By Wilhelmina Sahuleka

Domaine La Butte aux Bois is a treat for all the senses. This hidden gem is an historic country estate, an exceptional 5-star superior hotel giving well-heeled tourists more convenience while experiencing the environment at its most sincere, her 2-Michelin-starred gourmet at its most exquisite and to discover the concept of revolutionary treatment of the Spa Retreat La Forêt.

This property marks boundless enjoyment, located 5km to Maastricht, 25 minutes’ drive to the German border, and 1.5 hours’ drive to Brussels – the capital of Europe. Domaine La Butte aux Bois in Lanaken is centrally located in the east of Belgium’s Flemish province of Limburg. The language, culture and cuisine are influenced by the rich heritage of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

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The 59 rooms at Domaine La Butte aux Bois are spread across three buildings. The grand main building – Le Manoir – also houses restaurants, salons and 23 Flamant style rooms. Within 100m of Le Manoir, La Villa’s 16 modern rooms are as luxurious as they are contemporary, set in a tranquil location with charming views of a small forest lake.

Hoge Kempen, Belgium’s only national park, defines the ambiance at this exceptional lifestyle destination hotel. The historic country estate is surrounded by romantic heathland, pine forest, streams, delightful walking trails and elegant residential areas. Domaine La Butte aux Bois nestles 11 hectares of landscape garden with mature trees, ponds and beautiful objets d’art.


Anticipating that guests would probably not want to step far from this nirvana, La Butte aux Bois offers fine dining in Restaurant La Source – 2 Michelin stars – is one of Belgium’s best restaurants. Chef Ralf Berendsen serves the finest haute cuisine creations, proving that opposite attract and the global culinary influences can come together in perfect harmony. When you’ve once indulged yourself into his signature dishes like Trio of Langoustine with Tandoori Masala, Miso and Couscous and French Foie Gras with Chinese Yuzu Tangerine and Belgian Ginger Beer, you will for sure return time and time again to this gourmet temple which is a connoisseur’s dream.

A comprehensive wine list currently features around 400 wines. Sommelier Thijs van Sambeeck is responsible for the superb selection of fine wines. You can eat and drink either with a view of the partially glazed kitchen and the landscaped garden, or in the elegant salon with its open fireplace.

At the stylish Le Bistrot, the day starts with a lavish breakfast buffet of freshly baked breads and cakes, warm pattiserie, French cheeses and local sausage specialities as well as muesli, dairy products and freshly squeezed juices. Le Bistrot is perfect for a light lunch or relaxing evening meals in casual surroundings. It is the place to be when you fancy a modern take on regional dishes.


A reclusive, luxurious holiday is not complete without a pampering spa treatment, of course. The Spa Retreat Le Forêt – opened May 2017 –  offers a flawless wellness experience confirming La Butte aux Bois’ position as the region’s leading luxury hotel.

Spanning 1,350sqm, the distinctive contemporary architecture of Spa Retreat La Forêt is set in a terraced garden that blends into the surrounding Hoge Kempen National Park, blurring the bounderies between interior and exterior.

20 new rooms were integrated into the exclusive Spa complex, offering access to all wellness facilities – ideal for relaxing in the privacy of one’s own room after a sauna, massage or workout.

On the ground floor, Le Spa offers an indoor pool, relaxation areas, panoramic sauna, hammam, infrared duo seats, iced water area and sunbed. It opens onto the La Forêt garden with a covered terrace, covered outdoor Jacuzzi, mediation and Yoga spaces plus outdoor relaxation areas. After the therapist pampers you in a body or face treatment of your choice, you can enjoy light meals, healthy snacks and beauty foods designed to support the processes of skin rejuvenation and improvement.