- Spa Retreat La Foret is a de-stressing hideaway set an hour outside Brussels
- It lies inside the Hoge Kempen National Park, so is a great base for cycling
- Jane Alexander checks in for a long weekend, and comes out feeling revived
The new extension, a low-rise monolith in grey, black, white and stone, shouts stern machismo. The moment I arrive at my room, I realize I should have brought a chap. The dull gold door is so heavy I can barely open it.
Inside, I’m ensconced in the penumbra of a forest glade — with swathes of wall and even the voile curtains in black tones. It’s a muscular palette.
La Butte aux Bois is set in the Hoge Kempen National Park (Belgium’s only national park) so you can walk or cycle through well-marked paths.
Detox menus and calorie-counting are anathema here — La Butte is so foodie that even its spa menu (lunch only) comes with champagne. Its casual dining restaurant, Le Bistrot, majors in local produce with fancy flourishes.
A leafy delight: Spa Retreat La Foret sits inside Belgium’s Hoge Kempen National Park
Meanwhile La Source is a Michelin-starred gastronomic explosion.
The spa treatments are perfectly pleasant but the real draw is dermatologist Dr Yolande Bullens-Goessens. Warm, friendly and deeply reassuring, she uses injectables (a touch of hyaluronic acid here, a little Botulinum there) lightly — ‘So you look natural, as if you’ve just had a really great weekend.’
And, even without a man, I have.