Refuge Kapelleberg, Belgium

Project: Refuge Kapelleberg, Belgium

The hotel spoils guests in a relaxed, natural ambience and relies on water-saving technology from Hansgrohe.

The Kapelleberg Resort in Belgium is the Ying and Yang of state-of-the-art hotel operations: with its custom services, the small hotel is able to cater to the needs of holiday-makers and conference guests alike in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Meanwhile the owners reap the rewards of efficiency measures: mixers and showerheads featuring Hansgrohe EcoSmart technology help them save water and energy, which in turn benefits the environment and results in marked reductions in running costs. The sustainability angle also fits in well with the close-to-nature concept of this resort near Gent, which revolves around the experience of being in the Flemish Ardennes.

An oasis of calm

Nestled in an idyllic hilly landscape, the former farm complex converted into a hotel is the base for many and various activities, such as organised cycling and hiking tours, horse-drawn carriage rides into the foothills of the Ardennes mountains or – and this is especially popular with the guests – trips around the countryside on a Vespa. At the same time, the resort in its rural setting is greatly appreciated as a quiet retreat, for single travellers, for couples and for families. The resort has become an insiders’ tip for seminars and private events, where guests can focus on whatever they want, far from the hubbub of life in the city. To cater for events of all kinds, the establishment reminiscent of a traditional farmyard offers individually furnished rooms, a conference room and halls suitable for staging events. The sophisticated kitchen is set to spoil individual guests as well as small groups with the rich tradition of Flemish cuisine. The courtyard surrounded by brick buildings lends itself an atmospheric venue under open skies, ideal for shared meals and companionable get-togethers; the connection with nature is also provided by the private terraces outside the individual rooms on the ground floor.

The rooms are named after prominent historical figures who have earned a special place in the region’s past and whose significance reaches beyond the Flanders region: for example, Emperor Charles V who, with a beautiful weaver’s daughter from the magnificent nearby town of Oudenaarde fathered their daughter Margarethe – who today also lends her name to one of the rooms at Kapelleberg. Also featured is the Flemish landscape painter of the Romantic period, Jacob Blommaert. The austere style of the rooms with their roughly rendered walls, wooden floors and natural stone – some of the rooms are located in the attic and have exposed roof beams – exudes simplicity and does away with anything superfluous. It all underscores the theme of this resort, which is all about tranquility.

An authentic experience with modern conveniences

The purist ambience combines with contemporary bathroom design, from the spacious shower spaces and natural stone basins right through to the convenience of the high-rise Hansgrohe Talis Classic mixers. Hand sprays from the Raindance Select 120 EcoSmart line are installed in the showers. With their combination of water aeration and flow-limiting technologies, they contribute to the efficient use of water and energy. This results in considerable savings, as the Hansgrohe showerheads with EcoSmart technology are able to produce a high-volume shower experience using only 9 litres of water per minute – without any compromise in terms of comfort. The private operators of the Kapelleberg Resort are delighted with the 40 percent reduction in water consumption compared with conventional hand sprays. Moreover, the hotel also achieves savings in terms of the cost of energy required to heat the water. Not only do both factors reduce operating costs; they also help the environment.

Indulgence and cost awareness go hand-in-hand

This synthesis of sustainability, cost awareness and sensuousness can be considered quite typical of Flanders. In this region of Belgium, the savoir vivre and cuisine of neighbouring France meet northern European and Calvinist traditions, not least from the Netherlands; and the opulent Renaissance architecture of the old merchant towns of Flanders surrounded by the authentic natural environment of the Ardennes make for a harmonious blend that attracted painters and poets as far back as the 19th Century.