NH Collection Barbizon Palace

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Hotelchain
: NH Collection
Location: Amsterdam – Netherlands
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websitenh-hotels.nl/…/nh-collection-amsterdam-barbizon-palace

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NH Collection Barbizon Palace is a top notch five star hotel and is rated as one of the best hotels in the city! This was my first experience with NH Collection hotels and it didn’t disappoint. I had the best time! The location in Amsterdam is perfect, right across the central train station… near the city center so you can reach the center by foot in just minutes. Excellent!

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Right from the beginning we were greeted by the check-in staff and our keys were handed in just seconds. As soon as I saw the stunning lobby area, I knew that NH Collection Barbizon Palace is a high class five star property. The hotel consists of 19 buildings dated from the 17th century. There are a total of 274 rooms and although it is a pretty large hotel, they do treat each guest as a royal. Speaking of rooms, they renovated all of their guestrooms and several other parts of the hotel. The 15th century chapel is now their conference center. Pretty impressive.

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The Premium room we stayed in was very comfortable and luxuriously appointed. I just loved it and as said before, they are totally up to date as they were all renovated recently. From the high ceilings to the bathrooms, everything felt right. The beds are amazing… and I was happy to be able to relax in the comfortable chair after a full day of shopping in Amsterdam. The Nespresso machine and comfortable bath robes were appreciated. They seem to be cleaning here all day long and our room has been maintained in an excellent way!  A nice touch: they provide complimentary hand cream, how cool is that? Never seen at any hotel so far. I must also highlight the upscale NH Collection toiletries.

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I did visit some other rooms as well and all looked very nice. I loved the wooden beams in some of the rooms. They’re gorgeous!

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On the lower floor, there’s a health club which is accessible at no additional charges. The large fitness center is great for a work out and why not relax in their wellness center? That is right, next to the gym is a beautiful area designed for ultimate relaxation. The sauna and steam room are a treat, especially now when the weather starts to cool down.

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Another highlight of our stay was our dinner at Restaurant Vermeer. Rated with one Michelin Star and 18 (!) Gault Millau points, this restaurant only offers the best of the best. From the moment we entered until we left, everything was absolutely stunning. The décor is contemporary yet elegant with fun twists and interesting art work. Service was top notch. Not too formal, yet professional. And the food was to die for. Each course they served was divine. Head Chef – Chris Naylor – selected the best ingredients to make sure each dish is delicious. From the Mackerel with ginger (this was the first time I ate this combination and I loved loved loved it) to the Pike-perch which came with black Tuscan kale. It was all perfectly prepared and served with style. The wild duck as a main course was the best I’ve ever had. Again, I must also highlight the good service we received during the night and the excellent wine selection.

A dinner at Restaurant Vermeer isn’t just an ordinary restaurant visit, it is an experience. Make sure to book your table upfront as it seems to be pretty busy here all year long.

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After a wonderful night, we were hungry again 😊 And trust me, breakfast at NH Collection Barbizon Palace is something to look forward to. The large buffet has something to offer for anyone. Even the kids have their own small breakfast area filled with products they all love. I particularly liked the asparagus, avocado and large selection of pastries. They even offer sparkling wine at no additional charge.

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No wonder NH Collection Barbizon Palace is rated among the best hotels in the city. I highly recommend staying here… Rooms are large and luxurious, food is outstanding, the sauna and steam room are relaxing after a day in busy Amsterdam and most importantly, the staff is wonderful! Thumbs up, NH Collection Barbizon Palace!

Hotel D – Geneva

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Hotelchain: Diana Hotel Collection
Location: Geneva – Switzerland
Classification: 4 star hotel
Official websitehoteld-geneva.ch

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I have been to Geneva several times and stayed in several hotels, but hotel D was definitely one of the best experiences I have had so far! First of all: location! It is perfectly positioned right in an interesting part of Geneva. When you leave the hotel, you will see the grand fountain from a distance which is probably the most famous attraction in Geneva. It really is just a 7 minute walk before you reach Leman Lake. Also, other all other attractions are nearby. I always take to train from the airport to the center and the main train station is only a few steps away. Very convenient! A big bonus: hotel D offers complimentary transport tickets to the guests which are useable in the city. Very nice gesture!

