With a six month old baby, we prefer spending our holiday in a private house, having our own kitchen and a comfortable couch to relax on. Hotel Aux Ecuries de la Reine in La Gleize perfectly suits these wishes. Knowing the name translates as “the Stables of the Queen”, we are curious to find out more. The hotel has several types of accommodation available: rooms, apartments, holiday houses and a chalet, which are all very authentic.
We book House 20, suited for a big family, but of course staying in Belgium you must be prepared to get a bit of rain. So, with large space, some good books, a fire place, our own games and toys for the girls, we will be able to enjoy some relaxing time inside if necessary. You can also borrow good-old DVD’s at the front office if you feel like it.
But never mind the clouds: our oldest daughter really wants to try our garden, terrace and explore the neighborhood. In the main garden across the street we find the nice swimming pool which seems very attractive and looks well maintained. In summer it is in full sun most of the day and it’s heated so could even be used in spring or autumn as well. And we see other fun stuff such as the playing area with the big trampoline, table tennis, darts, board games, a badminton, bounce and pétanque strip. Yep, this is surely a family friendly destination.
As said: with little girls we prefer using our own fully equipped kitchen. But the restaurant Le Vert the pommier (the green apple tree) is exceptional and fully recommended. There is also a small shop opposite, good for chilled wine and fresh bread which is delivered daily.
La Gleize is a lovely village in Wallonia and located on a rocky outcrop in the Ardennes region. There’s something to be done for everyone in this region and we just like to give you an idea of it. With a young family and a sunny day, we head to Forestia. This park exceeds our expectations. We spend almost a full day in the park. The place is split into 2 activities, the main one being the animal park: boar, deer, bears, wolves, etc. Allow two hours for the animal park, it is a great walk and the animals have large areas where they can move. Therefore, it is possible to see herds of deers running. The other part is the adventure park, open as from 13.00 hours with tree climbing and tracks to complete in the trees. There are various levels for your dexterity and fear of heights, with the hardest being very hard. Your kids will need several hours to get through them all. It is fun for kids of all ages, but they probably must be above 5 years to get most out of it. There are some tracks for the small kids. Reviews tell us adults can’t always enter the tracks, so you’d better check it out before buying your ticket.
A bit less adventurous is the well-known Plopsa land. The Coo Plopsa Land is a lovely small attraction park, with lots to do for little ones. Food and drinks are somewhat expensive, so you can bring your own picnic. The staff is very friendly and they even try to speak Dutch and English. As for us, we still prefer the lovely nature in the Ardennes, but our young kids love it.
When your children are somewhat older, buy yourself the walking or cycling map at the front office and check out the beautiful surroundings. You could also try the walk in Ninglingspo. The blue path goes over several river crossings and will let you enjoy nature over 2,5 hours. Or visit the Petit Coo, a lovely waterfall with tracking trail and a beautiful gem in a pretty village in the heart of the Ardennes. Coo Adventures also offers exciting activities such as riding the quad, mountain bike or explore by kayak, raft or climbing. In winter even skiing is possible at certain times.
For the WWII history buff, the December 44 Historical Museum in La Gleize is a must see. It’s all about the Battle of the Bulge. La Gleize was just a quiet Belgian farming village until 1944 when Joachim Peiper showed up with the spearhead of the 6th Panzer Army, complete with King Tiger Tanks looking for a bridge across the Ambleve River. The Museum tells the story of how Peiper was ultimately cornered in La Gleize and ending up abandoning the 70-ton monster tank (along with over 100 other vehicles) and walking back to Germany. The museum also shows an excellent film of it in French and then English.
When you are into cars, go and see the Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, which is regularly praised by pilots from all over the world. The circuit is one of those legendary routes in the motor sport.
We would be happy to return to Aux Ecuries de la Reine one day and particularly enjoy the pool in summer.
# A lovely and stylish family destination, especially in summer. Children will love the big trampoline and playing area. The pool opposite the street is really tempting for us to return.
# Perfect base for outdoor activities in this stunning region: it’s just in between Remouchamps, Coo / Stavelot / Trois Ponts and Spa / Verviers where your family can enjoy the true outdoor life.