PILLOWS GRAND HOTEL REYLOF IN GHENT;
GRANDEUR WITH A CAPITAL ‘G’
Last year, VITA DI LUSSO got to know Pillows Hotels. Perhaps you remember the
‘Genius Edition’ of Masters of LXRY in December, where Pillows Hotels
was one of the partners of the ‘House of Genius’ and where I organized
my Art & Interior Event? Whilst making preparations for that event, some nice
ideas arised, such as an exclusive visit to the Pillows Grand Hotel Reylof in Ghent.
Not only a great experience for VITA DI LUSSO, but also for you!
Just a stone’s throw from the historic center of Ghent, there is this former mansion in Louis XIV style. Once the home of Baron Olivier de Reylof and now a très chic base for a lovely city trip.
My 3-day indulgence starts at the imposing entrance, where I am welcomed by the concierge, who ensures that my car gets a nice spot in the garage and that my suitcase is taken to my suite. Perfect.
The former carriage passage at the entrance, which leads to the courtyard as well as to the central hall, is also impressive. And hurray; no ordinary check-in, but a personal welcoming with drinks and bites in the beautifully decorated ‘Living’, where in a bygone age the Baron wrote his poems. Such a stylish income clearly sets the tone!
Personal service is the key word
In The Living, where historical elements go hand in hand with a contemporary, cosmopolitan interior, I have a meeting with Jaap Blijleven, Director of Sales & Marketing. I am curious to see who Pillows Grand Hotel Reylof is meant for, and what feeling you take home after a stay. Jaap indicates that the hotel is visited by both local and international guests, who all expect a totally carefree stay in a homely setting with a touch of luxury. “We strive for a high-quality, personal service. In concrete terms, this means a custom-made service in the purest form. From the favorite oysters for an American movie star to an impulsive gin-master class for a group of friends from Ghent. All our employees have a passion for hospitality and services. That is our signature and one of the main reasons that guests are happy to come back to us.”
Coming home in the Pillows suite
After this inspiring conversation I am guided to one of Pillows suites via the stunning library. When the door of my suite is opened, I see that my suitcase is already in the walk in closet and there is a nice jazzy sound in the background. I immediately feel at home. The suite can best be described as a compact, yet very luxurious 2-person apartment. At about 45 square meters there is an attractively furnished living room with pantry, dining and lounge. Also a separate bedroom, a spacious bathroom and a separate dressing room. Outside there is a balcony with seating, where you overlook the courtyard.
I do not have much time to enjoy this though. First work, then some freshen up in the bathroom and prepare myself for the evening program: a 6-course dinner in LOF Restaurant.
The culinary wonders of LOF Restaurant
In LOF Restaurant, the six-person kitchen brigade, led by chef Jasper Maatman, presents a culinary masterpiece to the gastro-bar concept of Dutch star chef Ron Blaauw. A small selection from the pure creations (which, incidentally, were supplemented with delicious, fitting wines): Black Pearl caviar from sturgeon from the Chinese sea, served on Lebanese bread, a Gravelax with salmon and garnish of maggi plant, a Foie Gras with cress, Red Mul with a topping of very finely chopped, crispy potatoes, a Beef Wellington rolled in a ham with mushroom melange and a cheese plate with local heritage.
As icing on the cake, chef Jasper himself enters the restaurant and asks me if I liked it. When he takes a seat next to me, I feel his drive and ambition when he talks about the passion he is having for cooking for guests at Pillows Grand Hotel Reylof. What a lovely evening!
Ghent through the eyes of VITA DI LUSSO
The next day, I can’t wait to start my city tour, for which I selected a number of hotspots. First, I bring a visit to the Design Museum, where I enjoy the stunning exhibition Fibre Fixed. Highly recommended! After I pass the famous Frites Atelier of top chef Sergio Herman, I step into the exclusive Café Costume, where exclusive men’s costumes are made. Via the authentic chocolate store Van Hoorebeke, an established value for Ghent, I walk further to the fashion house Natan, where the fabulously decorated shop windows invite you to enter and just buy a piece.
After these highlights, I go on adoring the interior pieces at Bolia, which is located in a former wool weaver’s chapel. What a great décor for design! Finally, I have lunch at the Café Theatre, where the stately buildings of the Royal Opera are the setting for the lively restaurant.
Relaxing moments at Spa Reylof
After this wonderful tour of architecture, interior design, fashion, art and gastronomy, I return to the hotel for a well-deserved relaxation moment in the Spa Reylof & Fitness. This sports- and wellness area is situated in the former coach house, which used to accommodate three carriages. The carriage gates have been replaced by semicircular, glass doors through which you look out onto the lush courtyard garden.
One of the beauticians shows me the brand new spaces of the monumental building. Special is the intimate duo space, which is located under the truss roof of the old building. After the tour, I take a dip in the Finnish sauna and then immerse myself in the swimming pool, where I turn on the jet stream for a good workout in the water. In other words: a physical preparation for dinner ….
Light diner in the Domestic Kitchen
Since I want to dine a little lighter this evening and also look forward to the interior of the Domestic Kitchen, I take the beautiful classic spiral staircase to the culinary heart of The Living. I am received by Jeffrey, who recognizes me from the previous day and who is curious how I experience the Pillows Grand Hotel Reylof so far. We get further into conversation and in between (which means between the delicious escargots with mushroom mélange and the cauliflower with truffle béchamel) he briefly tells me his life story. It is a beautiful story and it characterizes the DNA of the people who work at Pillows Grand Hotel Reylof. It is all about passion for the profession, drive, perseverance, adding personal value and offering visitors a carefree and pleasant stay.