Updated September 26, 2023

Knokke's new Place to Be!

By Shana Devleschoudere
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The Hotel La Réserve opened its doors this summer, inviting guests to sample the contemporary opulence of Knokke-Heist. On July 17, Belgium's most exclusive seaside resort witnessed the inauguration of the new Hotel La Réserve. 

This emblematic building has been one of Knokke-Heist's landmarks since its creation in 1949. It has welcomed many distinguished guests: Hollywood stars, politicians, members of the royal family, top designers and intellectuals. René Magritte, Frank Sinatra, Marlène Dietrich, Brigitte Bardot, Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel, Keith Haring, David Beckham, Paris Hilton and many others have found the hotel a place of relaxation and luxury. Even Jean-Claude Van Damme, a regular at the hotel, attended one of the recent dry-runs at La Rigue restaurant.

The new design, which follows the acquisition of Hotel La Réserve by Belgian investors Bart Versluys and Marc Coucke in 2021, celebrates the rich heritage of this renowned accommodation venue while bringing in 21st-century style. Reinvented by Glenn Sestig Architects, the public interiors bear his hallmark, characterized by a subtle luxury that combines quality materials with a minimalist approach. Bart Versluys and his teams managed the entire coordination and renovation in a record time of six months. At times, 350 metalworkers worked day and night at a frenetic pace to meet the deadlines.

La Réserve's imposing entrance hall now boasts the pomp befitting its heritage. It has nevertheless been modernized to meet the standards of today and tomorrow. The refurbished space revisits 1930s chic with a contemporary twist. Eucalyptus wood rubs shoulders with onyx marble and brass details. All complemented by carefully matched furnishings. This majestic central hall serves as the hotel's reception, lounge and "public square". It provides access to a series of interconnected spaces that house the hotel's public facilities. These include the attractive bar; the high-end brand boutique; the versatile La Réserve Signature Room, available for everything from exhibitions to brand activations; Michelin-starred chef Peter Goossens' La Rigue restaurant; the Salons Privés for private events or meals; and the Silver Lake Rooms for large-scale events, from conferences to galas. 

Thought through to the last detail, the hotel's interior spaces feature a high-end mix of bespoke creations combined with designs by Jean-Michel Frank and Christian Liaigre. Custom-designed surfaces, including a series of hand-carved relief wall sculptures imitating seaside sand formations, and custom-made woven metal panels used as partitions, demonstrate a definite sense of spatial sophistication. 

These indoor public spaces are complemented by outdoor terraces that stretch across the entire estate, overlooking the Zegemeer in Knokke-Heist and its famous floating ballet of crabs, a work of art by renowned Belgian sculptor Panamarenko. 

And that's just the beginning... A pontoon (on request) for sunbathing by the lake and a wellness and spa area completely redesigned by Glenn Sestig Architects are currently under construction. These facilities, which will include a rooftop pool (55 m²), sauna, hammam and treatment rooms, are not yet operational.

Elegantly designed, La Réserve's accommodation options include 79 rooms, 29 junior suites, an Executive Suite, a Presidential Suite, and a vast, literally royal, 270 m² penthouse, the only one of its kind, which crowns the hotel. The 111 rooms and suites have been refurbished by Bart Versluys and his team, and feature natural colors and materials and serene compositions. They all reflect the feeling of seaside comfort combined with luxury, typical of the finest architectural resort hotels.

The new La Réserve exudes glamour and refinement. The hotel offers top-flight service in a sumptuous setting. Guests will enjoy an extraordinary experience in Knokke-Heist. The ultimate in seaside chic, all year round.  

The entire La Réserve team looks forward to welcoming its guests. For further information, please contact Marc Coucke, Bart Versluys or Mathieu Maertens at info@la-reserve.be