But it’s not only the location that makes this hotel so special, also the decoration and service are of a high level. Hotel D is an upper class 4 four boutique hotel with only 57 rooms. That’s why they are able to offer personalized service. Right from the moment I entered the hotel, I was pleasantly surprised.

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The staff is so friendly and welcoming- always hospitable and asking if we needed anything- always smiling and ready to help. The décor is beautiful with fancy decorations. Hotel D was designed by famous interior designer Sybille de Margerie.

The suite I stayed in was beautifully decorated with a gorgeous bathroom, nice wooden floors and a large bed. The room was impeccably clean. It felt like we were the first guests of the room. The decoration team did a great job here. It really is all about the details. The comfortable couches were great to relax and unwind. The walk-in closet was a treat! A Nespresso machine is available as well as unlimited access to Press Reader.

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The highlight of the suite was the most amazing bathroom one could wish for with a gorgeous free standing bath tub offering panoramic views. Each bathroom is provided with L’Occitane toiletries, love them. I should also mention that the shower was one of the best showers I have ever experienced. The gigantic rain shower head is mind blowing as are the views from this bathroom. I loved to watch the ‘Jet d’Eau’ from up here, one of world’s most famous fountains.

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I must note each room – not only the suites – at Hotel D are luxuriously appointed and decorated with high quality materials.

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Hotel D offers a Fitness Studio with the latest Technology Equipment. I was impressed with the high tech equipment and was happy to hear the studio is opened 24 hrs.

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In the morning, a great breakfast buffet with many options began our day more than satisfied. Again, the breakfast area is beautifully decorated. The buffet has plenty of fresh products. A must try is their Bircher muesli and the cheeses (you are in Switzerland right? 😊 ). Service was top notch and nothing was asked for too much.

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We hated to leave Hotel D but look forward again to our special getaway in beautiful Geneva! From the gorgeous decors to the most wonderful staff, I loved it all! Highly recommended!

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Warwick Brussels

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Hotelchain: Warwick
Location: Brussels – Belgium
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websitewarwickhotels.com/warwick-brussels

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Warwick Brussels is a top notch five star hotel right in the city center of Brussels. You really can’t beat its location as it is close to the most important and interesting attractions in Brussels. It is a classic five star property and soon as I entered the hotel, I felt at home.

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After an efficient check-in, I went upstairs and explored our amazing Signature Executive Suite. At 50m², the suite had a great size and had all the amenities I expect from a high end hotel. The room actually felt like a small apartment with a separate living and sleeping area. The two televisions were very convenient as well. Warwick Brussels has a high comfort and service level. Turn down service was provided every night. As said before, I appreciated the overall style of the room, it had all the amenities one could ask for.

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The marble bathroom was to die for, it had a separate bath tub and shower unit. All premium deluxe rooms and suites offer premium Bulgari toiletries (a big plus!!).

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Be sure to check out the fitness facility. It is located on -1, right behind the reception desk. I did a work out and relaxed in the sauna afterwards. I was in Brussels for some shopping and it was great to relax in the sauna after a hectic day. For me, cleanliness is very important. At Warwick Brussels every inch was spotlessly clean.

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After the shopping, working out and relaxing it was time to check out the on-site restaurant Chutney’s. This Victorian styled restaurant kind of made me feel like an upscale Irish pub offers great food and excellent service. I am told that this is one of the favorite restaurants in Brussels and I can easily see why. We thoroughly enjoyed one of their signature dishes: Trio Belge … this dish contains three typical Belgian specialties such as a huge meat ball from Liège, beef carbonade and vol au vent. Of course, the Belgian fries are served with this dish as well. Make sure you book a table here right when you check in as I can imagine it can get pretty busy here especially during the weekends.

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We also enjoyed some after dinner drinks at the Secret Rooftop bar. This bar offers amazing views over the center of Brussels. Do try one the cocktails, they are delicious!

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After a great night in the most wonderful bed, it was time for breakfast. Breakfast at Warwick Brussels is served at the Salon Grand Place. The buffet style breakfast is good and offers a good variety. I especially liked the old fashioned homemade bread pudding… again a Belgian specialty.

