Have you ever wanted to go somewhere that is new, somewhere that is not necessarily on the beaten path, somewhere that you can say “that was unexpected”?
Well that was what we did, we jumped in the car and drove to the continent, heading towards Belgium of all places for the Christmas markets. We had no preconceived ideas or expectations but the hotel we booked to stay in was one of the best parts of our trip and hence the review.
Van Der Valk impression
Driving through Mons, using Google maps, we drove toward the Van Der Valk Hotel and as we got closer the impressive building, the look of it got better and better. We knew it was going to be a great place to stay, just from standing outside. With plenty of parking at the side, underneath and around the back we found a perfect spot, a short walk to the entrance and made our way in.
As we went through the revolving doors we were hit by the large impressive reception area and a smiley, English speaking receptionist waiting to serve us.
This place is a purpose built smart, modern and a great hotel. The feel of it as we walked in announced that we were going to have a great stay.
Quickly getting us checked, our friendly receptionist handed us our room cards and we were allowed to roam the hotel and dump our bags. Of course we had to check out the bedroom but first we stood and admired the Harley Davidson motorcycle parked at the back and the way everything felt well, relaxing and just ‘right’. The sleek modern open spaces made us feel welcome and comfortable, which is what we want to feel in any hotel.
Finding the room was easy, a lift took us up to the third floor and along we went to room 322. Using the card we got in and the first thing that we saw was the bed. Big, white, comfortable looking and very inviting.
Then a walk around the big spacious room before discovering the complimentary chocolates and the complimentary mini bar. There was no alcohol before you get too excited, but soft drinks and snacks were exactly what we needed.
There was everything we needed, pin code safe, coffee maker, TV, hairdryer and loads of wardrobe and storage space. It was warm and ultra modern. It still felt new and clearly the place was well looked after.
The bathroom was elegant and big. A powerful shower and soft towels were what we needed after a few hours in the car and expected before we out to explore the town.
After we had been out at the local shopping mall, (5 minutes walk down the side gravel path) we got back to the warm and inviting hotel and decided to try out the bar. A huge table seating 6 people was going to be our perch, where we could watch the crowds and take in the ambiance.
A huge glass, gas fire was at our backs and the heat pumped out, filling to room as we sampled the local beers and discovered a cherry beer called Kriek, that went down a bit too well. The staff were great, making sure we were well looked after and we were enjoying ourselves.
Feeling peckish we decided to sample the food platter and what felt like only a few minutes after ordering it, a massive plate appeared in the middle of our table. The food was great and when we ran out of dip, the staff were on hand to replenish it. It was all polished off quickly and we sat back with full bellies and a full glass.
A few hours in the bar and a few more beers on board, we wandered back to the room, taking in all that the hotel had to offer. The friendly and welcoming staff, the large, warm open spaces and ultra modern, luxurious feel made wandering back to the room feel even more special.
After a peaceful and very comfortable nights sleep, the last part of the hotel needed to be explored. We found the fitness room area, which had enough equipment in to put an ache in the body but was not a fully fitted out gym. There really was enough to do in there for half an hour and to get things moving again after the night before.
Seeing the large marble staircase, it said “explore” which we did and found some amazing and impressive conference facilities at the top. We remarked that if someone wanted a ‘wow’ factor for their delegates then the stairs and the rooms would probably deliver this.
Our thanks go to the Van Der Valk hotel and their staff for a great stay, we hope to come back soon!