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“Fantastic facilities, terrible service” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Thermae Boetfort Spa and Hotel

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Thermae Boetfort Spa and Hotel
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Fantastic facilities, terrible service”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 November 2013

This was out third time in this spa- we keep going back due to the great facilities and really good atmosphere. Unfortunately this time around our relaxing day was not as relaxing and perfect as we would have liked- due to the awful service at the spa. We had said we would arrive around 3pm when making our reservation. We arrived slightly before 3 to find out our treatments were booked in for 3pm- no changing this hence in a stress we ended up rushing for our massages. Furthermore there were no towels at reception and no solutin from the staff to provide us with some.
Not to ruin our day we went along to the beauty area (imagine the sauna without towels!) and went back to the reception several times in the hope of getting towels. No such luck- we had to negotiate towels from the beauty room, which was no easy task as the staff there were not keen on giving their towels out (?!)
Given the above when leaving the spa we asked the receptionist not to pay for the towels which we did not receive- quite logical! Not to the staff at the spa- we had to spend 20 mins explaining how paying for the towels is completely irrational. The squabble only came to a close when the receptionist's superior was contacted....!
This definitely did stain our stay there...
Another lacking feature is no drinking water in the whole of the facility- something which should be a basic service in a spa....
On a positive note, the hare fillet I had for dinner was scrumptious:)

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Mags Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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261 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
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English first
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
32 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 November 2013

Well, I am not that much experienced in thermal centres. But what appeared to me is a nice one, close to the city, well organised, enough clean.
.
But i've tried the 80 minutes Full Body Massage , done by a man, and it was one of the best massage i've ever had. I've felt it even more after (later and in the night) than on the moment.

Good. I will be back. And see if my first impression will be confirmed.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Yves G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
wardvansighem, Manager at Thermae Boetfort Spa and Hotel, responded to this review, 9 November 2013
Dear Yves,

Thank you for your visit to Thermae Boetfort. Glad you enjoyed both the spa as the massages. We do our best to improve our customer experience every day.

Hope to see you soon.

Ward Van Sighem
Marketing Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris
Level Contributor
71 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 October 2013

I should preface this review by saying that I was looking for somewhere reasonably priced, accessible to our offices, for a one-night stop over and I thought this place looked interesting. Interesting is probably the operative word! Clearly it is geared up for the spa, rather than for being a hotel - witness the vast number of cars in the car park (there are only 7 hotel rooms) and many people having dinner. The first impression was not ideal as Reception was completely disorganized - they were not very busy, but scarcely even acknowledged my arrival for about 5 minutes, when a very willing, but not very effective member of staff started to process my registration. Eventually he was rescued by someone else who was able to actually give correct information and get me checked in. The Restaurant environment is attractive, though dinner was very average - the lasagna was very overcooked, though the salad was fresh and the house wine was (surprisingly) very drinkable! The Restaurant was very busy, but all the other diners were clad only in their spa bathrobes, which led my colleague and I to feel rather like the overdressed outsiders! My room was well appointed, spotlessly clean with an attractive bathroom - but very hot! I opened the windows (how nice to be able to do so), and then during the course of the night discovered the real disadvantage of having done so. While the hotel response to an earlier reviewer remarks that normally one cannot hear much airport traffic, I can only say that in the wee small hours about 3 planes either arrived or left (I was semi-somnolent so not sure which) and I felt as though I were actually sleeping on the runway! Further, shortly before 6am, a whole slew of flight activity started up, and it was really disturbingly noisy. Having established the previous evening that I could check out around 8:15, I was a bit surprised that the receptionist looked faintly irritated when I arrived to check out and said that she hadn't started up her computer programs yet! All in all, I probably won't rush back to this hotel, but it was an interesting experience and it is clear (as well as from reading other reviews) that the focus of this establishment is the spa and associated facilities. On the plus side, it's pretty convenient for both the airport and the surrounding business district, and definitely makes a change from your standard corporate hotel.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Taormina-Tourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
wardvansighem, Manager at Thermae Boetfort Spa and Hotel, responded to this review, 26 October 2013
Dear Toarmina,

Thank you for your review about Thermae Boetfort. You're absolutely right that the main focus is mainly on spa & wellness at the moment. Though we have a lot of regular business guests as well. I guess that once you are used to the "different" surrounding, you appreciate the architecture, wellness facilities (€ 27,50 a day), the garden. Boetfort is a hidden green lung not very far from the airport.

We try to maintain a high service level, and will certainly use your opinion to further improve our staff and processes.

Forgetting about airconditioning in the rooms is a mistake we made in the past. Luckily there are few days in Belgium where it's really needed, but we understand the benefits for our guests. I can inform you that 19 new rooms are being build with ventilation and airconditioning! That way the windows can remain closed, so there won't be any noise.