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Warwick Brussels is one of the better hotels in Brussels. It offers comfortable accommodations with a five star service. You can have the most luxurious building, but without a terrific staff it is not working. At Warwick, each staff member approached and served me in a very professional way without being over the top. I could be myself and I loved it. Together with its prime locations, it is one of my favorite picks in Brussels! Highly recommended and I can’t wait to explore more Warwick properties in the future!

Hotel De Castillion – Bruges

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Hotelchain: Small Elegant Hotels
Location: Bruges – Belgium
Classification: 4 star deluxe
Official websitecastillion.be

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Hotel De Castillion is a top notch four star boutique hotel located in the center of Bruges. You can’t beat the location. All the main attractions in this gorgeous city are within walking distance. The surrounding areas are just gorgeous: small authentic streets, carriages, etc. I immediately fell in love with the hotel when I saw the building. It was built in the 16th century and it used to be a residence of Bruges’ 15th bishop. A fun fact: a part of the hotel is a listed heritage site.

Although this family owned and managed hotel is located in the center of Bruges. When I entered the hotel I appreciated the peaceful and quiet atmosphere.

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Hotel De Castillion is very stylish and cozy decorated. The intimate reception area just beautiful and gives an excellent first impression of the hotel: luxurious chandeliers, high end furniture and most importantly: I was welcomed by the most friendly manager. This is Belgian hospitality and I love it! He gave me a map of Bruges which was very useful and I was surprised the map was designed for the hotel. So this is not a standard map of Bruges, no, at Hotel De Castillion you will receive a city map with pictures of the hotel, the hotel location and several walks.

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After I received my room key, I couldn’t wait to explore this unique boutique hotel. Walking around in the hotel feels like walking around in a small castle. The authentic atmosphere throughout the hotel is impressive and much appreciated.

Room 103 I stayed in was absolutely stunning! What a great fairytale room this was! The wooden floors and grand chandelier add extra coziness. The room had all the facilities I expect from a four star hotel such as the Nespresso coffee machine, a very comfortable bed and a cozy sitting area with comfortable couches. This is how every room in Bruges should look like. Loved it!

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Bathroom was spacious and featured a bathtub with shower. Fluffy towels and high end toiletries are available as well.

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Hotel De Castillion has a total of 20 rooms. As a small hotel they can offer a very personal service. It feels like a home away from home where you are treated as a royal. Speaking of rooms, there are several room types. The room I stayed in is a deluxe room. I did visit some other rooms such as the classic room and junior suites. I must admit that each room I saw was different but all were ultra luxurious and decorated with the best materials and with an eye for attention.

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There is a nice stylish bar and golden art deco salon where you can also order snacks. The salon is a must visit when you stay at Hotel De Castillion. You will love the design!

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After a wonderful night in my romantic room (still in love with that room…), I was ready for breakfast. Having breakfast at Hotel De Castillion is something to look forward to! It is served in the unique and historic cellar. The buffet is very large and the overall quality of the food is outstanding. Salmon, fresh fruit, etc. It is all there.

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Hotel Castillion is definitely the place to stay when you are looking for an ultra stylish boutique hotel right in the center of Bruges. Check it out yourself and experience the Castillion experience! Highly recommended for a romantic getaway!

Hyatt Regency Düsseldorf

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Hotelchain: Hyatt
Location: Düsseldorf – Germany
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official website: hyatt.com/…hyatt-regency-dusseldorf/dusse

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I visited several hotels in Düsseldorf and I was excited to stay at the Hyatt Regency as I heard great things about the hotel. First of all, the hotel is beautifully located near the harbor of Düsseldorf. It offers great views of the city and the center is only a 15 minute walk next to the river. The walk is just gorgeous, I really appreciate this part of Düsseldorf. Although not in the busy city center, it is reachable within walking distance. We actually used the electronic steps by Tier which we found to be very convenient. Try it out yourself, you will love it! It’s really fun.

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Hyatt Regency Düsseldorf definitely is one of the best hotels in the city, as soon as I entered, I loved the trendy and classy atmosphere. This is a hotel of a true five star level. From the soft lounge music playing in the lobby to the most friendly welcome, the arrival at the Hyatt Regency Düsseldorf was great! I liked the lobby lounge, the furniture is totally up to date and in a great state. The check-in staff told us everything we needed to know about the hotel and surrounding areas.

