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Appearing in your inbox every other week, TAKE5 gives you an update on the latest Meetings, Incentives and Business Travel related news. It contains short and to the point information on venues, people, happenings, lifestyle and general news that cannot wait to be told! BBT Online guarantees you 15 new ideas in just 3 minutes. Enjoy our 24th edition.

Kempinski goes classic
New Musical Dinnershow

The beautifully restored chapel of the Kempinski Dukes Hotel in Bruges is the perfect venue for classical concerts. On Friday May 28 cellist France Springuel will perfom Bach, June 25 it is the turn of two harpists who will bring works by Debussy.

Tickets are 24 euro and include the concert and the drink after the concert in the presence of the artists, definitely the perfect way to start a weekend in Bruges in one of the hotels’ magnificent rooms.

Tel +32 (0)50 44.78.88

The new casino has finally arrived and opened its doors in Brussels... Not only is there the casino but Viage also offers a brasserie & bar and some meeting & event rooms.

Every Thursday night Viage also presents the ‘Viage Musical Dinnershow’. During a sparkling champagne dinner guests are regaled with song & dance by first class artists who bring a compilation of the music of the best musicals such as Evita, Cats, Notre-Dame de Paris or Phantom of the Opera.
A 3-course menu + spectacle: 125 €

Barsey Beach in Brussels
Divas Brussels at Midi Station
Midi Station

Friday May 21st is the official opening of the Barsey Beach in Brussels. The great garden has been magically transformed into a white sand beach and invites to great BBQ’s and other summer festivities!

Beach cabins, loungers, parasols, Brussels now has its beach in its very heart and of course executed with the flair and originality we have come to know at the Barsey! The opening party is aimed at the Eurocrats, an ideal time to meet new, international friends!

Reserve now for this opening event on
Tel: +32 (0)2 649 98 00


Every first Thursday of the Month, Midi Station, one of the most trendy places in Brussels, organises a new concept, ‘Divas Brussels’. Glamour, mystery, a sprinkle of tragedy ... A night for true divas!

Book a table for at least 6 girls and maybe win a trip to Tel Aviv for two persons (3 days, 2 nights, flights and hotel included) offered by JetExpress Travel. Program: 8 pm: Welcoming free glass of champagne Moet & Chandon. Special 3-course 'all in' menu for 45€ (including 1/2 btl of wine, water, softs, coffee/tea). Music by DJ Sweatshop & Lady Jane.
Dress Code: be as glam as you can.


A new contemporary look at the European Capital: Designer Brussels

Brussels’ business travel community and trade press gathered in the city’s The Dominican, May the 6th, for the official launch of Designer Brussels.

Designer Brussels is an incentive travel initiative that brings together Brussels' city-centre boutique chic hotels - the be Manos, The Dominican, Hotel BLOOM! and the Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo - alongside the DMC Ovation.

Brussels is an ideal destination for motivational travel. Designer Brussels seeks to highlight “contemporary” Brussels and to avoid the usual tourist clichés of Belgian chocolate and beer. By offering exclusive boutique accommodation and high-end incentive programmes centred around themed activities and creative events, Designer Brussels focuses on art, architecture, fashion, music and the theatre.


Be Manos Hotel Bloom
The Dominican Hotel Amigo
Cook & Book, still evolving!
Antwerp Underground
Cook & Book

Under the streets of Antwerp centuries of history lay hidden but not forgotten. Since the Middle Ages Antwerp has developed a network of sewers that has been used for over 1000 years to transport water.

antwerpEven today ‘the Ruien’ are an important part of the connections between the different parts of the city. It is now possible to discover this underground world with rubber boots and protective clothing but don’t worry, there’s no longer any water streaming through the canals. Discover this ‘netherworld’ with an experienced guide from 5 to 7.30 pm and follow up with a delicious meal in one of the many trendy restaurants in the old centre of Antwerp.

For groups of minimum 20 persons. www.cityevents.be

B&B De Grote Kievit

The Grote Kievit is an early 19th century farm with a rich history (King Leopold I, Baron Coppens, the First World War…) and is in Geel, boarding Kasterlee and Mol, 50 km east of Antwerp.

The professional renovation by the present owners, Marc van den Boorn and Jan Goossens, interior designer and landscaper, gave the buildings and the B&B a very modern feeling respecting the old features. The lovely landscaped garden is very inviting. There are chickens, sheep and the cow Louise.



At once a bookstore, a restaurant, and a shop, Cook & Book (Brussels) offers a fresh approach to books, mingling the cultural and the convivial...1.500 m² to feel the trends, 1.500 reasons to pay a visit and get cozy...

