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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!

Enjoy our 84th edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

A hotel with a mission

Good HotelAmterdam is – and will always be – a hot spot. On October 22 the new
W Amsterdam opened it’s doors. Also new in Amsterdam is the pop-up hotel Good Hotel. It was opened this summer and will move to Brazil (yes) in June 2016. The hotel is actually a social project, offering a job to 100 Amsterdam inhabitants who lived on unemployment benefits.

They run the place while completing a hospitality course. This way, they will get the necessary experience to start looking for other work in the industry and build a better future.

What a great idea!; a not-for-profit hotel. The hotel is on top centrally located on the water (you can see the ships passing by while you’re lying in bed) and around the corner of Central Station.

Amsterdam is their first location to open; the beginning of a Good Hotel collection, aiming to do good for people. The two next Good Hotels, soon to open, are located in Guatemala and Brazil. In each of these locations they are training youth and will be working with local NGOs to combat poverty. BBT Online tested out the hotel. Beside the great decoration: warm and natural materials, great price (100 €), we were very impressed with the kindness of all the staff. Other much more exclusive hotels could learn from them.

Good Hotel Good Hotel
Good Hotel Good Hotel
Expos and cocktails in an old office building
Great website for new venues

WATT, located in Ghent, is a temporary venue created by creative bureau DIFT and project developer Re-Vie. They remodelled an old office building to house expo space and a cocktail bar. Pony’s (from the people behind Jigger’s) offer amazing cocktails.

The top floor is now a fancy apartment looking out over the city centre, offering four unique bedrooms furnished by Belgian designers.

You can rent the loft for a year, after that, the whole building will be renovated. It’s € 135 per night.
New Places to Be

New Places to Be is a great online guide for finding the newest and hippest restaurants, bars, shops, clubs and hotels. Not just any venue is shown on this site; they have to have something special: a unique concept, a surprising interior or exceptional service.

New Places to Be doesn’t really give reviews: it’s meant to inform, not to judge.  The entries are very personal, based on the taste of the editorial staff. They showcase both Belgian and European venues.

Very much worth a click if you’re looking for surprising new places for your events.
We publish much more news than what you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
Exciting Thai restaurant in Brussels
Tom Yam Tom Yam

Hip new restaurants and other venues keep popping up these days. It’s getting hard to keep up. This one, TOM YAM, a Thai restaurant in Ixelles, looks stunning from the inside and has a beautiful garden for dining as well. It offers fresh and authentic Thai food from the country’s four main culinary regions.

It comes with a room for 30 guests that can be privatised for events. They can provide catering on location as well.

Tom Yam Tom Yam
Brand new museum and events venue in Brussels

In December, Brussels will open the Art & Design Atomium Museum (ADAM) in the Trade Mart Complex at the Heysel. ADAM is also an interesting new venue for private events with the multi-purpose auditorium available day and night (400 m², seated dining for 220 guests, standing buffet for 350, theatre seating for 300).

For evenings only, the main entrance hall can be added to the Auditorium, increasing the available space to 650 m². The grand opening will take place on 11 December 2015

It’s better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
Great new gastrobar in Antwerp

Divin by Sepih is a trendy wine bar/restaurant ran by Iranian Sepidah Sedaghatnia. The venue opened this April.

Divin is a mixture of three cultures: the industrial atmosphere of NYC bars and restaurants, the charm of Paris and the colours of Iran. Divin is mostly a wine bar, but serves some nice small dishes on the side. It’s also a shop where you can buy wines (obviously), natural products and delicacies like caviar.

The kitchen offers seasonal dishes and daily specials. 3 course lunch menus are just € 28.50.

Divin by Sepih

Hotdogs are … hot!

Luxury hotdogs are the newest trend on the street food market, but there are also whole restaurants dedicated to reinventing this classic.
Frank & Brut in Antwerp for example, is a new hotspot where you can combine a gastronomic hotdog with some champagne.

Hotdogs Hotdogs Hotdogs

Famous Belgian television chef Jeroen Meus also opened his own ‘haute’ dog venue in Leuven, and apply named it Würst. www.wü 

You can get some hotdogs on your own events as well. Antwerp foodie Gilles Draps delivers you culinary hotdogs via

Looking for another classic? Why not go for a good old plate of spaghetti? Bavet in Ghent is the country’s first ‘fast casual spaghetti chain’. Eat pasta like Italian mamas make it in a cosy atmosphere.

Discover Hotel van Cleef in Bruges

This grand mansion in the old centre of Bruges was owned by the Counts and Dukes of the van Cleef dynasty for 700 years.

More recently, it was transformed into a small, luxury boutique hotel, mixing the classical style of the venue with modern elements to create a refreshing fusion of trendy and chic. It’s located right on the canal, with a stunning terrace (one of the best in the city).

Hotel van Cleef offers 16 bedrooms and suites. Even if you’re not looking for a place to spend the night, you can still book a fancy afternoon tea session here.

