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French romance in the heart of Belgium TEXT: ELLA PUT | PHOTOS: HOTEL AMARYLLIS
Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, guests can unwind whilst enjoying the romantic ambiance of one of the most charming hotels in Flanders, or as some like to call Hotel Amaryllis: the treasure of the west.
After their education, as well as working experience in Budapest, Hanoi and Antwerp, the couple agreed it was time to take the next step. Having opened their first successful hotel in Maldegem, their eyes fell on the picturesque town of Veurne.
When stepping into the idyllic neighbourhood in Veurne, which houses the momentous Amaryllis Hotel, it feels like one is swept away into a romantic fairy tale. With picturesque surroundings such as historic townhouses, parks and beautiful flora, the atmosphere tells the story of a time that once was.
With fourteen large rooms and the historic market of Veurne just a stone’s throw away, the castle-turned-hotel proved to be the perfect location to realise that dream, giving guests a wide range of entertainment in the city centre combined with the feeling of tranquillity at the charming family hotel. Furthermore, it proved to be the perfect spot for lovers of outdoor activities. Guests can cycle between the hotels in Maldegem and Veurne, with the hotel covering luggage services.
Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that Steve Vanbelle and his partner Tineke Gunst chose this particular part of Veurne to open the latest addition to their small chain of hotels in January 2018. “It was a dream come true,” Vanbelle explains. “With both our families working in the hotel and restaurant industries, we were brought up with a love and passion for hospitality from an early age.”
Whether one enjoys an afternoon tea overlooking the breathtaking gardens with fountains, or has a late night cocktail under the Venetian chandelier made out glass, there is a special eye for detail throughout the small corners of the castle.
The couple is very much involved in the everyday life and running of the hotel, creating a unique personal approach. “One of the most important parts of our hotel experience is our personal service. We are the face of the hotel and guests can always find us around.” Since the opening at the beginning of this year, the hotel has received guests from all over the world. Vanbelle: “Or people who used to live in Veurne. When they leave being in awe about our place, we know we did a good job.”
Issue 54 | June 2018 | 51