Golf professional Nicolas Colsaerts labeled the club house of the new Naxhelet Golf Club in Wanze – less than an hour drive from Brussels – as the most beautiful of the country. We like the unique combination of golf, wellness and gastronomy imbued by ecology and Belgian chic. A trained eye for detail and the hospitality of the hosts made our stay one to remember.
The outside hardly reveals what goes on behind the thick walls of the immense renovated castle farm. Once inside, we are welcomed by genuine charm and coziness. The gigantic leveled barn, covered by a magnificent wood truss in 18th-century oak beams, the inviting armchairs, the Art Deco furniture, the lamps and majestic flower arrangements add to the warm atmosphere. The rooms were thoroughly studied and later renovated with noble materials such as natural stone and rich materials from local suppliers. ‘Belgitude’ and ‘ecochic’ form the core of the DNA of Naxhelet.
The new Bentley Mulsanne Speed, the fastest four-seater in the world, fits the high-end location of Naxhelet bio golf perfectly.
The owners Francoise and Bernard Jolly-De Vaucleroy put as much ‘made in Belgium’ as they could in the renovation, the staff and the products. The Walloon couple currently exploits the largest organic farm in the country and cultures fodder amongst others. About thirty years ago, they inherited as newly weds the farm castle in Wanze (near Huy). During the past years the turned it into a golf hotel with a 18 hole golf course (6,344 meters), a pitch and put and a course for the Naxhelet Golf Academy with respectively nine and three holes. The golf is not only high-tech and highly technical (allowing both beginners and advanced players to enjoy themselves), Naxhelet also wishes to become as soon as possible, the first organic golf club from Belgium.
Salmon pink igloo
Today we are not so much here to play golf but to enjoy the wellness. It’s very quiet in the Naxhelet wellness. The murmur in the surrounding trees and the splashing water contributes to the serenity in the spa area. “In order to guarantee quality and tranquility, we only allow a small number of guests to the wellness,” explains spa manager Diana Chacon. “For the design of the spa we consulted Lodomez Gilbert, owner of Le Château de Thermes in Chaudfontaine. As an experienced technician, he has a good vision on wellness and he could help us in addressing certain issues. We simply wanted something different.” And different Naxhelet definitely is! The salt cabin in the spa looks like a large illuminated salmon pink igloo. Inside, it is pleasantly warm and when we lean against one of the ladders on the wooden benches, we activate the infrared sauna which immediately beneficent acts on our back and shoulder muscles. The cave itself is made from Himalayan salt blocks that constantly release mineral salts and oligoelements to surround the body with positive energy and strengthen our immune system. Fifteen minutes later we feel too hot and we try to cool down with ice from the ice fountain, the showers with chromotherapy and the swimming pool with jets and whirlpool. The large windows around the pool (15 meters long) which overlook the Moha valley and the two sun decks with loungers create an open feeling. Who likes his body to sweat can visit the two hamams (45 ° and 55 °) or saunas respectively 65 ° and 75 °.
Tomato on the face
After enjoying a delicious homemade cocktail with bio fruit, we walk towards the treatment cabins. Behind some floor-to-ceiling windows with vegetation print lies the relaxation lounge. “Our six treatment cabines allow the guests – alone or in couple – to enjoy a massage or balneotherapy in the latest therapy baths from Trautwein,” explains Diana. “The relaxing waterbed for example, gives us the feeling that we are floating on the water while our back is massaged with water jets.” In addition to a complete range products for the body and the face of the French brand Ella Baché the Naxhelet spa also works with the natural products of the Italian brand Salin de Biosel free from preservatives and parabens. The focal point of the care series is undoubtedly the ‘Soin à la tomate’ by Ella Baché, a tomato based treatment – one hundred percent biological – which gives the skin a lot of extra vitamins and lets the skin radiate. Signs of fatigue dissapear immediately and the skin looks well hydrated. During the treatment we got impressed with the “Choc Jeunesse Actimix” by Ella Baché, a refreshing serum that instantly eliminates signs of fatigue. With a push on the cap Diana presses the powder (vitamin C from biological acerola) into the liquid in the bottle which contains nine bio fruits and vegetables. After the treatment we received the bottle for further use at home. Immediately after the treatment we got many compliments about the look of our skin. Two weeks later we noticed a smoother skin and skin texture. “The program ‘Découverte Naxhelet’ is one of our bestsellers,” says Diana. This program provides access to the spa, a relaxing session in the Trautwein-balneo with 170 water jets, a hot stone massage of the back (25 min) and a facial ‘Fruit Essence Eclat Bio with products from Ella Baché.
Rooms & kitchen
The hotel attached to the golf club may well have four stars, the 31 rooms – with or without a terrace overlooking the practice – and four suites offer the quality of a five star hotel. One of the suites is located under the roof and another suite was housed in the heart of a 19th century chapel, ideal for a luxurious or romantic getaway. In the kitchen of Naxhelet Jacques Demany wields the stick. He already earned his spurs in several Michelin star restaurants. Together with a team of five staff members and a pastry chef, he is responsible for the delicious cuisine with fresh, regional and seasonal products. Add reasonable prices to this and it may not surprise you that the restaurant is very popular with the local crowd. Reservation therefore is a must.
The owners of Naxhelet bio golf Francoise and Bernard Jolly-De Vaucleroy
Naxhelet Golf Club, Rue Naxhelet, 1, 4520 Wanze, tel 085 82 64 08, www.naxhelet.be