Hotelchain: Relais & Chateaux
Location: Lanaken – Belgium
Classification: 4 star hotel
Official website: http://www.labutteauxbois.be
Voted as second best hotel in Belgium, la Butte aux Bois is nestled in peaceful Lanaken. As you approach this unique hotel, you’ll hear the sounds of birds and notice the beautiful surroundings. The hotel used to be a great manor house built in 1924. When the Bullens family moved into the manor, they opened a restaurant in 1986. A few years later, they opened the hotel. La Butte aux Bois has been renovated late 2013 and is one of the very best hotels in Belgium and a member of Relais & Châteaux.
As soon as you enter the hotel, you’ll feel a sense of luxury and details. I even noticed a very nice smell (probably due the fresh flowers – loved it!). The young woman behind the front desk made us feel very welcome and showed us around the hotel. In every corner there is a surprise: a piece of art, flowers, candles, statues, etc. I knew this was going to be a great experience and this place truly has character.
The room we stayed in was a deluxe room in the original “manoir” and we were very pleased when we entered the room. It was a very large room with a classy French cottage decoration. 2 nice comfy chairs, a large table, lots of closet space and a large desk.. The comfortable and modern bathroom had a tub with tv and separate rainshower. I loved every aspect of the room and did appreciate the extra amenities: nespresso coffee machine, dvd-player, bathrobe and slippers, etc.
La Butte aux Bois has 2 restaurants: Het Binnenhof and La Source. We had dinner at La Source, a gastronomic Michelin rated (*) restaurant and we were blown away by the food. We thoroughly enjoyed our 5 course meal with wine pairing. Our 5 courses were actually 10 courses with 5 amuses bouches before we started and then always other snacks in between. To be honest, everything was just perfect… Every single item we tasted was divine! The gastronomic meal emphasizes togetherness, the pleasure of taste and was served by very professional staff. The waiters were very knowledgeable about each dish, even about the wines. I found the food quite innovative and sophisticated and the chef definitely deserves his 16/20 rating by Gault&Millau!
The next morning, I visited the spa area. I could spend hours in the thermal floor area with its sauna, hammam and nice swimming pool. The changing facilities were spotlessly clean, the water of the swimmingpool was perfect – not too hot, not too cold. I did not get a treatment here, but I guess they’d do a great job since this spa was voted as best spa in the country in 2013.
Breakfast is served in Het Binnenhof and as soon as you enter the restaurant they offer a delicious smoothy and fresh orange juice. The buffet-style breakfast offers a large selection of both hot and cold items and all products are of a good quality. You can even make your own pancakes. Sparkling wine is offered to the guests as well. Very nice!
La Butte aux Bois is a top class hotel and I would revisit this hotel in a heartbeat. Service is top notch, every single staff member professionally greeted us with a smile. Do not hesitate to book a beautiful room in this hotel. I promise you will love everything!