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We stayed in a deluxe room and luxurious it was! We had a lot of space, the rooms have a great size… And I loved the overall lay-out and decoration of the room. It has a semi open bathroom with separate tub and (rain) shower. Amenities I appreciated particularly were the Nespresso coffee machine and high quality toiletries. The view we had of Düsseldorf was amazing! You really can’t beat the view!

The quality of the rooms at the Hyatt Regency is of a high standard, that’s for sure. One of the best hotel rooms I have ever had in Düsseldorf.

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At night, we had dinner at their restaurant, DOX. Before we went to dinner we had a pre-dinner cocktail which we enjoyed thoroughly. Dinner itself was outstanding at DOX. We had a three course menu and found the quality of the food of a very high standard and we loved every single bite. From the sushi to the yummie dessert, it was delicious! The products the chef used were fresh and he certainly did a great job!

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After a great night (the beds are heavenly!), we went downstairs again for breakfast. I am not lying if I tell you that the breakfast at the Hyatt Regency is one of the finest breakfast I have ever had. The products were fresh and the choices are unlimited! From the sparkling wine to the most wonderful prepared eggs, we enjoyed it! Fun fact, do try their hot chocolate… I ordered it each morning. Just delicious.

We finished our visit at the Hyatt Regency Düsseldorf by visiting the Rive Spa area… Maybe this was the best surprise about this hotel. This place is so peaceful … so beautiful … and immaculately clean! Every staff member greeted us with a smile. They make you feel special and at ease here as soon as you enter the spa area. The changing rooms were very clean and had everything I needed to prepare myself before it was time for ultimate relaxation. I went down to relax in the huge jacuzzi. It actually is a small pool with different lightning themes. There’s also a sauna and steam room. Again, the whole place was so clean!

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As mentioned before, I did stay at a lot of different high class hotels in Düsseldorf and the Hyatt Regency definitely is one of the very best hotels I have stayed at! Every staff member I met when I was there, was friendly, professional and accommodating. Do not hesitate to book a room here when you’re planning a trip to beautiful Düsseldorf, you won’t be disappointed!

Hotel Heritage Bruges

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Hotelchain: Relais & Châteaux
Location: Bruges – Belgium
Classification: 4 star Superior Hotel
Official websitehotel-heritage.com/nl

Hotel Heritage, a member of the renown Relais & Chateaux chain, is a superior 4 star hotel located in the center of Bruges (the nicest and most romantic city of Belgium, if you ask me!). This hotel has impressed me! It is the most beautiful 4 star hotel I have ever been to.

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First of all, let me tell you something more about Bruges. Every year, 5 million tourists visit this small city which often is referred to “the Venice of the North”. With its canals and typical roofs, it truly is a must-see when you’re in Belgium!

Now… let’s get back to the Heritage Hotel. You really can’t beat the location, it literally is just a few steps from the main market square, the Church of Our Lady and the Groenerei (canal). Also the main shopping streets are 2 steps away. As soon as you enter the hotel, they will park your car and guide you to the beautiful authentic reception area. This hotel is all about service! Every staff member we met was serving us with a smile and nothing was too much for an ask.

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The Junior Suite we stayed in was absolutely stunning and very stylish. Again, they are of a 5 star level. Every room at the Heritage hotel has some luxurious touches like an iPad 2 and a handmade bed. Also a Nespresso machine and a Bose speaker are available. The room we stayed in had a walk in closet, separate sitting and sleeping area and a very spacious bathroom with walk in shower, tub and double sinks. It’s all about the details, such as the old phone, etc. As you already know, I just love the combined old/new styles and they did a great job here!

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The Heritage hotel is a small hotel with only 22 rooms. That’s why they will treat you as a true guest and not just a number. The service is very personal yet professional, as it should be in every hotel. But even the size of the hotel, they do have a full fitness and wellness area with sauna and hammam which are both well maintained. I need to mention the rooftop terrace! It is located on the 4th floor… Do go up and explore, you won’t be sorry… The views are amazing!

