The Metropole is one of the historic grandes dames of Brussels, a glorious evocation of the Belle Epoque era with an echoing central lobby, high ceilings, stained-glass windows, and ornate touches seemingly everywhere. It started as the Café Metropole in 1890 and was built by the Wielemans brothers to sell the beer they brewed just outside Brussels. It was so successful that the family then bought the neighboring building and constructed a hotel to welcome the great and the famous, the wealthy and the aspiring. Today it's still here, though the gracious boulevards of the past have become rivers of traffic, and the fashionable shops have been supplanted by scruffy kebab houses and downmarket clothing stores. It's not the best area of Brussels, which means good rates, as the hotel is competing with upmarket Avenue Louise hotels. You get a lot for your money. Rooms are large, and the 23 suites are huge; the décor ranges from smart comfort to regal Louis XVI style, with half-tester (half-canopy) beds, large sofas to sink into, and desks worthy of signing megadeals at. The color schemes and overall style here err on the side of the conventional, though there are Belle Epoque touches here and there, such as the twinkling lights above a huge bath, perhaps setting the scene for seduction. Many of the rooms have been renovated with updated TVs, air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, and efficient showers, so ask for one of these.  You can take your breakfast in the picturesque Indian Garden, which evokes a tea plantation through painted frescoes and wooden sculpture. The main restaurant, the very grand and costly L'Albin Chambon, serves Modern French dishes, such as beef medallions with a chestnut shortbread, chicory, and an apple mousseline. There's an excellent three-course menu served Sunday through Thursday nights. You can also take a light lunch at the renovated Café Metropole or a drink on the terrace.