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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 86th edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

Best mountain restaurants

With the skiing season upon us, why not show you a couple of the best mountain restaurants to fill your stomach in between two sessions?
Chez Vrony, in Zermatt, Switzerland for example, offers incredible views of the Matterhorn as well as a lovely interior, a huge terrace and excellent food.
Cloud Nine in Aspen, Colorado is a former ski patrol hut offering great views as well. If you ever wanted to eat elk stroganoff, this is the place to get it.
Hospiz Alm in St. Anton, Austria offers blazing open fires, a traditionally dressed staff, lots of great Austrian specialities and one of the best wine cellars in the country.

mountain restaurants mountain restaurants mountain restaurants
Take a stroll on the North Pole
Norwegian adventures and events

Ever wanted to visit the Polar Circle but not very familiar with the neighbourhood? Don’t despair, because now you can join Dixie Dansercoer on his Polar Experience.
He’s probably been to the Poles more than he’s been at home with his wife, so we guess he knows what’s up.

On the programme for 2016 are a 13 day mini-expedition in Iceland, a mini-expedition in Spitsbergen and a 14-day exploration trip on Queen Maud Land.

North Pole

The island of Manshausen, in the North of Norway, is a very special place. In its heyday it was an important harbour and trading post, established in the 17th century. Fish is still important today, but now you can also kayak, dive, cycle, climb and hike on and around the island.

Several nice looking huts and sea cabins are available for rent here, as well as a conference room able to accommodate 30 people. Worth a look if you want your meeting to be on a truly exclusive spot.

We publish much more news than what you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
May the force be with… Ireland?
Must take travel pictures
Michael island

The rough natural beauty of the remote Skellig Michael Island on the Irish West Coast served as the scenery for the exciting climax of the latest movie in the Star Wars franchise. The scenes were shot in September 2014.

Skellig Michael was declared UNESCO World Heritage, and rightly so. The only inhabitants these days are birds, but 1.000 years ago monks lived here.

AgendaTheir stone huts were recently restored and are open to the public from May to September. The island is only accessible by boat.
Travel pictures

You’ve all seen countless forced perspective pictures of people leaning against the Tower of Pisa or holding their finger up to the Eifel Tower. Boring, isn’t it?

Click this link to look at 44 more original ones. Might give you some new inspiration on you next trip!

Travel pictures


Skating in the house of God
Asturias Klooster church

Do you like churches but do you think the average mass is a bit too boring for the likes of you? Why not visit this incredibly restyled church in Asturias, Spain instead?

Five years ago it stood empty, abandoned and crumbling, then a local bought the building and turned it into a flashy, cool skateboard heaven. Check it out here.
Abandoned religious buildings are being turned into all sorts of venues in the last few years. Check out this old cloister in Noordwijk ( or this bookstore in Maastricht:

Klooster Bookstore Dominican
It’s better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
Plein Publiek in Antwerp
Girls just wanna have a beer
Plein Publiek

The old Fierens blocks in the Antwerp city centre were destined to be demolished but were saved at the very last moment. This former social housing complex will soon be renovated and reopened.

In the meantime they became temporary home of Plein Publiek: a melting pot of entertainment, art and fine dining.

A 300m² large greenhouse was put in between the buildings, creating a kind of urban jungle: a creative oasis in the middle of the city.
Girls beer

Meet in Mechelen launched the project ‘Beer in women’s hands’. For those who didn’t know: beer isn’t strictly a men’s affair. Women played a vital role in Mechelen’s history as a beer brewing city.

You’ll find out all about during a beer workshop with food pairing. On this teambuilding session, they will convince women to appreciate beer (well, if needed, most girls we know appreciate a good beer once in a while).

Of course men can also join in – preferably as responsible drivers.
Organising events in Brussels is actually cheap

events in BrusselsBBT Online was invited to Visit Brussels’ BMEE – Brussels Meeting & Event Experience from 16 to 18 December. This event brings together international MICE organisers for a three day programme, including a planners meet suppliers workshop, the 2 new venues Adam and Train World, a chocolate workshop, hotel site inspections and overnight stays in the Crown Plaza Brussels.
A very interesting presentation was given by Thierry van Eyll. Because we’re from Brussels, we were aware of most of the facts already, but this graph proved very peculiar. Look at how much the average cost of organising a 3-day meeting for 100 delegates differs from city to city.

Brussels is doing quite well, but London is almost 3 times more expensive. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

ligne NH Meetings

Amusement in Waterloo
Because we’re happy!

