To celebrate Timothy’s 40th birthday we decided to do one of our favourite activities, go away for a weekend. Originally we planned to go to Germany, France or Luxembourg to honour the tradition of being abroad for Timothy´s birthday, however Corona regulations decided otherwise and we started a last-minute search for a nice accommodation in the Belgian Ardennes. In the end we stumbled upon hotel Le Florentin in the village of Florenville in the southern tip of Belgium, a place of which we hadn’t heard of and hadn’t been before.
The hotel was located in the middle of the town, right next to the main square. It also featured it’s own restaurant which received mentions in both the Michelin and Gault-Millau guides, clearly the most upscale establishment in the town. The hotel had a 4-star rating and claims to be a design hotel, it indeed has a modern design and some nice domotic gimmicks.
As we were travelling with four persons (Timothy, Oriol, Sam and I) we booked the last available 6 persons apartment. As it was an apartment it did not get daily housekeeping, If we wished to make use of that we had to pay an additional €26. They sold it as a 6 persons apartment but occupying it with 6 would feel very cramped for sure, for the 4 of us it was perfect however. The room was divided in 2 levels.
Downstairs you had the entrance, opening up into the kitchen, which was equipped with all the necessary furnishings, plates and cutlery you needed, including a dishwasher. There was a small table with high seating extending from the kitchen counter, you could seat four persons at it, yet there were two extra seats to squeeze into it to seat six but that would leave very little space.
Down the end there was a seating area with a large couch which could be transformed into a bed to sleep 2 and 2 swiveling chairs. The curtains and blinds of the roof windows could be controlled electronically, yet they used different remotes a single system would have been easier and more user-friendly.
To the right there was a bedroom with 2 single beds and a big wardrobe.
Next to it there was the lower level bathroom with a big sink and a big walk-in rainshower after passing through a sort of cloakroom area.
In between the bathroom and the entrance there was the single toilet, only one toilet for six people did seem a bit little to me I would have tried to add one extra. There also wasn’t a sink to wash your hands in it, which would have been welcome. The cleaning could also have been better here as there were still brown splatters visible on the door.
In the middle of the main room there was a stair leading upstairs to the mezzanine area. This was very nicely designed. There was a big double bed overlooking the downstairs area with powerplugs at both sides of the bed. The where a number of closets integrated under the sloping roof, giving a huge amount of storage. There also was a small TV in an alcove, this however blocked the flow of air coming out of the air-conditioning unit behind it. While it absolutely looked good, it probably wasn’t the best move to cool the room.
Behind the corner, through a small corridor there was a second bathroom with a sink and a nice big bathtub, perfect to have a bath with two. Above the bath you also had a window in the roof, enabling you to see the thunderstorms while having a bath. The only thing missing here was an extra toilet, which would have been nice.
Down the corridor from our room there where stairs leading down to the small fitness and wellness area, featuring a sauna which could be turned on upon request at the reception.
In the morning breakfast was served from a buffet, while the first morning we could have our breakfast in the magnificent garden terrace of the hotel, the second morning we had to eat inside because of the weather. If eating outside the buffet is somewhat corona-proof as there were some extra guards, you had to disinfect your hands before taking something but everything was so close together and in a narrow space that it was almost impossible not to bump into someone.
Yet if you ate inside, the table where right against the buffet, Sam was even able to make toast from his seat, not the most corona-proof breakfast we have had. The products on offer where nice and tasteful however, of course featuring the local Orval cheese. You could find the usual items found on hotel breakfast, ranging from bread and cold cuts to scrambled eggs, bacon and pancakes. I also loved that they included sugar bread, not something you see often.
Both evenings we also enjoyed dinner at the hotel. The first evening we first had some cocktails in the couches on the terrace before being shown to our table a bit further on the terrace. We enjoyed a lovely three course meal, with an extra appetizer before. Luckily we had some seats under a beach umbrella as near the end of the meal it started raining.
The second evening we enjoyed a more elaborate 4-course meal. As it was a rainy evening this was served inside the hotel’s restaurant, which oddly could only be reached by exiting the hotel, walking outside along the street to the entrance of the restaurant next door. The interior of the restaurant was in a nice contemporary style and I really liked the light fixtures. The four courses we enjoyed where once again magnificent, only this time we did not receive an appetizer. Compared to the evening before the service was also paced a bit slower.
All in all we had a nice stay at Le Florentin and it is a nice place to stay if you want to visit the region.
If you go there it is best by car as there is only a 2-hourly train service in Florenville and everything that you would want to visit is best accessible by car. Luckily the hotel provided free on-site parking in their garden.