It’s 2023 at a 5-star hotel for at least 24 hours. You can also book a few hours during the day, for a romantic getaway, for example. In an ultra-luxurious setting if possible, such as that of Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp.
“We’re going to have brunch in the city on Sunday!” I announce. Nothing is as good for your relationship as a surprise from time to time. Especially if you’ve been together for twelve and a half years. That we go to the only five-star plus hotel in Antwerp going, I didn’t tell you. Neither does the fact that I will secretly pack his swimming trunks and that he will get a professional massage. And the room that becomes ours for a few hours, that will be the icing on the cake. Because I recently discovered the concept day use also exists at chic hotels. And what could be more fun than wallowing in luxury?
Of course I choose a high-level place, where a beautiful spa is included in the daytime stay. And so it is that we have a luxury hotel Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp inside and that I hand over our car keys to the driver.
Between oysters and deer fillet
The brunch buffet exceeds all expectations, even though I knew it was going to be fancy old monastery hall full of arches and pillars. We did not expect a sommelier who constantly pours refined wines after the amuses with champagne, nor a waiter who birdcage full of potatoes with sour cream and caviar presents. The piles of refined delicacies in the stately hall are barely visible. Mountains of just opened oysters, vegetables in all colours, refined soups, scallops in sauce, a variety of fresh fish, deer fillet and Beef Wellington in a pastry crust, you would really eat yourself to death here. The dessert buffet includes a range of refined cakes, mousses, fruit salads, cheese platters with fresh figs and a chocolate fountain.
Do not disturb
“We have to leave at 2 p.m. for a surprise,” I announce dramatically. We cross in the nick of time to the building with the spa, where pleasant scents greet us. “We work with products from Saint Charles Apothecary”, also for sale in our shop, which is located in the former pharmacy, we hear. “I’ll see you later in the pool,” I whisper, while my husband is taken by a graceful masseuse.
What could be more fun than wallowing in hotel luxury for a few hours?
In the meantime, I secretly check in in the lobby among the many plants and flowers, get some fresh air in the historic botanical garden in front of the door, full of herbs and medicinal plants, and take a look around the room. Stylish as expected, with wooden beamed ceiling and a gigantic walk-in shower. Firm mattress and attractive design lighting, great!
Now quickly back to the spa. With a view of stepped gable houses, I swim laps and lie by the fireplace until my husband appears again, relaxed and blissful. “Let’s try the hammam and saunas,” he says. “Okay, but not for too long, because I’m also getting a massage. Yours. We have a luxury room for a few hours,” I smile. Suite 109’s ‘do not disturb’ sign has come in handy.
How exactly does day-use work?
• Day use means that you do not spend the night at the hotel, but spend a few hours there during the day. To take full advantage of such a day stay, it is best to choose a hotel that offers many facilities: a swimming pool, a jacuzzi, a hammam, good bathroom products, a fitness room. Also luxury chains such as Thon, Marriott and Hilton are open to this concept.
• Not all hotels mention this on their website day use to offer. Ask about it, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
• Recommended with pool access included, except Botanic Sanctuary Antwerpincluding the feng shui style Tangla Hotel in Brussels, with spa and tea room (from 120 euros for 2 people from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.) and design hotel 9Hotel Sablon (from 115 euros for 2 people from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a love box for an extra 49 euros).
• Would you rather be in the green?Golden Lakes Village in Froid Chapelle offers rooms for 70 euros during the day, but you pay extra for the wellness. Martin’s Chateau du Lac in Genval there is another one like that, for 116 euros from 10 am to 5 pm. During the weekend you only have access to the thermal baths if you have booked a treatment.
You can find more hotels with day stays on Dayuse.be
Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp
Day-use stay from €248.50 for 2 people, including use of the spa. Massage and brunch to be paid extra.
Leopoldstraat 26, Antwerp Botanicantwerp.be