L’Amusoir is a restaurant & bar in Waterloo. It’s been there for 40 years and became one of the most renowned dining venues in the area.

Recently they added an event venue adjacent to the restaurant. In a beautiful interior full of wood and natural materials, you can hold all sorts of events in a luxurious and authentic atmosphere.


Happy’s is a spacious restaurant in Wavre with room for around 250 guests. It also offers an acoustically insulated meeting room that can seat up to 65 people for a meeting and 40 for a seated dinner.

It can be completely separated from the main venue. The restaurant can be booked and privatised for a number of different events.
BBT Online’s 9th B2B Workshop – save-the-date

For our 9th Speed-Date Workshop, we want to revisit Antwerp. The Badboot – where we did one of our last Antwerp events – is hiding somewhere on the bottom of the docks these days, but we’ve found a fantastic replacement. We’ll privatise Strantwerpen.

Strantwerpen Strantwerpen Strantwerpen
Strantwerpen Strantwerpen

Located on the left bank of the Scheldt River, Strantwerpen is one of the country’s hippest city beaches. Looking out over the city centre, it’s the perfect venue for a nice dinner, a cocktail party or a variety of events.

The workshop will take places on Tuesday(!!), 5 July, so save the date! Suppliers who want to book a table can contact us at The next day we’ll organise again a lunch for the associations and corporates in Brussels (venue tba).

Our 10th workshop will take place in beautiful Ibiza, somewhere in September (exact date tba).

Loft Loft Loft

Pictures of the 8th B2B workshop can be found on our FB. See the different sets, click here.
At midday we welcomed several corporate & association planners at the very impressive Loft7, 2-star Michelin. In the evening we organized a workshop for the event & incentive agents at the Pentahotel Brussels city centre with the theme ‘Great Gatsby’. It was very nice to see so many people who took the effort to be dressed up in the style of the roaring 20's! Thanks guys!

B2B workshop B2B workshop B2B workshop
B2B workshop B2B workshop B2B workshop
We publish much more news than what you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
Honouring Marc Lagrange

Belgium lost one of its best photographers recently. Antwerp based Marc Lagrange – most known for his artful nude photographylost his life in a tragic golf cart accident while on a short family holiday on Tenerife. He was just 57 years old.

Lagrange started out as a fashion photographer, but developed a very recognisable personal style as he got older. His book Diamonds and Pearls, published in 2013, meant his major breakthrough as an art photographer. It was published in more than 80 countries. If you want to find out more about his work, check out his website.

Marc Lagrange Marc Lagrange Marc Lagrange
BBT Online puts you in the picture – behind the scenes
MICE people MICE people MICE people

You surely remember our series of quotes with different MICE personalities on our FB page which received a lot of likes. Herewith a small 'blooper reel'. In fact we told the persons in the first place that they were not for publication, and that gave quite a spontaneous effect. See here what a happy crowd MICE people are.

MICE people MICE people MICE people
Brussels MICE Day – save the date! - Advertorial

Brussels MICE DayBrussels Mice DayIf you’re involved in MICE activities within your company, you are no doubt always looking out for the perfect place to hold your next event, seminar, conference or exhibition. A visit to Brussels MICE Day on March 10 could provide a solution to many of your requirements.

You will be able to meet around 80 suppliers, all from within the Brussels Capital region – people who know their business and area extremely well.
Click here to read more.

2015: horrible year for our hotel industry?

Two months after the facts, we’re beginning to see the actual impact of the Brussels lockdown in November. Up till October, the Brussels hotel industry showed an occupation rate growth of 3%. Sadly, these numbers dropped dramatically after the Paris attacks, making for a 1% loss over the whole year and a revenue loss of about €25 million. According to Sophie Blondel, President of the Belgian Hotel Association, economic actions must be taken to prevent layoffs or bankruptcies in the future.

Facilitating the conditions for economic unemployment in the industry, eliminating tourist taxes immediately (we have some of the highest on the planet) and longer payment deadlines for RSZ and VAT are the most immediate suggestions.

To read the full article, in Flemish, click here.

cats cats
Real Short !!

