I just got back from my weekend trip and I can't wait to share my latest discovery with you. This time we went to the Belgian coast which is only at a stone's throw from Luxembourg. Not only in Luxembourg, the Belgian coast is very popular. But also among all those that are living in larger cities like Brussels, Antwerp or Gent and seeking relief from the hot temperatures in the summer months.
Unfortunately the Belgian coast, with its hot spots being Ostend, Middelkerke and Knokke-Heist, sometimes got a little dodgy reputation, especially among the younger generation. Most visitors only see the old concrete buildings from the 60's and visit the coast during weekends when it's at its fullest. In this post I will show you a different, very stylish aspect of the Belgian coastline.
If you're looking to give your holiday on the Belgian coastline a different touch, then, all you need to do is driving a bit to the west from Ostende. You'll reach Nieuwpoort which is the total opposite of the widespread cliché of a obstructed Belgian seaside.
The charming town is surrounded by large virgin dunes and a lush green country side. The perfect evidence for the new sense of style and awareness for a younger, cooler generation on the Belgian coast is the brand new (July 2017) Ibis Styles Nieuwpoort.
Review of Ibis Styles Nieuwpoort
The Hotel Ibis Styles Nieuwpoort is very easy to access since it is very well connected to public transport. It is also very easy to find in case you're traveling by car.
Ostende-Bruges Airport is located only 17 km away and takes you a 20 min drive. The nearest train station is Ostende, also only at 18 km from the
Ibis Hotel. Find here the best deal for your flight
to Ostend-Bruges Airport.
In case you travel by car, you'll to take the Exit "Nieuwpoort" the motorway E40 and turn right in the direction of "Haven". Follow "Westfront" and at the traffic light, take a right and then again right. Go straight on until you see the sign "Saint-Joris" and follow it. You will see the hotel on your left side after 800 meters. Compare here all the prices for major European car hire companies.
Driving Distance from Brussels: 128 km
Driving Distance from Antwerp: 135 km
Driving Distance from Bruges: 43 km
The property is surrounded by lush green nature. It is a very quiet setting, perfect to unwind and relax.
The city center of Nieuwpoort can easily be reached by a short 20 min walk. To access the beach, at 6 km from the hotel, I recommend going by bike or car. The city of Nieuwpoort is best for grocery shopping, especially the fish markets are renowned all over Belgium.
The Nieuwpoort beach area at the coastline comes with many fashion shops and beach side restaurants to enjoy the freshest seafood.
The hotel building is brand new and has been constructed just for the Ibis Styles! The property only opened in July 2017 and you still have this exciting "new" smell in its corridors.
From the outside the Ibis Styles Nieuwpoort Hotel reminds the holiday cottages of the past century. I particularly liked the wooden structure, bright white in combination with the coral red roof. It is only a foretaste of what the hotel holds for you in matters of elegant design. The Wellness, Swimming Pool and Sauna area is still under construction and will be revealed by end of 2017. The manager showed us around and I am sure the wellness area will become a unique selling point of the Ibis Styles Nieuwpoort. At any point during our stay we would hear construction noise!
The interior design was one of my favorite parts of this Ibis Styles Hotel. I have a weakness for the combination of grey and turquoise color... and guess what was the color combo of the Hotel Lounge? Turquoise and Grey! Embellished by orchids and other plants.
Also the rooms coming with a tasteful contrast between massive wood and sober bright white furniture were pure pleasure. Interior design at its finest!
Facilities and Service
Ibis Styles Nieuwpoort offers a lot for not much money. I was indeed surprised how much added value you get at this 3* hotel.
First I wanted to mention the perfectly working (and fast!) WiFi at no extra cost. For traveling millennials like me this is of a crucial importance...
At the Lounge you can use the PC-Lobby, Fax and copies can be made and there is a refrigerator at your disposal at the reception. I enjoyed myself at the Hospitality Corner where complimentary tea, coffee and mineral water is at disposal of the guests including magazines and local newspapers.
In case you're craving a "little something" in between meals, the Grab & Go area is perfect for you. Here you can buy healthy snacks, bottled drinks and sweet treats.
Especially for the kids, they have a table soccer in the Lounge area and a kids corner with a touch screen game table.
Another unique selling point of the Ibis Styles Nieuwpoort is its private Beach Cabin at Nieuwpoort Bad. For 25€ per day you can relax all day long on the beach side and enjoy the beach toys that are included in the rate. The hotel staff also offers the service of preparing a lunch box which you can take to your very own beach cabin.
