Architecturally, one of the most impressive features of Wallonia is its collection of imposing châteaux, manor houses and religious buildings that have been converted into upmarket accommodation for visitors. Many have landscaped gardens and in-house restaurants for fine dining. A day on the golf course, followed by dinner and bed in a 500-year-old château, is a day that will linger long in the memory. Here are some of the best examples …
Near Waterloo, the Château du Lac has been dramatically transformed into a luxurious five-star hotel. There are fine views over Genval Lake, a restaurant and a fitness club/spa.
At lovely Marche-en-Famenne in the Ardennes, the multi-turreted Château d’Hassonville has been converted into a fine hotel, with individually designed rooms and suites. In the wooded grounds you can unwind from the rigours of the golf course in one of two enormous hot tubs. Another château near Marche is Château de Jemeppe, surrounded by a moat and landscaped gardens, with an outdoor pool and tennis court. It’s not a château, but the Quartier Latin Hotel is certainly historic, having been converted from a former Jesuit convent.
Château de Namur lies just 150m from Namur’s famous Citadel, with an eagle’s eye view from the heights over the river Meuse. Surrounded by an expansive park, the château has 29 rooms and a highly-rated restaurant.
Down the road from Spa, the village of Chaudefontaine boasts the impressive Château des Thermes Hotel, which has every conceivable water feature for serious treatments or the simple pleasure of splashing around in the thermal springs.
Near the Grand Place in Mons a neo-Gothic 19th century nuns’ chapel has been converted into the Dream Hotel, which has had a thoroughly modern makeover while retaining its cathedral-like windows and stained glass. In homage to the nuns, the sleek-looking bar has been named ‘Mea Culpa’ (my sins).
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