.com, if any? I gave up on those sites many years ago. The prices are never better (thanks to best rate guarantees) and when something goes wrong it’s always twice as much work to get it fixed.

  2. I recently stayed at the Pullman Brussels Midi and would recommend it. It’s built on top of one of their major train stations (Eurostar terminal about 3min walk to the other end of the station), super convenient for the airport and daytrips to Herge museum, Bruges, Antwerp. Hard product was about what you’d expect from a 4 star Pullman, food (breakfast and dinner) hit and miss, but staff was super helpful when we had a medical emergency. Status holders get 10euro welcome drink coupon for a decent glass of wine.

  3. @HC
    BRGs are neither absolute or a guarantee. They always find some sort of clause to reduce the number of claims.

  4. One of the worst outdated hotels I’ve stayed in with racist front desk staff, glad those folks are not out of a job.

  5. I ve lived for 25 years in Brussels and this hotel was located in one of the most dangerous area,drug dealers,prostitutes windowns just steps away and no wonder it ended up being bankrupt.
    Big names keep changing management at Brussels the huge Hilton passed to the hotel brand,Conrad rebranded eidelberg,Intercontinental closed decade ago.

  6. I stayed there in September, and it was: a) sold out; b) a bit outdated; c) had a nice club with good views and great beer. I am white and can speak a word or two of French, so I can’t speak to the racism accusation.

    It’s a good location for Brussels and a big hotel.

    Really odd that it would just go belly up with essentially no notice.

    Let’s hope the Airport Sheraton is doing OK. That is pretty nice as far as airport Sheratons go, and the location can’t be beat.

  7. I recently stayed at this property in November, and had another stay booked for this upcoming May. However, last Friday, I received an e-mail from Starwood informing me at the hotel would be leaving the Marriott International Portfolio as of December 31, 2016, and would not be eligible to earn points or receive any amenities or benefits after that time. They offered to move my reservation to the Four Points by Sheraton Brussels, but I decided to just cancel my reservation and make alternate arrangements.

    I’m glad I had enough notice to react, can’t imagine showing up to a property and seeing that it’s gone bankrupt.

  8. This is why I generally avoid 3rd party booking sites unless it’s Luxury Hotel
    Collection. Starwood is under no obligation to help this man. His first call should have been to Booking.com.

  9. I was booked to stay at the Le Meridian Brussels in May 2015 and was notified two days before that they closed their doors.

  10. “since last yearā€™s attacks in Brussels”…… They were THIS year.

    I stayed here once and hated it and the surrounding area.

  11. I can’t for the follow up when Booking.com never gives them the difference back! I mean they didn’t proactively tell them the hotel was closed why in the world will they voluntarily give them money? And why should the hotel directly help them when they didn’t deal with the hotel directly in the first place. That’s a good bit of misplaced frustration.I used to read the consumer site elliotDOTorg until I got so frustrated (constantly helping people that booked nonrefundable rates and wanted their money back/didn’t read fine print). This is a classic for that site where they’ll bash the hotel brand and not the place that took the reservation in the first place.

  12. 3rd party sites rarely beat the hotels own website in terms of price. Sometimes in rare cases the 3rd party has a better price or you use a credit card offer to get a better rate. But I would rather avoid the hassle of issues. Also, their credit card probably could have helped if booking hadn’t cooperated. It’s essentially a fraudulent charge.

  13. I like the location, very convenient for both Rogier Metro and Nord. The hotel was about 20 years overdue for renovation but it had a certain charm.

  14. A bit off topic, but last month(11/22/2016) TransAsia Airways closed its doors overnight without warning. It was a regional airline based in Taiwan, with a few international flights. They had the infamous highway overpass crash in February of last year (of which Lucky also posted details of).

  15. @HC: I agree totally. I stopped using sites like Expedia or Booking.com many years ago. I can get better rates on hotel websites because in addition to the “Best Rate Guaranty”, I can get discounts for AAA membership and for being a Senior. And additionally, if there’s aver a problem, it’s so much easier to deal with the hotel’s parent company directly, rather then with a 3rd party booking site.

  16. Wow that’s crazy , I almost booked this hotel for December 13 but instead picked the Four Points Sheraton on avenue Louise

  17. I stayed at this hotel twice each for 3 weeks. Rooms were very spacious , awesome location , i find very cozy , I am really shocked and sad to see hotel close. i booked hotel this time in hilton in front of sheraton..but memory is still with sheraton šŸ™

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