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Hotel Le Plaza

A well-deserved five star, this grand yet unassuming hotel is located on Adolf Max street in the northern end of Brussels. A generous feeling of space and typical Belgian chandeliers reigned the main reception.

While checking in, I noticed a grand piano sitting in the corner before entrance to the main bar. I asked if I could play. To my surprise, the front desk clerk welcomed it.

I ordered two glasses of my favourite white beer Hoegaarden from the bar. Robert Avalon began to play the first of many pieces from Bach's Well-tempered Klavier from memory. It was a form of relaxation and a much needed longing to express himself after our long train conversation. So I let him play piece after piece. After a Chopin nocture, it was my turn.

I had bought Einaudi's Le Onde from Chappell's music store on Bond Street. It had taken me months to find out what was being played on Classic FM radio station. And I couldn't get enough of two pieces in this collection. The music is modal - very similar to the kinds of compositions I had produced in the last few years.

I had also bought a piano duet arrangement of humourous variations of the classic happy birthday theme. When the guitarist Robert Bekkers walked into the hotel, I motioned to Robert Avalon that it was time to sightread this piece - for his forthcoming birthday.

By now we had drawn a crowd. Three Italians from the boot of Italy came up to ask what we were playing, as they were familiar with Einaudi's music. As it turned out, they translated each piece in the Le Onde collection. Le Onde means "the waves."

4 November 2001 Sunday

Hotel Review

Hotel Le Plaza
I stayed in a double traditional room at the special conference rate of Euro 173 per night. It had two beds, a balcony, and a very large bathroom. The bathroom took up a third of the room. Except for the heat and lack of moisturisers and an ice machine, the room was very comfortable.
The EyeforEnergy conference was held in the basement. Lunch was exquisite. The bar waiters were very friendly. Great atmosphere.
Anyone travelling to Brussels should first check the Internet. There are lots of hotels in Brussels. Since the city is very walkable, there's no point staying outside the central area. Near this hotel were the Sheraton and the Hilton.
Brussels hotels