Last year, during a long weekend in Namur, I discovered the city’s most enchanting accommodation. Villa Balat is a unique bed & breakfast that dates back to 1906. It’s easily one of Namur’s most impressive buildings, standing out alongside the riverbank. More than an accommodation, Villa Balat is an architectural gem, a true cultural heritage.

vintage interior at villa balat namur

First of all, let’s quickly mention the intriguing history of Villa Balat! The most obvious reference is Alphonse Balat, the famous Belgian architect who was the mastermind behind many of King Leopold’s projects. However, he died 11 years before this house was erected. It was his nieces Adolphine and Joséphine Balat who commissioned this charming building. Drawing inspiration from Art Nouveau but not really falling into that architectural style, it’s a unique edifice.

Perfectly situated next to the newly built footbridge, it’s impossible to miss Villa Balat. The imposing facade immediately catches your eye. In essence, you’re a short walk away from the center of Namur while enjoying a beautiful view of it!

Since our stay happened a week before the holidays, this meant that Villa Balat was in its Christmas attire. And let me tell you, Christmas really suits this place! The dining room and the adjoining reception room looked like something out of a fairytale. I first walked into the hotel as dusk fell and immediately fell in love with it. With fairy lights all around, I thought it looked so romantic and idyllic.

The owners prefer to call Villa Balat a guesthouse rather than a hotel. And this is visible in the atmosphere and the way they handle things. It’s obvious they have so much love for this historical place and want to pass it on. We immediately felt at home here because of that. Muriel, who is one of the owners, answered all of our questions about her unique B&B. She even gave us suggestions on what to do or where to eat in Namur. As a matter of fact, Muriel restored the frescoes on the ceiling herself!

Rooms at Villa Balat

Quality over quantity, there are only three rooms available at Villa Balat. But what dreamy rooms those are! Two of them bear the names of Belgian painters, Anna Boch and Félicien Rops. The third one is a suite named after Alphonse Balat himself. We spent the night inside the Félicien Rops room and I loved it for so many different reasons. To start off, the clawfoot tub is an absolute dream. Even more so because a canopy encircles it, making you feel like you’ve traveled back in time. Even though it was a bit hurried, that was one of my favorite baths ever because of the luxurious setting!

cozy bed in felicien rops room villa balat namur

Furthermore, this room offers a wonderful view of Namur. Whether at night or early in the morning as fog lingers over the river, the view is wonderful. Especially from the corner of the room, which is reminiscent of a turret. It’s a lovely room full of vintage furniture and decorated in soft colors.

balcony view of namur from villa balat

Even more magnificent is the Alphonse Balat suite. Before leaving, we got a glimpse of the pretty interior and the genuine Art Nouveau furniture by Gustave Serrurier-Bovy. It’s the most luxurious room available and looks like it. After the cozy interior, you step outside into something splendid. The winter garden must be the most ravishing part of the entire building. You only get access to it if you book this suite so keep that in mind!

Local and homemade breakfast

One of the most impressive spaces, it’s hard to beat the breakfast room at Villa Balat. All decorated for Christmas, it looked even more magical. Breakfast is served between 8 and 10 AM and consists of delicious local products. In short, there’s something for everyone, and the owners are there to make sure you have whatever you might need.

local breakfast at villa balat namur

Aside from this astounding room, you’ll find a big curtain hiding a small library and a lovely garden in the back. It would be marvelous to see the latter one in full bloom during the warmer months. Every corner of Villa Balat is remarkable and breathes history.

Before leaving, we were already picturing returning here on our own. Slow mornings with such a view and no work ahead of us sounded like the most appealing idea. That being said, Villa Balat is effortlessly gorgeous and so inspiring that I would find it hard not to take at least a few photos.

beautiful windows at villa balat namur

All in all, Villa Balat is one of the most unique hotels in Namur. This exquisite historical hotel will transport you back in time. It’s a unique chance to get up and close to what is basically cultural heritage. Honestly, it feels like a privilege to spend a night in this guesthouse. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable stay in Namur, look no further from Villa Balat!

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