Hotel van Cleef Hotel van Cleef Hotel van Cleef
BBT Online goes fairtrade (Oxfam, Streetfood world, ..)

The BBT Online team travels a lot. We've seen a good portion of the world. What comes with traveling, is the realisation that we were very lucky to be born in this little country in Western Europe. It gave us a huge head start from birth, an advantage lots of other people didn't get. Because we feel so privileged, we want to give something back.

On Monday 23 November we'll take over a specacular location for just one day. Potemkine bar, a warm industrial looking venue in the Brussels city centre. Inside there's a central bar where you can enjoy an entertaining evening (we got the full support of different MICE suppliers) with your friends and colleagues, in the next room you will be able to buy all the Fair Trade products you need.

The entrance fee is 10 €. Inscription obligatory via Check also our FB event page, click here. If you can help us, in making the evening even more spectaculair don’t hesitate to contact us.

fairtrade fairtrade
It’s better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
Destination Report: Rocco Forte Verdure Resort, Sicilly
Rocco Forte Rocco Forte Rocco Forte

BBT Online & friends spent a couple of days in the beautiful Rocco Forte Verdure Resort on the Southwest coast of Sicilly this summer, located on a lovely domain between the Valley of the Temples in Agregento and the fisherman city of Sciacca.

We had a great stay and came back completely refreshed thanks to the different spa treatments. Check out our experiences and pictures behind this link.

For more info about the resort, click here.

Rocco Forte Rocco Forte
BBT Online and several Belgian hosted buyers took off to Bangkok – Destination Report

Our reporter Jonathan took off to Thailand last month, to attend the 2015 edition of IT&CMA at the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre.

IT&CMA is the oldest and largest of the three trade shows organised by TTG Asia. He was joined by quite a substantial group of Belgian buyers, speakers and exhibitors. Before the show, Jonathan found some time to show us the nicest parts of Bangkok as well.

Find out all about what’s happening on the Asian market behind the link.

IT&CMA 2015 IT&CMA 2015 IT&CMA 2015
Guest column: Internet millennials and the future of MICE tourism

Starting this month, BBT Online will act as a platform for industry professionals wanting to get their opinion out.

Alberto RojasOur first guest columnist is Alberto Rojas, Business Development Manager & Co-owner of España Incoming & Incentives – one of Spain’s leading DMCs.

Alberto has 17 years of experience in the MICE industry. He is also a keynote speaker and teaches at the university. Today he will talk about the new generation of internet savvy millennials, what they will mean to the future of our industry and how you can get them to do business with you.

Very interesting read behind the link.

Check out BBT Online’s new archives

We published a lot of Take5 newsletters and beautiful destination reports over the course of the last 14 archivesyears. Our archive is so vast it might be hard to find one of our older publications.

That’s why we restyled our website and put our newsletters and reports in a nice overview with pictures and a short summary.

Reading through our archive, you’ll see we were often far ahead of the crowd. A simple example: We’ve published a piece on Sergio Herman’s The Jane in April 2013 long time before it opened (it was going to be called La Chapelle back then). Last month it was named the world’s most beautiful restaurant.
You can take a look at all previous destination reports here: and at all Take5 newsletters here:

BBT Online’s Bucket list
Annemie De Rooy Annemie De Rooy Annemie De Rooy

Every month we ask two BBT Online Club 100 members to share their bucket list.

What are the five things they desperately want to do or achieve before they seize to be, push up the daisies, kick the bucket or go to meet their maker? In short: what would they definitely want to do before they die?

This month, we asked incentive house Mind and Motion’s Annemie De Rooy (45) & Tine Algoet (35). Click on their names to see their answers.

Tine Algoet Tine Algoet Tine Algoet
Real Short !!

10 November, Diamant Conference and Business Centre, Brussels: SITE Meet & Lunch. Theme of this edition is ‘Enchant your team!’ Speaker will be Sabine Vandebroek. Register by mailing
20 November, Martin’s Brussels EU: MPI Belgium’s Meetings Go Green Workshop. This interesting workshop briefs you on circular economy and shows you how you can make use of eco-designed materials at your events. More info here.
27 November, Ghent: MeetinGent & East Flanders discovery day. Visit several interesting venues right outside the Ghent city centre. You will pass through Vooruit, the Eskimofabriek, Aparthotel Castelnou, ICC and Capitole. Register here. The whole day is free of charge.
30 November, Hilton Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam: MICE & Business Travel Event. Discover several MICE destinations, incentive concepts and extraordinary locations in one day, combined with an interesting speaker and lots of opportunities to network. Click here to register.
30 November, The Hotel, Brussels: Belgian Designers Christmas Trees Gala Dinner. Dinner in the Hotel, followed by a charity auction for the BIG Against Breast Cancer Foundation.
1-6 December, Dominican Republic: MPI Belgium Famtrip. Click here for the programme and to apply.
11 December, Hilton Brussels Grand Place: BATM Social Networking Lunch. The award for the Travel Professional of the Year will be handed out during lunch.
December 15. Ready to experience the best of Slovenia? They organise a workshop for the Belgian meeting & incentive planner at Chyl café in Brussels. More info:
Join BBT Online on Monday, 11 January 2016 for the 8th edition of our B2B MICE Speed-date workshop at the new Pentahotel Brussels City Centre!
Consult BBT Online's MICE agenda, and don't miss any event.

