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France & Belgium / Luxe Lavs

Luxe Lavs: Fairy Tales Can Come True

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Last week, we headed overseas and back in time to discover what Rest & Ryokan means. This week, we head into the world of fairy tales and Greek mythology, where one of the world’s most surprising hotel bathrooms is a Trojan horse equipped with all the facilities. 


What do you get when you cross fairy tales, a small Belgian town and a restaurateur obsessed with creating bizarre hotel experiences? La Balade des Gnomes of course!  Located next to his restaurant, Gargoyle, architect and owner Noel wanted a place where all your fantasies can be reality. Close your eyes and picture the magical stories of youth, then open them to reveal ten wondrously wacky rooms, all with their own theme. Repose with mermaids, live inside a troll’s house, sleep on a bed that appears to be a boat on water, all while enjoying the modern comforts of the 21st Century.

To say that this lodging inspired by dreams stands out from other boutique hotels is obvious Clearly the bathrooms are newsworthy. Some have wooden mushrooms coming out of the floors, misshapen mirrors and cauldrons for sinks. Others have twisty-turny (yes that is an architectural term) tubs with off-set multi-colored tile work and 20,000 Leagues under the sea green lights flashing.  We found something even better in one of the abodes than fantastical shapes and stuffed animals viewing your bathing habits. Simplicity.


Inside the room Le Cheval de Troie, the Trojan Horse, which is shaped like an enormous wooden horse, is a jacuzzi tub. We love this tub because it is perfectly practical. A wooden jacuzzi tub, it has a chair built inside so that guests can really wile away hours in the warm water and fantastical setting in complete comfort. The padded head rest just outside the rim of the tub adds to this perfection. While tubbing inside the horse, waiting to surprise the Trojans (if only in your mind), a stained glass sea horse keeps you company.

By Angela Fairhurst and Natalie Compagno for