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Since a few years, they opened their gastronomic restaurant “Le Mystique”. It is often referred to as one of the best restaurants of Bruges and I can easily see why. The dinner we had here was just d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s and we loved the professional service we received here. After some stylish amuses we ordered the river eel with courgette. What a great start of our night! The second course that was served was lobster accomponied with asparagus which I loved very much. The main course – beef wich came with a caviar of eggplant tasted heavenly. And of course, there is always room for dessert: Greek yoghurt with white chocolate. I could eat this every day 🙂

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We did got the chance to enjoy a full breakfast and I loved every single bit and sip. Some highlights: champagne, the sugar bread and the salmon. Again, service was top notch!

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The Heritage hotel in Bruges is a very exclusive hotel which will please everyone. I could take pictures of this place all day long. Highly recommended when you’re looking for a high class hotel in this beautiful city? Will I return? In a heartbeat!

La Butte aux Bois

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Hotelchain: Relais & Châteaux
Location: Lanaken – Belgium
Classification: 5 star Superior Hotel – La Source Restaurant (Michelin **)
Official websitelabutteauxbois.be

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One of the best five star hotels 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 undergone several renovations and is one of the very best hotels in Belgium and a member of Relais & Châteaux. 2 years ago, a completely new building has been added with 20 gorgeous rooms and a brand new wellness center, La Forêt.

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As soon as you enter the hotel, you’ll feel a sense of luxury and details. The contemporary décor made a great first impression. There are designer elements all over the place. The wooden details match perfectly with the dark designer floors. The young woman behind the front desk made us feel very welcome and offered a glass of sparkling wine, always a good start! I knew this was going to be a great experience, this place truly has character. Sometimes you immediately feel at home and at La Butte aux Bois they welcome you with a great smile.

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We stayed in a brand new La Forêt room and we were very pleased when we entered the room. Again, the wood and designer elements are just gorgeous. The room had a great size and was built and decorated with eye for detail. The very comfortable couch was perfect for relaxing. I hate to lay on bed when reading a book, so I did appreciate the large couch. On top of that, each La Forêt room has amazing views over the forest. This factor really did make me feel more comfortable and added to the sense of prestige. Everything in the room is incredibly well finished from the furnishings to the art, styling and décor. The bed was very comfortable which enabled an excellent night’s sleep and added this, top of the line amenities are provided and immaculate cleanliness.

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The comfortable and modern bathroom had a tub and separate rainshower. They provide La Forêt toiletries and trust me, they do smell amazing! I must highlight the soft towels!

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La Butte aux Bois has 2 restaurants: Le Bistrot and La Source. We experienced La Source, a gastronomic Michelin rated (**) restaurant and we were blown away by the food. We thoroughly enjoyed our 8 course meal with wine pairing. Do believe me, I have been to many restaurants and I can honestly say that La Source is one of the best places I have ever been. Head chef Ralf Berendsen is an artist. He knows how to combine fresh ingredients. It seemed as if the courses would never stop coming. My favorite courses were the monkfish which came with Iberico Belotta, artichoke, basil and foie gras. Also, the Anjou pigeon was just delicious. Every course we had the most magnificent flavors you could possibly imagine. The pictures will speak for themselves.

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The service was almost unmatched and they really made you feel warm and cozy. Our La Source experience was the exhibition of art in food preparation and presentation. I loved every second of being there.

The next morning, I visited the spa area. I could spend here a whole day. Did you know that you can even visit the spa for a day without actually staying at the hotel. That is right, they have a day spa with a luxurious lounge with fruit and drinks. The relaxation area is absolutely gorgeous and so relaxing. They do offer the most magnificent spa treatments in the most comfortable spa suites. On top of that, the large indoor swimming pool is large enough for actually lap swimming and I’ve found the water temperature to be pretty pleasant. Next to the pool, guests can use a large Finnish sauna, infrared sauna and a large steamroom. The outdoor terrace is perfect for tanning. The outdoor jacuzzi is a treat. I spent a lot of time in there 😊

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Breakfast is served at Le Bistrot 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. Several à la carte options are available. Sparkling wine is offered to the guests as well. Very nice!

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La Butte aux Bois is a one of the few five star superior hotels in Belgium and I can honestly say I was blown away here. Everything they do, they’ll do it in style. Without being over the top. I could be me and again, I enjoyed each moment in this jewel. Highly recommended for a luxurious getaway!

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