The site of the world’s first spa, Europe’s oldest casino and one of motorsport’s iconic racetracks, Spa has maintained its position as one of Wallonia’s premier destinations. And neighbouring Chaudefontaine, where warm water bubbles from the limestone, runs it close.
Both resorts have a cluster of luxury hotels, and Chaudefontaine, in particular, is an ideal hang-out for those in need of relaxation and pampering. At the Château des Thermes hotel you can spend a lazy Sunday splashing in the steaming spa pools (one indoors, one outdoors) overlooking the pretty 19th-century château-hotel and wooded hills. The château also offers a eucalyptus-scented hammam, hydrojets, three saunas and a French restaurant, and is open for both day visits and overnight stays.
Just outside Spa itself, Le Manoir de Lébioles is a place for a special occasion, with 16 stylish rooms and a gastronomic restaurant, along with a hammam, sauna and an intimate pool with tranquil views of the wooded hills.
Away from the bubbles, there are three golf courses in the vicinity, notably the magnificent Royal Golf Club des Fagnes in Spa, one of five Walloon courses bearing the ‘royal’ tag, and widely regarded as the best course in Belgium. Remarkably, the green fees are about the same as virtually every other course in the region. Halfway between Spa and Liège, the International Gomzé Golf Club is another quality course, and beginners and high-handicappers will enjoy the par 30, nine-hole Golf du Haras in Pepinster.