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|Chateau du Lac***** - Genval les Bains
Genval les Bains is a small lakeside village about ten minutes from Waterloo that is popular with the locals for its calm quietude, inland sailing and array of restaurants lacing the water’s edge.
Here, the Château du Lac is one of the most luxurious hotels in Belgium; the imposing building (once the headquarters of Schweppes) dominates the waterfront and benefits from pleasant gardens all around.
Internally the hotel has been stylishly decorated without disposing of any of the traditional charm of the fine old edifice. Bedrooms come in various categories including Four-Poster, Jacuzzi, Suites, but the ‘Charming’ rooms have proved to be comfortable enough for most.
You will be spoilt at dinner time in the Michelin-starred restaurant or for less gastronomic fare simpler dishes are available in the comfortable bar.
Should you be concerned about the extra calories, there is always the fitness suite, swimming pool and sauna on the top floor.
|Grand Hotel****- Waterloo
A modern hotel, not far from the centre of Waterloo in a area that has been steadily developing over the last decade, it provides excellent accommodation along with quick and easy access to all of the surrounding courses.
Intriguingly converted from an 1836 sugar refinery and spice warehouse, the Grand Hôtel has all the amenities you would expect from the premier hotel in Waterloo. Bedrooms are amply sized with comfortable beds and bright, functional bathrooms.
On the ground floor there is a cosy bar, below which at the hotel's core is the stunning ex-sugar-and-spice store with its ancient-brick vaulted ceiling which has appropriately evolved into the ‘Sucrèrie’ restaurant. With a pinch of culinary irony, the spices once traded from here have returned to be recombined in its scintillating mix of traditional and avant-garde cuisine.
|Martins Lodge***- Waterloo
Right beside the Grand Hotel (the buildings practically adjoin) is the new Martins Lodge. Another refurbished red-brick building dating from the days of the Spice Trade that now offers simpler (and cheaper) accommodation to the Grand Hotel, yet with easy access to all of the facilities in the Grand Hotel.
Martins Lodge has just 29 bedrooms, all styled in a very modern fashion and with all the expected facilities - even air-conditioning in case of a Belgian heat wave!
The hotel has no restaurant so breakfast is served in the restaurant of the Grand Hotel, which is naturally an option for dinner too. There are also several other restaurant options in the locale for dining in the evening.
|Le Relais du Marquis***- Ittre
In the small, but rather interesting, village of Ittre you will find the compact, family-run hotel Le Relais du Marquis. This hotel is in marked contrast to the larger hotels to be found in Waterloo. And unlike it's more business-oriented counterparts, it does not impose extravagant surcharges for mid-week stays - which is when the golf courses are at their best value (and pretty empty too).
The thirty bedrooms at Le Marquis are situated around a central courtyard - which also serves as an exterior extension to the bar on sunny afternoons. The bedrooms themselves are compact but clean and comfortable with their simple furnishings. Single supplements are very reasonable so well worth considering.
Another huge attraction (and possibly surprise) of the hotel is the large indoor pool which is open (and heated!) all year round.
Le Relais has a large bar/diner that serves great value, traditional Belgian fare.
The village of Ittre itself is very deceptive: it appears to be a sleepy hamlet, but scratch the surface and you will find half-a-dozen superb restaurants (plus a couple of swanky bars) all within the bounds of the village (maximum five minutes walk from the hotel!). In fact, we would champion Ittre as the undiscovered gastronomic capital of the Waterloo region!
3 nights (Fri-Sun) at the Château du Lac in Spring or Autumn with 3 rounds of golf and Eurotunnel crossings - £520.00 per person.
"10/10 - UK service: Made all arrangements exactly as we wanted even down to juggling courses and Tee-times up to the last minute.
"10/10 for the Grand Hotel and its restaurant.