In combination with its big neighbour Wolubilis, Cook & Book is an original venue for a cocktail or dinner event, surrounded by original items, and books, books, books…. Your guests can wander from area featuring cooking books to another where favoritetravel or gardens are the main topic and of course not to forget an excellent English section totally decorated as an English club….

The Cook & Book team are also planning a new project of 800 m² near the Midi Station planned to open in October of this year. Watch this space!


Cook & Book

Emotions & Experiences: Max



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Advertisement Feature
Sleeping on the Water

The B28 is an old sailing barge from 1902, it is based on the Herengracht 28, one of the most beautiful and quiet places in Amsterdam. It is situated 10 minutes away from Central Station and a few steps from the Jordaan area with all the small shops and markets.

B28 has 1 double bed and 2 single beds besides, separate bathroom/toilet, complete equipped kitchen, Nespresso and tea available, apple computer, WiFi, iPod dock, full HD television and 2 bicycles. Breakfast can be taken in several nearby establishments. When the weather is fine you can also rent the small rescue boat with captain Edwin for a trip through the city.


B28 B28
B28 B28
For Art Deco lovers: London’s newest hotel opening

2010 marks the opening of The Town Hall Hotel & Apartments in the former Bethnal Green Town Hall in East London. Just 2 minutes from the Bethnal Green tube station, with ideal connections to West London and the city’s financial district, the beautifully restored establishment elegantly incorporates contemporary interior restructuring into the elegant period property.

The refined art deco entrance hall’s sweeping marble staircase and glass domed ceiling whisk guests into the enthralling experience that The Town Hall so gracefully translates. The 98 guestrooms and apartments are individually furnished and equipped with the latest in advanced luxury technology.

The establishment also offers ample conference space, such as its unique Council Chamber that can seat up to 70 people, or the 220sqm contemporary De Montfort Suite, which comfortably accommodates an exceptional private dining experience for 20.


Town Hall

Siesta in Paris
The switch-off call

The trendy hotel Murano in the Marais area in Paris has re-introduced the excellent idea of ‘Siesta’. For 90 euro you can have a two-course meal and a room for an hour to…relax. And afterwards there is still coffee, tea or fresh orange juice to wake up properly!


Ferrari or Lamborghini today..?

The ultimate dream of many man and woman is to drive the top dream machine: a Ferrari or a Lamborghini. Why not give yourself this great experience as a gift: a couple of hours driving a Ferrari Testarossa or 328 GTS or a Lamborghini Diablo VT!

Or just wow your clients with a test-drive in one of the dream machines…success guaranteed.



Business travelers can ‘earn‘ up to 480 hours of relaxation time by using the brand new service introduced by Crowne Plaza: the Switch off call at
7 pm

Participating hotels in Europe, Middle East and Africa have introduced the service after research showed that nearly a quarter of the interviewed business people have a hard time switching off all electronic gizmo’s and relaxing before going to sleep. Nearly 21% admits to using work related technology before going to bed and 1/3rd admits that this does not allow them to go to bed relaxed.

These are the reasons why the hotel has created the switch off at 7pm (the research showed that this was deemed the best time). Guest who register for the switch off service get a call at 7 pm giving them ample time to stow away work, relax have dinner and enjoy a good night’s sleep afterwards.

Romantic and completely magical: The Serai in Rajasthan

It’s India first luxury camp, and it looks fabulous. Posh camping couldn’t get any better. The Serai is a camp of 21 tents in the Great Thar Desert.  Decadent tents, huge beds, huge panoramas. Each of the six Luxury Tented Suites has a private swimming pool. At night your path to bed is lit by hundreds of torches and candles.  



Reina – Istanbul, bar – restaurant: an exiting night out

Imagine the lights of the Bosporus, the bridge connecting East & West and then imagine the best place from which to admire the view, that’s where you’ll find Reina, the restaurant-bar which not only brings a great view and delicious food to the table, but is also because of its size, ideal for groups. We love the place!

A sure winner for an exciting night out and who knows, you may just run into an international celebrity!


BHA looks at the volcano ash cloud consequences

Following the closing of the European skies between April 15 and 21, the Brussels Hotel Association whose members are worth 12.000 jobs and have 14.500 rooms in Brussels, wish to attract attention to the grueling financial losses suffered by its members.

BHA wishes to highlight following points:

1. Because of the many cancellations they suffered revenue losses between -12% and -35% for the whole period.
2. Some hotels which were originally fully booked saw their occupancy decrease by as much as 35%.
3. The slow recovery of the airline sector and the damages suffered have a series of negative consequences, the impact of which is difficult to evaluate.

