Crown Plaza Brussels - Le Palace


Tunify in an art nouveau setting

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Crowne Plaza Brussels – Le Palace, built in 1908, was the first ‘grand hotel’ in Belgium. More than 100 years later, Tunify came to stay. Chief Engineer Miguel Pena tells us about before and after this event, as well as the hotel’s plans for the future.

This majestic hotel, located close to Brussels North Station, was once called Le Palace. When it was taken over Pandox AB, the brand changed to Crowne Plaza. Inside, you still taste the atmosphere from the days of old; marble is still found throughout the lobby and the halls, with art nouveau decoration a true highlight. Nonetheless, Crowne Plaza Brussels – Le Palace is a genuine conference hotel, with 18 meeting rooms and all the associated services. It meets the needs of up to 700 congress guests at once.

As Chief Engineer, Miguel Pena is responsible for the maintenance of the building and all its facets. Think about all the possible repairs, replacements and checks, from the water softener or the fire alarms to the electrical installation. They’re no laughing matter. And especially not on such a historic site.

History and service

The past of this hotel still forms an important part of its attraction, says Miguel: ‘The architecture and the decoration are unique. You simply won’t find something like this in other, much newer hotels. Of course, in an old building, you still need to meet modern demands. And so there are a lot more technical challenges.’ ‘

We compensate that three or four times over with our service,’ explains Miguel. ‘That’s something that every hotel says, but here, it really is the factor that keeps guests coming back. You’ll immediately see what I mean if you read our reviews. Crowne Plaza hotels already follow very demanding international guidelines for service, but here, we do it with extra flexibility on top.’

The hotel also has great plans. Within two years, it will be completely refurbished. ‘And we want to add a new building to the hotel,’ says Miguel. ‘There will be an extra 150 rooms available in the heart of Brussels.’

Tunify Blue in 3 areas

As well as marble, music is to be found throughout Crowne Plaza Brussels – Le Palace. Tunify resounds in the lobby, the bar, the restaurant, and in some cases, even in the meeting rooms. The hotel makes use of Tunify Blue for this.

‘I’ve been using Tunify for two years now,’ says Miguel, ‘and I’m thrilled with it. There’s no reason to change the formula. Better yet: not once, in all this time, have I had to call them about a defect or a problem.’

Sometimes, the same music plays everywhere—often a lounge-atmosphere channel. But in most areas, you can use a controller to switch between three sources. It is perfectly possible to play lounge in the lobby and French chansons in the restaurant, while also transforming the bar into a rock-café.

A world of difference

‘Before, our approach to music was very limited and time-consuming,’ Miguel sighs. ‘We depended on a single playlist. If I wanted something new, our external partner came on site to add that track. This also cost me a lot of time. In other hotels, the system was expanded with a new CD every week. There, if I wanted to play French music, for example, I needed to manually look up French tracks and add them to a separate list.’

‘It’s a world of difference now with Tunify,’ smiles Miguel. ‘I don’t need to make any lists. If I click on a certain atmosphere, appropriate tracks immediately start playing. And the range is a lot larger. If a group of German tourists were to walk into the bar, we could immediately choose to play German tracks. The better the music is suited to the atmosphere, the longer the guests stay, and the more they consume. In this way, Tunify actually contributes to our income.’

Whether you bring a group of German tourists with you or not, book your room at Crowne Plaza Brussel – Le Palace via Enjoy your stay!

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