Over the past years we’ve asked our guests what they miss on our buffet breakfast to make their breakfast complete. We thought it’s important to hear their comments as every religion, every nationality, every mentality, every culture has some different habits and tastes.
Apart from funny answers like “caviar and champagne” that wouldn’t fit in a 3-star hotel, we’ve received many successful ideas. For example we have learnt that vegetarian items should be on a different buffet than the buffet with meat and cheese. (You never know if another guest by mistake would pick a piece of tomato with the fork from the ham, salami or cheese.) Bread made without eggs is vegetarian and should be present also on the vegetarian buffet. That’s why now one type kind of bread you will find on 2 buffets.
Also kosher breakfast has a separate buffet in a different corner close to a small sink for washing hands while you are watching the food on the buffet. That’s how it should be for religious guests as we were told.
Thanks to our guests help breakfast is now a big success! Apart from many compliments given in the hotel we could realise this once again on the Astoria Hotel’s Tripadvisor page with following comment about Buckingham Palace!
For caviar, please book another hotel category
It has become a fashion in Astoria Hotel to cook or bake cakes when it’s your birthday. For months, the closer it got to my birthday the more I started to sweat because I’m really not the right person to cook lunch or bake cakes… The kitchen is my best friend if it stays clean with the odd exceptions of home delivered pizza, a coffee or a tea and ready meals made by my mother.
I don’t see myself baking a huge cake and hell you don’t want to know how it might taste! Something more creative had to be found to stop colleagues asking me what I was going to cook…
On Internet I found Roger Verlinden, master in drawing caricatures and portraits. That’s for sure something different than baking a boring (to me) cake!
Roger was here the whole day drawing all the colleagues, putting smiles on everybody’s face watching each other’s caricatures and everybody was very happy to have a souvenir to take home!
Me? I’m very happy to have another year to practise making cakes
PS: Want to see the other caricatures and portraits? Check our Facebook page!
It has become a yearly tradition in our company to have SERVICE WEEK in the middle of the year.
Service Week is our opportunity to celebrate our team and thank everyone for taking care of our guests. We want especially to thank all our staff for their flexibility, good work and for being part of the team.
This whole week Astoria Hotel planned surprises with lovely food and gifts. Yesterday we had grilled chicken brochettes delivered by one of our favourite restaurants in the city. Instead of a quick lunch in between work, this week we took the time to eat together, spend more time to eat than a usual lunch and laughed a lot. It’s even harder to go back to work after a heavy lunch with so much fun!
Today, totally unexpected, the “Summer Santa Claus” came with perfume for everybody! Far over the budget but… ah, it’s the one time in the year where I can give all my staff a big hug with tears in my eyes and say a big THANK YOU to be part of my team… It’s worth to take the chance to get kicked out by the owners
I can proudly announce that I am very happy with my super team and I truly hope we can work together until I retire (over 20 years)! With pleasure I keep you in my team and keep all my treasures like precious diamonds!
France De Zutter
Only yesterday, one day before the start of EK 2012, we suddenly had the brilliant idea to transform our lobby in a home cinema.
Now we are very happy to announce that our screen/wall is larger than our big window! Our “super small” 47 inch TV looks like a small useless piece of paper hanging on the other wall.
We have moved all furniture to sit comfortably to watch the games and the first match has just started! It’s a great atmosphere with football fans gathered on the sofas with chips and beer from our Grab & Green Vending machine in the lobby.
While writing this I’m thinking of leaving the projector for the summer Olympic Games and afterwards maybe for cinema evenings with popcorn… We’ll think about something nice to create even a better “home away from home” feeling as we are giving our guests now with pleasure!
Each month we still give FREE NIGHTS away to our fans on Facebook. In the beginning, about 2 years ago, we just picked out a number and started to count the fans until the lucky number won a FREE NIGHT. Since January we have changed the game with lots of interaction with our fans.
Every month we create a nice funny question so everybody needs to guess for the correct answer. The guest who guessed the closest to the correct answer wins a FREE NIGHT at the Astoria Hotel Antwerp.
In March we asked how many room nights were sold since 01/01/2012 until 29/02/2012 to our lovely neighbours from the Netherlands. It was a big success with a correct answer of 918 room nights!
Another question was to guess how many grams one guest ate/drink for breakfast. It was hilarious!!! Some answers were very funny thinking the guest ate more than 1 kg! Finally the winner was only 3 grams away from the correct answer (272 grams).
If you also want to join our crazy questions for a FREE NIGHT at Astoria Antwerp, please like our hotel on Facebook!
Sinksenfoor 2012 Opens Saturday 26th May
The Sinksenfoor is an annual carnival fair held on the South Antwerp docks. With over 150 attractions it’s one of the biggest happenings in Antwerp where everybody goes at least once a year to enjoy the attractions and to eat all kinds of junk food. The carnival takes its name from the Sinksenfeest, better known as Pentecost (Whit Sunday in Britain) – which was traditionally the first day of the fair. Sinksenfoor stays in Antwerp for six weeks until the beginning of July.
The Sinksenfoor been a tradition in Antwerp since the 13th century. From around 1875 until 1969 the fair was held on the slates where we now have heavy traffic so the carnival moved a few blocks away to the Waalse and Vlaamse Kaai.