There isn't any most of the time because Boetfort is not on the flight routes, but when the wind is in the wrong direction, I can understand that you can hear an airplane during the night with open windows.

Thank you very much for your stay, and until next time.

Kind regards,

Ward Van Sighem
Marketing manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vilnius, Lithuania
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2013

Overall, it's a nice spa for a day's relaxation. With a few annoying quirks though:
- Inside the whole complex there is absolutely ZERO access to drinkable water?! For a sauna complex this is ridiculous. Also, in order to access the (kitsch) restaurant, you either need to dress up or wear bathrobe (none of which is explained during the check in). As a result, you end up getting seriously dehydrated or drinking tap water in the toilets.
- The sauna's are not hydrated and, as a result, you might end up with a nose bleed as you nose membranes dry out too much. This is very unpleasant and pretty stupid. Solutions are cheap and simple.
- The spa complex is located very close to a busy international airport, so noise levels are very high when you're outside.
- There is no explanation that the dressed up area of the spa is complete crap - the sauna's are not hot enough, the area is small etc etc. You only get to realise this after you drop your clothes and enter the naked area

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank AndMa8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
wardvansighem, Manager at Thermae Boetfort Spa and Hotel, responded to this review, 9 November 2013
Dear AndMa8,

Thank you for your visit. You are correct that there are no taps in the spa themselves. We're looking into this to improve this in the future. You can take water away from the restaurant / bar or have a drink there. It's right next to bathing suit area.

In the restaurant / bar which is in it's own 400y old castle style, bathrobe is required. Our guests wouldn't like having dinner next to a man in swimming clothes or a naked women. For us, this policy is quite normal.

Furthermore our sauna's have different temperatures and humidity levels. We do have dry sauna's (like the Eucalypt and Ice Cave Sauna) and more humid sauna's (Mine Sauna, Horse Stable Sauna), ... In 4 years, we've never had any complaints about this.

We are close to Brussels Airport, but not on any flight routes. You will certainly hear an airplane during your stay ;) when the wind is bad, but that's part of life nowadays.

About the dressed part I can say that we have 10 years of experience with bathing suit spa's (Thermae Grimbergen) and that the "bathing suit guests" offen find a 90° C sauna way too hot. They are more looking to the experience so we offered infrared sauna's, light therapy sauna's, music sauna, ... I'm absolutely right that the "die hard" sauna guest sometimes prefer hotter sauna's, but most of the "die hards" visit the sauna ... nude.

Thank you for your response, I hope you find some comfort in our answers and hope to see you again.

Kind Regards,

Ward Van Sighem
Marketing Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 October 2013

Very nice spa, suited for everybody. Several different saunas and pools, lovely garden. Nice atmosphere overall. Food at the restaurant is also very tasty. Recommended for spending few hours of great relax...

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Maria F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
wardvansighem, Manager at Thermae Boetfort Spa and Hotel, responded to this review, 9 November 2013
Dear Maria,

Thank you very much for your very positive review. Italy is not next door but we surely hope to see you again in the future.

Kind Regards,

Ward Van Sighem
Marketing Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Evere, Belgium
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 October 2013

First visit to the Thermae Boetfort in Melsbroek with my husband (received a gift voucher and was a good opportunity to try this one). We could only conclude that it is not our thing. Spent whole Sunday afternoon there but clearly chose the wrong day. It was very busy. And you could tell from the receptionist's face. We think she was in a very bad mood, could not welcome us or even smile. Upon departure the same, her face and body language : very unfriendly unfortunately and she did not even ask us if we enjoyed the stay. Staff wearing printed t-shirts saying "no stress". Perfect message but it had no effect on the visitors. The place doesn't give you the feeling of relaxation. Everybody was running around, making noise, talking loud. People should know that it is a place to relax and clear the head and they should be more discrete. Please don't talk in a sauna or relaxing bath. And don't shout in the swimming pool! Silence is such an important word in a relaxing place which could help you unstress. Showers, swimming pool, sauna's, whirlpool's, relaxing bath packed with people. Don't go there during the weekend : it was a good example of mass tourism.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Iris L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
wardvansighem, Manager at Thermae Boetfort Spa and Hotel, responded to this review, 8 October 2013
Dear Iris,

Thank you for your visit and your review. It's thanks to these reviews that we can evolve and improve our service.

This weekend was a special massage weekend. There were about 50 massage workshops and a lot of different aufguss's during the entire weekend. We have this kind of weekends to spoil our visitors with a lot of new treatments and special events, a few times a year. And this weekend was it. We had a lot of positive comments but I can surely understand that the weekend was more crowded since it was an event weekend. Other weekends are much more relax.

As for the receptionist, you are absolutely right. They need to be friendly and polite ALL the time, even when it's busy. We will investigate this internally to improve this in the future. Can we ask you to send an e-mail to boetfort@thermae.com with more details?