22 February, Ghent: 6th edition of Flanders-Brussels Travel Forum. Biannual international B2B networking workshop organised by Visit Flanders. 450 international hosted buyers, 140 suppliers will be present. The event includes pre- and post-tours to give everyone a chance to personally experience what Flanders has to offer.
26 February, Hilton, Brussels: Ecommerce Summit. Learn how to reach your customers and get insights into what the future of ecommerce might hold.
17 March, Rainbow Plaza, Sofia, Bulgaria: Eventex Awards. A glamorous night in the Bulgarian capital, aimed at awarding the greatest professionals and most ground-breaking services of the events world.
The Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau, together with Brussels Airlines and its partners are organizing a study trip to Montreux and Villars sur Ollon on the 19th till the 21st of March 2016 for Belgian Meeting and Incentive planners (Agents). More info, click here.
Consult BBT Online's MICE agenda, and don't miss any event.

Donald Trump appears not to care if he makes no new friends in Brussels - a city he's been to once, twenty years ago - branding the city a 'hellhole'. Tweeting beautiful pictures of Brussels to @RealDonaldTrump, the people of Brussels concluded: "Hell is nice".
Lonely Planet named Ireland as one of ten ‘must visit’ countries in 2016. Moreover, Dublin took third place in the top ten ‘must visit cities’. Travel & Leisure Magazine (USA) named three Irish cities as ‘most friendly destinations worldwide’ and Ashford Castle was named ‘best hotel worldwide’ by Huffington Post. Looks like we’ll have to plan another Irish trip very soon.
Finally, Belgium has its own version of Tripadvisor.
Eventmanagerblog published an article on the four trends they believe will shape event design in 2016. Read the full text here.
Visiting Amsterdam on a city trip but not sure what to do or see? Just complete this short test and you’ll get a tailor made city guide covering all your main interests. Isn’t that swell?
An anonymous traveller took pictures in 17 different countries in the last five years. Strangely, he did a handstand in every pic – while butt-naked. When asked why in God’s name he did this, he said he did so to promote sustainability. If anyone wants to follow in his footsteps, we have a good photographer who loves to travel available.
We'd like to congratulate Erik Wood and Olivier Wauters, the MICE brothers from Eventonline for the wonderful Ocean Diva party they organized on January, 14. Super impressed by the ship, the catering, the music and, of course, the company. Smooth sailing throughout!

The new Top 60 list - selected by the editorial staff of, foodies, restaurant guest and food inspectors - of the world’s best restaurants is launched. And the winner is …. Hof van Cleve in Belgium. Yes, a Belgian restaurant. What had you expect?
Rocco Forte’s Verdura Resort in Sicily won the award for 'best spa for couples' and 'Wow factor' at the 2015 Wellness Travel Awards.
The following hotels were bestowed with first prizes on the Quiet Hotel Awards. Hotel Regina in Paris won the Quiet Hotel Award 2015 – the main award. Swissotel Amsterdam won the Quiet City Hotel award. Hilton Paris Orly Airport won the Quiet Airport Hotel Award and Hotel Dux in Roermond won the Quiet Hotel Design and Build Award.
La Villa in the Sky – on the IT Tower looking over Avenue Louise – offers a breath-taking culinary experience. The restaurant is located 120m from the ground, on top of a flashy glass structure. It’s run by chef Alexandre Dionisio, recently received its second Michelin star and can take private events of up to 24 people. Dining on another level, so to speak.
Also on another level is Dinner in the Sky, already celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. For the very first time it offers 10 different tables (and thus ten different cranes) with 10 star Chefs cooking at the same time. All in front of the Atomium in Brussels. The offer is available from 1 to 5 June only.
Brewdog Brussels is a new venue located right across from the Central Train Station. It offers no less than 40 taps pouring all kinds of Belgian and foreign beers on tap, and a nice kitchen cooking fresh and tasty food. It’s quite a large venue and can be made partially private if required.

Qatar Airways signed an agreement with Ooredoo, the world’s fastest growing telecommunications company, to exclusively provide the on-board Wi-Fi on the airline’s fleet. Two of Qatar’s largest companies will thus start a cooperation to offer clients worldwide one of the best on-board internet connections available.
Tired of always getting the middle seat squashed between two fatties whenever you take a plane? Maybe this funny article on how to avoid the worst seats on an airplane might help.

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following new members last month:
  • Kathleen Van Parijs
  • NH Hotels

If you’re interested in joining yourself, don’t hesitate any longer. You will find the conditions and the existing members behind this link Membership is linked to the person, not the company. We also created a LinkedIn group for members only.

BBT Online Club 100: the place where you meet more planners than suppliers!


Laughing is good for you. BBT Online is ready for some serious winter fun, and looking at this little movie, we’re not the only ones! Click here.


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