Figures speak louder than words: the 22,66% cancellations represent a revenue loss of €5.605.384 -, a loss to which one has to add the loss in revenue from breakfast lunch and dinner, good for an additional 20% of the afore mentioned sum or: € 1.121.077. The total revenue loss can therefore be put at: €6.726.461….that’s a lot of money which will be nigh impossible to recoup in the near future…new president Jacques Vitu and his team have no easy job ahead of them.


Real Short !!

On May 22-23 Zeeland, Holland is the venue for a large event involving planes and old-timers called Wings & Wheels. www.wingsandwheels.nl
27-30 May, boat lovers should visit Ostend for the special event ‘Privateers of Ostend’, the most authentic maritime event. www.oostendevooranker.be
Tampere, Finland, will be the hosting city of the 24th ECM (European Cities Marketing) Summer School from 28th August to 1st September 2010. For more info, write to summerschool@vereint.com

Bookings for resorts in Phuket have sunk to just 15 percent for June as the tourist industry across Thailand suffers the fall-out of the violent protests in Bangkok. The global coverage of the street battles has sent the country’s tourism industry into freefall, despite the destination remaining largely peaceful and few resorts outside the capital affected.
Volcanic ash crisis: frequently asked questions. Click here.
Costa Cruises is the first operator in the world to market regular cruises in the Gulf Region, and is opening a representative office in Dubai with a brief to develop the business in Middle Eastern countries.  Costa’s ships operating out of Dubai will be offering dedicated facilities for Arab customers.
The Union of Foreign Tourism offices (Belgium) has updated its website, the result can be admired on www.tourist-offices.be
BCD Travel business moved its HQ from Mechelen to Antwerp as of May 3rd.  www.bcdtravel.be
Being pampered with champagne and excellent culinary stops makes the idea of a 3 hour walk palatable! www.escapades-en-champagne.com
The most glamorous store, "Harrods" sold to the Qatari Royal Family as the owner, Mohammed Al Fayed juggles with other issues.
Prepare for summer with the Aspria Personal Summer Coach Programme. www.aspriaclub.be/en
BBT Online is the media sponsor of BATM (The Belgian Association of Corporate Travel Management). Click here to read the first newsletter by the Voice of BATM.

Hotel Harmony in Ghent, Ghent Marriott Hotel and Grand Hotel Casselbergh in Bruges have obtained the 4 hammer Congress & Seminar classification.
IHG group announces it wants to support the European economy by creating 15.000 new jobs in the coming 3 years!
Namibia announces the construction of a new Hilton hotel in its capital Windhoek. The 154 room property is due to open second half of 2010 and will be the first 5-star hotel of the country.
June 9th is the arrival date of the new ‘Hollandse Maatjes’; Pre-Text & Events introduces its “Beste Maatjes Party” concept in Belgium. www.pretext.be
“One52” is the new restaurant by Marc Navet situated at 152, rue François Gay at Woluwe-St-Pierre (Brussels). www.one52.be
A weekend away for music lovers. Hampshire Hotels meets Muscial! 11 & 12th of June. Click here for more info.

United Airlines' mother company will purchase Continental Airlines for 3,2 billion dollar thus creating the largest airline company in the world.
Qatar Airways now has a direct Paris to Tokyo flight five times per week.
Etihad offers chauffeur service in major airports for Diamond First & Pearl Business Class passengers.
The European Commission has announced that the ban on fluids and gels on airplanes will disappear by April 2013 latest.
Continental Airlines confirms that because of a continued decline in the number of customers making reservations by phone it is considering closing its Brussels Reservations Center in order to reduce its costs and consolidate its European call center services in the United States.
British Airways is in court seeking an injunction to stop the latest strikes by its cabin staff.
Ryanair has been condemned by an Italian court to pay a fine of 3 million euro for a total of 178 infractions for not helping its passengers during the volcanic ash crisis.

Matthias Meere has left Jet Airways in Brussels to rejoin Aviareps as Account Manager and has been replaced by Sanna Naqvi.
Dutchman Geert Boven was named Managing Director of Amadeus Gulf, a joint venture of Etihad Airways and Amadeus International.
Carine Demesmaeker is the new Sales & Marketing Manager at Aquatopia, Antwerp.
Xavier Droin was announced as General Manager Accor Hospitality Belgium & Luxemburg.
Hiran Cooray, Managing Director of Jetwing Hotels, is the new Chairman of PATA.

Thank you for the great and informative newsletter!
Tamara Weide, Sales Manager Meetings & Incentives, Maastricht Congres Bureau

Laughing is good for you! In every take5 edition we publish a small funny video clip from YouTube. Get your regular dose of fun vitamins by clicking here.


Karin de Graauw – Editor BBT Online
Rue Van Eyckstraat 29 – 1050 Brussels – Belgium