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The Thon hotel group started in 1989 in Norway and is an institution there. In Brussels, there are no fewer than five branches, but this one is the best known. It's housed in a large block with a small shopping mall on the ground floor, and located on a busy main road in the EU Quarter. This puts it at some distance from the main tourist sites, though a metro station (opposite the entrance) and buses give you easy access to the center. The hotel caters mainly to a European business clientele during the week, so weekends are less busy and rates are excellent; the place fills up with families and couples on vacation. Rooms come in several different price levels and sizes, though even the smallest is bigger than most other rooms in town. All are smart, functional, and well designed. They all have good beds, with separate duvets according to Norwegian practice, well-equipped bathrooms, and large windows. The proportions are good, and the mainly white-and-pale color scheme is lifted by cheerful, brightly colored chairs, headboards, and throws. All except the lowest category of room come with free bottles of water, and there's a plastic duck and an umbrella in every room. It’s details like these that give the hotel and its owner their fine reputations. The Twelve restaurant, named after the number of stars on the EU flag, picks up the bright colors used in the rooms. It serves a solid menu of European and international classics.