La Réserve first look
La Réserve Hotel in the charming resort of Knokke-Heist has an impressive history dating back to the 19th century, when the area was popular with hunters. The hotel has undergone various transformations over the years, but has always been a symbol of luxury and refinement on the Belgian coast.
The first hotel was built on this site in 1924. It was called the “Pavillon du Lac”. After a period of prosperity, however, the hotel was damaged during the Second World War and subsequently replaced by the luxurious “La Réserve” in 1949. This new hotel became a meeting place for countless celebrities, including Princess Paola, Frank Sinatra, Brigitte Bardot and many others, who saw it as an oasis of relaxation and opulence.
In 2021, the leading Belgian investors Marc Coucke and Bart Versluys took over the management. They brought in Glenn Sestig Architects to fully renovate the hotel and raise it to a higher level. The renovation was undertaken in various phases with the aim of transforming La Réserve into a five-star hotel offering its guests an unforgettable experience. Glenn Sestig’s design is a tribute to the hotel’s rich heritage, but with a modern twist. The public areas, such as the lobby, bar and La Rigue restaurant, presided over by leading chef Peter Goossens, have been refashioned using natural materials and warm colours.
Tesoro Veneziano, the secret of Venice. The stone that keeps the city afloat. The city is built on waterlogged ground, making the construction of sturdy buildings a challenge. But the builders of Venice had a secret. They protected the wooden piles sunk deep into the ground with Tesoro Veneziano. This stone was not only used for superb palaces and churches, but can also be found in the prestigious La Réserve. As you stroll through the enchanting corridors and terraces of La Réserve, take a moment to appreciate the secret of Tesoro Veneziano.
Marron Napoleon, the character in the interior. The superb dark grey stone with striking veins lends added character to the spaces and contrasts marvellously with the pale tints. The focal point is a fireplace wall made of solid pieces, sawn by Brachot to the required thicknesses to form a meticulous and perfect curved bookmatch, creating a superb continuous motif thanks to a combination of our machinery and our manual craftsmanship. This showstopper radiates craftsmanship and we are proud to say that the result fully lived up to the intended design. This was achieved in cooperation with De Puydt fireplaces. The curved wall of fame was also created using this superb material. Here too, account was taken of the continuous pattern and motif in the wall, which turns 90° with a lovely rounded corner. As a finishing touch, the names of a number of celebrities who have visited La Réserve hotel were hand-carved into the wall. They include Charles Aznavour, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Jean-Claude Van Damme, David Beckham, Brigitte Bardot and others. The luxurious look of onyx. Of course, the architect also included a few special touches in the interior. Various forms of onyx were used for this. The champagne buckets, washbasin units and other items were made of solid blocks of stone. Each piece was finished by hand to create a unique work of art. Light was added to the onyx here and there to bring out the material to the full. Around the onyx, Marron Napoleon was used in the restrooms.
La Rigue, Peter Goossens’ new restaurant, aims to write a new culinary narrative based on Belgian and French cuisine with local ingredients and an eye for perfection. The restaurant will have an easy-going, cosy vibe and include a separate dining counter. Peter Goossens plans to pamper his guests with classic dishes presented in an elegant and contemporary way.
With the refurbishing and repositioning of the hotel, Versluys and Coucke aim to make La Réserve the pride and joy of Knokke-Heist and the coast. They hope to attract international guests and promote the quality and diversity of Belgian cuisine. The hotel and restaurant hold out the promise of a unique culinary and luxurious experience for their guests who, from this elegant hotel, can enjoy the superb resort of Knokke-Heist and everything this captivating coastal town has to offer.
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