Lifestyle : Staycation Maasmechelen
Due to COVID my plans to go to the states went down the drain. Rising numbers made it almost impossible to go abroad. Therefore we made plans look up ways to spend our holiday in our home country Belgium.
As there are so many people spending there vacation at home there weren't a lot of options. We love the ardennes and the seaside but it's not like we haven't been theere before. A place that we never went to before was Limburg. I've seen a couple of shots pass by on Instagram. One of the most talked about places was Maasmechelen. Not only the home for designer outlet shopping but also know for their national park Hoge Kempen.
When planning a trip I tend to look up instagramamble hotels or air bnb's. There are a lot of those in and around Maasmechelen. However one that stood out to me and to Robin was the Terhills hotel. Their 3 nights for the price of 2 made it impossible for us to resist. We took the superior room with a view of the french garden. The room also had the best natural lighting, perfect for pictures. The formula also included breakfast which had plenty of options and was also made covid proof.
What to do
Although i had a feeling there wasn’t a lot to do in Maasmechelen we did manage to fill our days. Our hotel was the best starting point for everything we did. It also gave us the opportunity to go to our room in between activities to rest or freshen up.
Right next to the hotel you have the entrance of Connecterra. An old mining ground turned park. With a map or the online app (which I recommend because you get a lot more information) you can choose which route to take. The routes are color coordinated so the signs are easy to follow (unless you're like us and google needed to help you out). Because I'm always looking for locations for pretty pictures I really wanted to get to the top to get the most panoramic view over the river. We took the shortest route so we could get there first and so that the lighting wasn't to harsh on the pictures. If I could do this again I'd also try to catch a sunset as the area is absolutely breathtaking, it would be even more amazing wh the sunset.
Another picture perfect moments at Connecterra are the top of the 'shaft blocks' where you get a view over the park and the glass wall of the Field Research Center. The Field Research Center is a place where they study climate change and the effect on bio diversity.
Also near our hotel is the cable park which I really wanted to do however it's probably more suitable when the weather is a bit warmer. The Euroscoop was more appropriate for the weather and therefor we went to see a movie twice. Their fresh home made popcorn was well worth the food coma.
If you've come to Maasmechelen to relax and enjoy nature I must advice a trip to the Terhills Elaisa wellness. A place were you can go to relax in the midst of nature. As they offer a lot of treatments and have an own restaurant you can really spend your entire day at the vicinity. Beware if you're not comfortable going full monty check out their site in advance to see when swimwear is obligated. If you forgot yours don't worry, they have swimwear, bathrobes and towels you can rent. What nobody told us is to bring slippers. Not obligated I believe but apparently it's something as an unwritten rule.
So the first day we went shopping at Maasmechelen village. It's a great place to find some designer deals. My favorite stores were Prada, Essentiel, Kate Spade, Anastasia Beverly Hills, ... When you stay at the Therhills hotel you get a 10% voucher for Maasmechelen village so don't forget !
Maasmechelen village isn't only good for shopping, you can also go there to eat. We had two favorite places for lunch and dinner. Le Petite Belge and Ellis gourmet burger was all we really needed. Both placed had plenty of options for vegetarians which isn't always a given in Belgium. If you like salads I highly recommend the goat cheese salad at Le petite Belge and at Ellis gourmet burger you must try the cauliflour wings.
Another great place to eat and also less than a 5 minute walk from the hotel is Two oh Five. It's a coffee bar on the first floor of a bakery called 'the bakery'. You can find anything on the menu to satisfy your sweet and savory cravings. Pies and pastries are supplied by the (instagramamble) bakery downstaires.
Looking back at our stay I must say I'd definitely come back. Hopefully in the spring time so we can also explore the cable park. We'd also bring our bikes because there are a lot of nice bike routes nearby but unfortunately we didn't find a lot of bike rental stores this time around. Nevertheless we had a great vacation and definitely worth in the top staycation places of Belgium. What you do you think ? xoxo