TIP: Subscribe to the newsletter. All events are communicated weeks before so you can plan your visit on a calmer day.

Kind Regards,

Ward Van Sighem
Marketing Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 September 2013

We have just spent 3 nights at this very nice converted castle in the suburbs of Brussels.

Service by the staff at reception was very efficient and cheerful.

There are only 7 rooms for overnight guests; four 'comfort rooms' and three superior 'luxury' rooms. We had a comfort room and were very impressed. Our room was on the first floor level and overlooked the courtyard and part of the spa area. The twin beds were comfortable. Being in an old converted building gave the room an unusual and pleasant character, with wooden beams in the ceiling and a 'slipper-style' tub in the bathroom. However, the shower was a hand-held type, which, if you weren't careful, could result in minor flooding on the floor. The rooms were kept spotless by the staff. Also provided were a safe, a mini bar (pay for anything used on departure) and coffee machine (with inevitably incorrect instructions).

Breakfast was included and was buffet-style in the restaurant and quite adequate.
We ate dinner at the restaurant on two nights, and had snacks and drinks there at other times. The range and quality of the food was good and the waiters very pleasant and helpful. Language was not a problem most of the time. We were blessed with very warm weather during our stay, so were able to eat our meals outside on the terrace. The wooden-panelled dining room itself was very character-full, though.

We made full use of the thermal baths / spa facilities (for an extra charge). These consist of a range of different saunas at different temperatures, steam room, outside swimming pool and hot-tubs and large sun-bathing terraces, etc. The quality of these is really top-notch. The spa is divided into two areas, one for those who prefer to wear swim-wear and one for those who prefer to go without. You are free to use either area (or both) provided you stick to the (un)dress-code. However, the nude area is somewhat larger, and also allows access to the very large garden area which includes lawns, a lake and a couple more saunas. One of these (our favourite) is actually in the castle’s former ice cave. A nice touch is a couple of relaxation rooms where one can chill out.
The sunny weather drew in quite a few day-visitors, but it never felt crowded.

Various beauty / massage treatments are available, but we didn't try them on this occasion.

Just a few minor niggles which have prevented me giving 5 stars:

Being close to the airport meant there was a lot of aircraft noise, especially noticeable in the early hours. Can't blame the hotel for that, but what I could blame them for is being woken up at 5.45a.m. by very noisy maintenance work being carried out in the adjacent spa area. It sounded like a jet-washer was being used with an accompanying compressor. We had to close the windows on a very warm early morning to try to cut the noise down a bit. I realise that such work has to be done before the spa opens at 1030, but I think this was inconsiderate.

Public transport links to the hotel are not good. Not having a car, we relied on the local bus-service, but this was not a good experience - we were given wrong information by the drivers many times and the timetable seemed to be an approximation. The best way to get to Brussels city centre we found was to use the bus to the airport and then get a train from there. In bad weather it may be better to use a taxi rather than the buses.

Anyway, overall we really enjoyed our stay at Thermae Boetfort, especially the excellent spa area, and hope to return soon. It would be interesting to try it in winter.

Room Tip: There are 4 comfort rooms, 2 on the ground floor and two on the first (rooms 5 & 6). I would tr...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Notts_Couple236
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
wardvansighem, Manager at Thermae Boetfort Spa and Hotel, responded to this review, 28 September 2013
Dear,

Thank you very much for your stay at Thermae Boetfort. We're glad you loved it.

You are absolutely right about the maintenance crew. They work all night to keep our thermal baths perfectly maintained and hygienic, but 5.45 am is no time to disturb guests. I will discuss this with them, to avoid this in the future.

It's to bad that public transportation is a hassle in Belgium. They're rarely on time so it's very difficult to plan an itinerary. Too bad because were at a few minutes from Brussels. The best way to get to Brussels is a Taxi. From Brussels Airport as well, since it's only a few km's away.

The flight routes of Brussels Airport don't go over or near Thermae Boetfort, but when the wind is in the wrong direction it is possible to hear an airplane from time to time, though it's not very loud or very often.

Thank you again for your stay and untill next time.

Kind regards,

Ward Van Sighem
Marketing Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Thermae Boetfort Spa and Hotel

Property: Thermae Boetfort Spa and Hotel
Address: Sellaerstraat 42, Melsbroek 1820, Belgium
Region: Belgium > Flanders > Flemish Brabant Province > Melsbroek
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Melsbroek
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Thermae Boetfort Spa and Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Thermae Boetfort is a historical wellness centre in a 400-year-old castle estate. Come and enjoy yourself for a few hours or several days and combine our public saunas in our nude and swimsuit thermae with a delightful treatment or a beneficial massage. Stay overnight in our authentic wellness hotel and go home totally relaxed. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Boetfort Castle Hotel Zaventem

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