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Three Top Belgian PropertiesAugust 27, 2007 By: Jerry Soverinsky Travel Agent
A five-star Brussels icon, a large complex outside the city and a manor house
Many American travelers dismiss Belgium as an obligatory entry to or exit from another European destination. They never consider it a priority for a dedicated, extended stay, and that is a mistake.
merits consideration far beyond a forced airport stopover for all types of
clients. And here they'll find some of
most impressive hotels and resorts, ensuring their stay is both unique and
Plaza is along Boulevard Adolphe Maxlaan and within walking distance of Brussels
Grand-Place and upscale shopping streets. This 1930s, five-star hotel is one of
the city's most venerable luxury properties. With a rich history that includes
hosting some of the world's most renowned celebrities and politicians, its
well-appointed, meticulously maintained facilities no doubt retain much of the
hotel's original charm, a look patterned after
George V Hotel.
The hotel underwent a substantial renovation in 1996, a
thorough overhaul that holds up without blemish to this day.
Its 193 rooms, comfortably spaced among seven floors,
include a generous collection of standard rooms and suites that are all
sparkling and spacious.
Traditional rooms (137 total) combine a warm blend of
pleasing colors, perfect to soothe the most weary leisure or business traveler.
There's a generous assortment of more than 50 suites, including five Executive
Suites with separate meeting areas and one Plaza Suite, a sumptuous penthouse
space of 750 square feet, complete with salon, private balcony, and every
imaginable high-tech convenience.
Some of the hotel's amenities include a fine-dining restaurant,
The Esterel, with its accompanying bar; fitness center; 24-hour concierge
services; the lavish Plaza Theatre that accommodates parties up to 800 guests;
and nine meeting and function rooms that serve up to 250 attendees. Resources
For those needing easy access to downtown
experience than the capital city can offer, the newly opened Dolce La Hulpe
is the perfect solution.
The massive complex occupies a former IBM training campus, a
14-building expanse totaling more than 450,000 square feet of living and
working space, all nestled peacefully in the forest of Soignes, just nine miles
from Brussels. Although marketing efforts target business travelers, the
leisure market cannot be overlooked.
La Hulpe's four-star guest rooms, which include 181 standard
rooms, 70 executive guest rooms, 12 conference suites and a grand Segoya Suite,
all present tasteful views of the Soignes Forest or the resort's Feng Shui
Garden. The upscale, contemporary rooms come with full amenities, including
air-conditioning, flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, work desk, VOIP telephone, safe
La Hulpe's fitness center offers a full-featured spa and
fitness center, suitable for the most discriminating leisure traveler. With an
indoor pool, sauna, Turkish bath, generous assortment of cardio and weight-training
equipment, tennis court, volleyball court, mountain bike rentals, and jogging
trails, one need not venture into
to pursue a full-day's adventure.
Two capable restaurants add a professional culinary element
that rounds out a visitor's experience. L'Argan, the less formal of the two,
doubles as a 320-seat group eating and breakfast room. Tre-O is a sleek,
intimate space for 54 diners, whose executive head chef, Pascal Marcin,
presents a three-pronged approach to each menu item (chicken prepared three
ways, foie gras prepared three ways, etc.).
Those seeking relaxation with a spirit in-hand are well
served: Badian Lobby Bar offers a full line up of drinks in an open,
meet-and-greet atmosphere, complete with fireplace and TV room. The Oak Bar
presents a sedate, intimate room—the perfect place to unwind with a late-night
The resort pays 10 percent commission. Agents with requests
for VIP clients can contact Paul VanWijk ([email protected]); +32 2 290 98
The Belgian Countryside
Known by locals as the "
in the early 20th century on a hill above the town as a summer palace for
royalty. It was neglected and fell into disrepair at the end of the 20th
century, before undergoing substantial renovation and reopening to the public
in September 2006.
Today, the manor's warm, lush lobby opens to reveal
meticulously kept gardens and an expansive terrace, the
Inside, 16 lavish rooms and suites (the latter a reflection
of size only, not amenities or character) integrate harmoniously into the
property's regal personality, with bold, rich tones and materials. No room is
like another, each having been meticulously crafted to take advantage of the
individual layout of each space. The Suite Royale is the hotel's top room, a
decadent 750-square-foot space located within the manor's alcove. With two
fireplaces and views of the gardens, it's truly a first-class setting.
What the rooms share is overflowing elegance that leaves
visitors feeling pampered if not privileged. Whether it's soaking in a tower
room bath, enjoying an in-room breakfast in a nook overlooking the
in-room fireplace, each room awards its guests with sumptuous decadence.
Standard amenities include air-conditioning, flat-screen TV, DVD and CD
players, and Wi-Fi. All bathrooms are richly appointed and include bidet,
bathtub and shower stall. Wooden flooring sets a clean, sleek look.
No mention of the manor would be complete without equal
emphasis on its world-class cuisine. Chef Olivier Tucki, an acclaimed European
chef, is a master at preparing fresh, local ingredients that arouse the senses
in full gastronomic vigor. Preparations favor light, healthy cuisine with
sophisticated presentation; menus are seasonal and constantly changing.
Top clients can take advantage of the property's helipad,
bypassing the 90-minute drive from
The resort pays 8-10 percent commission. Contact Peter
Biesmans for VIP requests ([email protected]);
+32 49 87 79 1900.