After putting Project Baby to bed Xander and I made a promise to each other to make a point of enjoying our freedom. To take time out together and take little getaways when we can and splurging on ourselves when we are able.
We had had such a stressful year in 2013 that we really wanted to find a place where we could get away early in the year and just relax. I scoured the internet looking for just the right place and nothing seemed to fit the bill. Anywhere in the Netherlands just didn’t offer the privacy or space that we were looking for. We didn’t want to go to a Landal or other type of bungalow park where there are tons of people with children and rather non-cozy buildings. We wanted a true retreat, but I just could not find it.
Then it happened, it was like the clouds parted and I’m pretty sure I heard angels singing! I was browsing through a Belgian holiday site and saw this photo from Les Cabanes de Rensiwez in the Belgian Ardennes:
It was perfect, and in the perfect location, just a few hours drive from here! Well, at least it seemed perfect from the photo, but the skeptical side of me expected to look deeper into the photos and see that it was too good to be true somehow. As I went through the photos, I just got more and more excited.
Yeah, at this point I was pretty much hyperventilating with excitement. A fire, a beautiful bathtub, privacy, coziness… it had everything we were looking for! We read the reviews, which raved with how relaxing and wonderful people found it to be there, and that sealed the deal, we booked it right away!
In February, we booked the dogs into a local dog hotel, cut ourselves off from the world and spent five days and four nights in La Cabane d’Isabelle, and it was absolutely wonderful. It exceeded our expectations, which says a lot because I was really expecting the place to work miracles in relaxation for us, we needed it! Other than popping out for groceries, some walks and a short drive through the area one day, we didn’t leave the cabin at all, we just loved it in there too much.
The cabin itself was exactly as it looks in the photos, there is a lot of privacy between it and the other buildings, a lovely view, and absolute peace and quiet… unless you count the birds, of course. You can’t drive right up to the cabin so it’s a short walk from the general parking area (which is just beyond the edge of the photo on the left) but they provide you with a little wagon to help you with your luggage!
The people working at the site were friendly, welcoming and helpful (especially when we couldn’t manage to get a fire started!) and loved to chat with us about life in the area.
The cabin was spotless and had everything you’d need in regards to day to day living. Plenty of sleeping space with one visible in this photo as well as a loft (which we often used for napping and saved the lower bed for sleeping at night), a stove, fridge, microwave, pots, pans and all the utensils you need. It really is complete.
If I had to add one thing to this cabin it would have been a shower, but then I’d just be getting nitpicky. For the time we were there a bath was fine, but I think if we were going to be staying for a few weeks we’d have wanted a shower. There are other cabins that DO have showers, though, so if you aren’t into baths there are always other options.
You can see from the above photo how we spent the majority of our time. It was the perfect place for doing what we enjoy. I spent a lot of time knitting while Xander worked on a puzzle, we both read a lot (I think I went through at least three books while I was there) and generally unwound together. The only down side, as you can see from the tissues in the right side of the photo, was that I had a terrible cold while we were there. Thankfully there is a little shop on the grounds where we were able to buy some tea and tissues and with Houffalize a short ride away we were fully stocked in cough meds as well. Honestly, I can’t think of a better place to be sick, can you? It certainly didn’t get in the way of my enjoyment of the holiday. In fact, I had everything I needed!
A hot bath to soak my aching bones in, with the window open to get the sun on my face and feel the mixture of the hot water and crisp winter air while listening to the birds. Bliss!
A place to curl up and read next to a crackling fire… so cozy!
Let’s not forget the knitting… have needles, will travel! They even had the perfect light for my crafty purposes. It’s like this little sofa was made just for me!
Xander was completely in love with the place as well and did all of his favorite activities…
Like napping! His favorite activity after Lego and robotics. This photo was taken at bedtime but seriously, look at the size of this bed. There’s no cramped feeling here, folks! We slept like babies!
It turns out, playing with fire is another of his favorite activities… I think we went though about 6x as much wood as someone is meant to in the time we were there, but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy always having a roaring fire. Still, what is it with boys and fire?
Did I mention Lego? Yes, no holiday would be complete without a new Lego game. I actually enjoyed this one, though! Unlike Creationary which is a total drag to play with Xander because he always wins.
We also went for a few walks around the grounds. We couldn’t let Xander’s new wellies go to waste!
There really isn’t anything bad I can say about our time at this cabin. Well, other than the fact that we had to leave, that was the only down side. I think I may have even shed a tear when we were leaving to head back to the hustle and bustle of Rotterdam! It was such a great place and we really feel like we got exactly what we paid for, and more.
I think this would be ideal any time of year, depending on what you are looking for. For us, on this trip, it was a winter getaway. If you go there in the summer you could enjoy sitting out in the sun, eating on your patio, exploring the areas around you and just getting away from it all. In the winter, at least for me, it’s all about the peace and relaxation next to the fire!
For two people that spend so much time on the internet we were both shocked by just how little we hated being cut off from everything. There was no TV, no radio and no internet and we didn’t care one bit. Well, there was wifi at the reception but neither of us had any interest in making use of it… which was as much of a shock to us as it probably is to anyone reading this who knows us!
If you are looking for a relaxing getaway in a beautiful area, I strongly urge you to check out these cabins. They really do have something for everyone…
Are you traveling with kids? Check out this super cool family cabin! It has a bedroom just for the kids that has its own outer entry and is attached to the rest of the cabin by a tunnel! No parents allowed!
Looking for a cozy, romantic getaway for two? La vie a Deux is the one for you! Four poster bed, open bath, and a fire? What more can you ask for?
Unless of course, you want a proper love nest, then maybe Le Nid is more your speed, since you actually sleep in a nest in the ceiling.
A nest in the ceiling, people!! A. NEST. IN. THE. CEILING! OMG!
Want to really get your zen on and relax? How about la Zenitude with its own private sauna!?
Are you like me and not into the whole breathing warm air thing, but love the idea of your own private hottub in the middle of the forest? Have a look at la Norvegienne with your own private hot tub off your deck.
I could go on and on, they really do have something for everyone, as I said. They will even deliver your breakfast to your cabin if you really never want to step out the front door!
Oh, and if the cabins really aren’t your thing (what is wrong with you?!) they also have camping pitches!
I love this place and can honestly say we have have never been so relaxed and content as we were during our time there. So much so that we’ve already booked our next visit! After complaining every single year about the insanity of the fireworks in Rotterdam, and the horrible affects it has on the dogs, we have booked another four nights at the end of the year! We will be taking the dogs and ringing in the new year in their newest cabin, Cabane de Werner, which looks freaking amazing as well. Two story, fireplace, open loft bedroom with a bathtub. I’m so looking forward to this!
I see a lot of visits to these cabins in our future… How about you? Does this look like something you’d enjoy? If so, be sure to let me know if you visit and let me know how you like it!
Oh, and be sure to keep an eye on their booking site, they always have great last minute deals!