Belgium is very hot these days in the event sector. Our Red Devils just took first place on the FIFA ranking, Stromae is conquering the USA, The Jane in Antwerp was chosen as the most beautiful restaurant in the world, Tomorrowland is considered the best festival and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike were just named the world’s best DJs. So, how are things going in Holland?
Carlson Wagonlit Travel published it’s 2016 Meetings & Events Forecast, offering a detailed overview of what will happen to our industry and its different markets in the near future. Very interesting read, click here.
Sunsail, Europe’s largest supplier of sail- and water sports holidays, increases its fleet with more than 40 new ships. They will sail to or around 20 destinations, including the Virgin Islands, Belize, Thailand, St. Maarten, the Seychelles, Greece and Croatia.
Frequent traveller? Hate listening to other people’s travel stories? Want to avoid fellow countrymen while abroad? Sorry to break it to you, but you’re a travel snob. Want to find out what else makes you one? Read this interesting blog post by Rebecca Bellan.
Groeten uit Spanje (‘Greetings from Spain’) is a great blog made by Ilse Vanaken. On it, she lists all the top venues and restaurants in eight Spanish cities. She tested all of them herself.
Bruges now has its very own app, aimed at shopaholics. Shops are put into categories, making it easier to find your taste. The app points out your route as well. It can be downloaded for free in the Apple store or on Google Play.
The Apple Watch just came out, but it looks like Apple is focused on developing ever smaller devices that can actually be worn on your index finger. Check it out here.
BBT Online is a big fan of Petite Passport. They always seem to find the trendiest places to eat, sleep and shop. Six major cities are available already – great stuff for your next trip. And because they’re online, all their guides are kept up to date.

Dutch Hotel Chain Van der Valk will open a venue in Antwerp – now the Scandic – right along the Ring Road near the exit to Borgerhout, just a few minutes by car from the centre. Van der Valk has plans to open two more Belgian venues, in Arlon and Liège, in the years to come.
Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre added 10 extra meeting rooms, right next to the venue, named Meeting Centre 2. It offers special training packages as well.
Swissôtel Amsterdam adapted all its rooms to qualify for the Quiet room label. It is now the first hotel with rooms in class I. Check out for more quiet hotel rooms.
Located in the centre of Amsterdam, you’ll find Stout & Co: a trendy and beautifully designed hotel combining the spacious feeling of a luxury suite, the comfort of a hotel and the small scale of a b&b.

Antwerp Airport will invest in its infrastructure to accommodate the vast increase in travellers. During the first 9 months of 2015, 158.550 people took off from Antwerp’s small airport, which is a staggering 80% increase compared to last year. Larger conveyer belts, more lounging space and greener vehicles are some of the planned improvements.

Michèle Nomes left JADA events and started her own Event Agency called Cloud 9 Events on 1 October, a full service agency designing and coordinating exclusive and tailor-made business events.
Didier Schmidt and Charotte Waegebaert now work for the Happy Flights team, B2B specialist in travel compensation claims focused on flight delays and cancellations. 
Our friend Hugo Slimbrouck (Ovation Global DMC) received the award for Stickiest Guru’ at the annual IT&CMA Sticky Awards in Bangkok.
A small request to everybody in (and outside) the event sector smile. A simple demand: please write my name right. Ok, it’s not the simplest of names. But still, on average there are 3 (!) mistakes in total. And no, this doesn’t happen just occasionally, it happens 95% of the time in fact. I’m not exaggerating. For me, it’s a form of respect to write somebody’s name correctly. Especially if you pay a 5-star bill. Or when you want me to publish something about your new restaurant, hotel or destination. I’m talking about people who do this in Belgium, the Netherlands, etc. Am I really asking too much? It's just copy and paste after all. For your info: it’s Karin de Graauw. Karin with an 'i', 'de' with a lower case d. Not because I'm noble, but because I’m Dutch. We Dutchies all have a lower case 'd' on our passport. After that, it’s just two ‘a’s, a ‘u’ and a ‘w’, thank you. A lot of vowels, I agree, but don’t blame me, I didn’t pick the name. Besides, it could have been much worse if I was Russian or Thai for example.

Karin de Graauw - publisher BBT Online


Karin de Graauw – Editor-in-chief BBT Online
Rue de l'Aqueduc 149 – 1050 Brussels – Belgium
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