The menu card of the hotel lounge includes an extensive list of high quality and tasty snacks. Some are more basic, others more elaborated.
I particularly liked the fact that they included several regional meals like a platter with local cheese, a fish stew "Vispannetje" and of course traditional Flemish beer with unpronounceable names like Karel Cogge Bruin, Hendrik Geeraert Blond or Roste/Blonde Jeanne.
Also the abundant breakfast buffet includes the best the area has to offer like hot Belgian waffles or bio berry coulis. Bio ice-cream from the Nieuwpoort area is being sold at the reception. A lovely sweet treat during hot days.
And on top it's bio!
Wherever I travel I always look for places that commit themselves to the ecological cause and try to make a positive impact on our environment. This was also the case for Ibis Styles Nieuwpoort which belongs to the prestigious Accor Hotels group. Since several years Accor Hotels has committed itself to an ethical work program named Planet 21.
I was truly surprised by the broad extent of the Planet 21 of Accor Hotels for a positive hospitality experience.
Here only a few examples how Ibis Styles Nieuwpoort is making a considerable effort to contribute on a better environment and a sustainable hospitality sector:
- Sheets are washed only every 3 days in case the guest stays longer than 3 days. (Otherwise they are obviously washed after each guest!)
- In-depth garbage separation
- Biodegradable shampoo bottles
- Shampoo and shower gel that hasn't been used entirely by the guest is brought to a shelter for homeless people
- Energy saving lights in the lounge, corridors and rooms
- Eco-friendly cups at the Hospitality Corner in the lounge (they don't want people to use plastic bottles)
- The eco-friendly and sustainable aspects mentioned above
- The regional food
- The elegant interior design that lets you think you're in a hip bar in a city like Barcelona
- The plants and orchids in the lounge
- The private Beach Cabin on the beachfront
- The local staff providing you useful information about the best fish markets and restaurants in town
Prices valid until December 2018
- Single Classic Room: from 109 € per night
- Double Classic Room: from 124 € per night
- Parking: 8 € per day
- Beach Cabin: 25 € per day including beach toys
The Ibis Styles Nieuwpoort offers bike rental at 15€ a day. It's the perfect way to discover the area which is mostly flat. Could there be a more perfect plan than spending the day riding a bike and having lunch in the virgin dunes with view on the Atlantic ocean? I hardly doubt...
On top, the outdoor activity company Outsider Coast offers all kind of sports and (group) outdoor activities in Nieuwpoort area and on the beach. Whether you want to be active in the sea by surfing, at the Nieuwpoort lakes by windsurfing or on land by Go-Kart... there is hardly any outdoor activity that Outsider Coast doesn't offer.
We wanted to try something we've never done before and went for the landsailing (aka landyachting) activity at the Nieuwpoort coastline. It was great fun and fascinating to see what speed you can reach thanks to wind power.
The Ibis Styles Nieuwpoort is a stylish oasis of peace which perfectly suits traveling millennials or families with kids.
The hotel shows a great sense for details and really paid a special attention to build a modern hotel which offers all kind of extras which will make your stay as enjoyable as possible.
The wellness area, still in construction, will be the cherry on top of this dapper place to stay at the Belgian coast. Indeed it will be hard to find a similar hotel in the area which will impress you with its idyllic setting combined with a cool and contemporary interior design. And all this at unbeatable prices.
The location of the Ibis Styles Nieuwpoort couldn't be better since the town of Nieuwpoort is still unaffected by mass tourism. It will be hard to find as virgin and wild dunes as the ones from Nieuwpoort beach.
Additionally the area around Nieuwpoort is emerging as a hot spot on the Belgian coast for outdoor activities and water sports.
You'll still hear a lot about Nieuwpoort in the future, I promise!
Nieuwpoort is famous all over Belgium for its fresh fish. During the mornings in the week, you can see how the fishermen unload the catch of the day.
If you don't only want to watch, but also to taste, then head to one of the numerous fish shops. We repeated several times at "De Panger". Their (HUGE!) fish sandwiches with smoked salmon or young herring were so delicious.
In order to get more information on tourism in Nieuwpoort, Belgium, I recommend the site of Tourism Board of Nieuwpoort.
For outdoor activities in Nieuwpoort and surroundings, I recommend Outsider Coast.
Disclaimer: I have been a guest of the Ibis Styles Nieuwpoort. All my opinions, as always, are my own.