Looking for a small break from reality? But you don’t want to go too far nor too long? If you happen to live in Belgium, I have got the perfect proposition for you! I was looking to escape the city (Antwerp in my case 🙂 ) for a short break as well and stumbled upon this article by Flair that described the perfect getaway. I did a bit of research and 2 hours later we booked our weekend. Curious to find out where we went? Keep on reading!
So we planned a short weekend in Maasmechelen, more precisely we stayed near Maasmechelen village, which is basically a miniature – and very picturesque – city with all kinds of shops that offer interesting discounts. In short, kind of like an open air outlet mall :). During winter, especially around the holidays, it gets really cozy and the shops are beautifully lit up at night. You can browse through your favourite shops and brands, score items at beneficial prices, soak up the magical atmosphere and have a break in between with a delicious waffle and a Glühwein. Exactly what you were looking for? Read on to discover the unique hotel we stayed at! 🙂
At the recommendation of Flair, we booked a night at the Terhills hotel and it was absolutely amazing. The area where it is located, used to be the center of the coal mining industry. Eventually, the mines were closed and nowadays several buildings have been retransformed to serve new purposes. The Terhills Hotel used to be the main building of the mining facilities and later on became the architectural gem that it is today. The neoclassical baroque style gives it a flare of grandeur and the interior even more so. Besides the comfortable and trendy rooms, the friendly staff, the tasty breakfast and a lot more that they offer, Terhills Hotel is perfectly located.
As said before, Maasmechelen village is online a 5 minutes walk away for an afternoon full of shopping and cozy moments. When you get hungry afterwards, there are restaurants in Maasmechelen village to choose from, you could eat at the hotel itself or you can drive to Maasmechelen itself, only 10 minutes by car, where you have a wide variety of options. Up for a movie at night? Next to Maasmechelen Village you can find a local movie theatre with the newest movie offers to keep you entertained!
The nature reserve Connecterra is located only 2 minutes from the Terhills Hotel and its flora and greenery grows right on top of what used to be the coal mines of Eisden. Hoge Kempen National Park is a small piece of lush green paradise that offers fresh air, beautiful views and a couple of extended walking trails for those who want to get their daily steps in. There are some walkings trails to choose from, but the one I would really recommend to follow is the blue route: this one will take you to the highest point of the Terril – this is a spoil tip composed of accumulated waste material from the mining days – that has an amazing panaroma in store for you. I did not even know we had a view point like this in Belgium, it is truly stunning.
The trail is very accessible and the walk up to the viewpoint is not too intense. The complete walk will take a bit more than 1 hour, depending on the time you spend taking pictures at the top of course :). Small heads-up for dog- and shoe- lovers: during winter it tends to get very muddy, so take the necessary precautionary measures :). For the maintenance of the National Park you pay €3 for a day pass – a small price for what you will get in return :).
Is Maasmechelen a bit too close to home for you? Then maybe London can be a good option! Read more here for inspiration if you are planning an escape to the British capital city.