Overlooking the Meuse, just a stone’s throw away from the fortress, a former farm in the form of a square has just been transformed into a luxury hotel and spa. The waving of the magic wand lasted for very nearly ten years.
Ten years of renovation, stone by stone (some were even numbered so as to be repositioned in exactly the same spot), in respecting the style and the materials used. ‘Time is the ultimate luxury,’ confides Benoît Gersdorff, the owner who has put his shoulder to the wheel in a big way. ‘By working slowly, we could think through our needs very thoroughly, and thus bring our dreams to fruition.’
And what was the dream of this entrepreneur, who is eager to point out that without his wife it would never have seen the light of day? ‘To create a place which would combine the quality of service and comfort which we have experienced throughout our stays in luxury hotels across the entire globe (NB: he managed the catering in major restaurants), and the welcome you would encounter in a family home, without the white gloves and the tailcoats. Be it a prince, an artist or the most anonymous client, I welcome everyone in my denim jeans. They are friends whom I address formally.’
Today, CosyNe5t. the hotel, offers four suites and two duplexes. Each space has its own style, from the contemporary design of the Terrace suite, to the very muted, washed-paint walls, aged wood ambiance of the Madeleine Duplex (two rooms, an office, a living area with an open fire, an Aga kitchen stove, etc.), and taking in the stripped-back minimalism of the Vauban duplex (with the same amenities, but in a very different style). ‘It was my wife, Christine, who, aided by Pierre Brahy, an interior designer, imagined everything. The finishing touches and the attention to detail are all down to her.’ And there are many of these details in this property, which also includes a 250m2 spa, WellNe5t, open to outside guests, where two beauticians apply the Thémaé range of care products, and a very beautiful indoor swimming pool (the one outside is pretty nice, as well).
One of the farm’s wings, finally, is given over to a living area, less spacious because each room already has its own, the dining room and the kitchen.