About two months ago this beautiful tradition almost stopped existing due to some local residents living next to the Sinksenfoor. They claimed that enduring the noise from thousands of people and the rides for 6 weeks a year was a living hell. Everybody understands but then why buy a house there? When moving close to the Sinksenfoor you know you need earplugs for 6 weeks…
Fortunately the judge last week decided that the Sinksenfoor should remain at its present home of 43 years. Many citizens are very pleased with the judge’s decision and look forward to Saturday 26 of May! You too?
Antwerp will be the first city in the world to have this luxury “movable” floating swimming pool. An initiative by Antwerp’s Port Authority and private partners, the facility has 2 banqueting rooms, a restaurant, lounge terrace and of course a huge swimming pool.
The dock’s water quality is not good enough to swim in, so the idea was to make a floating pool that recreates the feeling of swimming inside the docks. In wintertime the pool will be used for ice skating!
This in an ecologically friendly project that keeps the water warm during the night using a retractable roof and a specially constructed green field, next to the pool (see picture), will take care of the purification without nasty chemicals.
Swimmers will have a nice view from the pool of the MAS museum and in 2013 also of the Red Star Line Museum.
This trendy bathing boat is 120 meters long with a capacity of up to 600 people and will be installed in August 2012. We truly hope to have minimum 25°C with some nice cocktails by then!
While Antwerp citizens are getting ready for a swim and go shopping for the most beautiful bikini we hope our tourists will like this initiative too!
The ZOO is a garden of life in the heart of Antwerp that exists already 168 years. With more than 1 million visitors per year it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Antwerp.
In the next 3 to 5 years a lot will change in the Zoo of Antwerp. Step by step different parts of the Zoo will get a face lift. The new lion arena is open since a few weeks already and was the first project to finish. Two weeks ago started the new enclosure for the seals. Later the Zebra’s will move closer to the giraffes and the apes will get a totally new residence to enjoy with an adjoining terrace next to the big cats.
This whole metamorphosis will take more than 10 years and will cost about 70 million Euro. Yes, the coming years you will see young animals seeing the first light and also how “the ZOO tomorrow” is born, a unique meeting place between humans and animals.
Antwerp Zoo is always changing and well worth a visit each time you’re in Antwerp, especially as its only 5 minutes walk from our Astoria Hotel (next to the Central Station)!
The Zoo is open daily until 6 PM (July- August until 7 PM) with Admission: € 22 per person (On Easter Monday 09/04/2012 the price is € 19) Kids up to 3 years old go free and between 3 and 17 years old the ticket costs € 17
As long as no lion escape from the Zoo to end up in our lobby we’ll be happy to send guests to the Zoo. After all they need to sell 3.181.818 tickets to pay the whole project!
This is a great tool to plan your trip to Antwerp. You just enter the number of days you have to spend in Antwerp and starting point (which we hope will be the Astoria Hotel), include or exclude some preference such as Attractions & Activities, Nature, Monuments, Churches & Religious Heritage, Museum & Art and Streets & Squares. Click on “Inspire me and Create Trip” and you get a custom itinerary taking you on an optimal tour around the best sights and attractions in Antwerp.
For example: If you rate Churches & Religious Heritage with 5 stars the City Planner will for sure send you around to see all the churches during your trip! Don’t like churches? No problem, just exclude them during planning and you won’t find them on your list!
The time scheduled from one place to another is also fine. Not too fast, not too slow. Funny to see the planner knows breakfast is until 10 AM! Visit all day to return to Astoria by 5 PM. enough time to get ready for going out to eat in one of the cosy restaurants nearby.
For the moment only 16 cities are included in the planner and of course we are very proud that Antwerp is in! Maybe shopping streets are missing with preferences of quality and prices but on the other hand a woman doesn’t need a planner for that… we just follow our nose and get exactly where we want to be! Just don’t forget your husband’s credit card. If he doesn’t want to go shopping with you, we can find him something to do in the kitchen from Astoria Hotel…
Best Antwerp Hotel Breaks
We love the planner but there is one feature we don’t think you’ll need. It can help you find hotels in our city, and while there are many great places to stay, we hope you’ll agree our comfortable rooms, friendly service and excellent value rates and special offers means the Astoria Hotel Antwerp is the only place you’ll want to stay.
The idea started before Valentines a few weeks ago. Why not serving sprinkling wine for romantic couples who like bubbles with their breakfast? What was first meant for only the Valentine weekends before and after 14 February has been extended as it was so popular with our guests!
We have created the Cava Breakfast Package on our official Astoria Hotel Antwerp website and is bookable every weekend from €89 per night, including buffet breakfast and a bottle of Cava during breakfast.
Guests arriving with another reservation (without this package) can still order the Cava breakfast at check-in for an extra €10. We even see guests ordering during breakfast when spotting other couples enjoying their bubbly breakfast! Every day we see a few tables of “Pol de Renier Blanc de Blancs Demi Sec” which is fantastic! When breakfast is finished some couples take their bottle up to the room to have another glass in a more romantic atmosphere then in the restaurant where everybody is watching…
It seems that Astoria guests like this package a lot. The Cava orders are increasing and possibly soon we will have to ask the police for special help to close the street when delivering!