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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 98th edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

New event venue in Mechelen
New stylish hotel in the Ardennes

Haverwerf 20/22 – close to the Vismarkt in the city centre of Mechelen – used to be the place where people bought their oats in earlier days. Ships would dock here and sell their loads. Nowadays these three colourful facades from the 16th and 17th century don’t hide oats anymore, but a modern event venue instead.

It’s not the place for large parties, but it’s the perfect venue for a walking dinner for 100 people or a seated one for 50.
R Hotel

Located in a green area next to the famous hill of La Redoute, The R Hotel (open since January 4) in Remouchamps offers 53 rooms and suites with a wonderful panoramic view on the valley below. Not far from Liège, this contemporary venue lies close to a number of interesting sites and offers a wide array of group activities to enjoy.

It comes with a Umami restaurant, a modern health centre and a 285m² meeting centre able to accommodate up to 500 guests.
It's better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
Meetings in the Provence
Rotate your room
Dolce Frégate Provence

Dolce Frégate Provence welcomes visitors to the Provencal way of life with superb cuisine and wines, breath-taking Mediterranean views, verdant golf courses and vineyards.

What it also offers are first class meeting facilities: 15 meeting rooms with natural light for up to 200 people, 163 guest rooms and lots of areas to meet and network: a natural playground for innovative teambuilding sessions.

Find out more about their meeting packages here.
Rotate your room

Tired of that boring sea view room? Why not rotate the entire floor to the other side of the building.

It sounds like science-fiction, but it will soon be reality in the Dynamic Hotel in Dubai. 80 floors will be able to rotate by voice command, and this in a completely sustainable building. Btw, some of the floors will be sold as apartments. If you have about
$ 30 million to spare you can have one.

The hotel will be opened in 2020. To watch the trailer on YouTube, click here.
Dress up as a bride for fun
Belgian pride festival

Do you want to get married and wear a fancy white wedding dress but are you just too socially maladjusted to find yourself a husband?

On to the Netherlands it is for you! Apparently trying on wedding dresses just for fun is a thing there now. For just € 25 per person, you can go to Yalisa’s Bruidsmode in Apeldoorn nuts and try and fit into anything you want for three hours.
Belgian Pride Festival

Join the Belgian Pride Festival hold in Brussels from 4 till 20 May. Put on your flashiest colours and join the biggest LGTB event in the country – they know how to throw the best parties.

All sorts of activities are planned (soirées, workshops, tours, other entertainment) and will span two weeks, culminating in the must-see Belgian Pride Parade on the 20th.
We publish much more news than you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
Haka workshops
European association summit

Haka is the traditional warrior dance of the Maori people in New Zealand, made famous by their All Blacks rugby team. offers short as well as longer workshops, which are perfect for meeting breaks or kicking off an event. Start slapping those thighs guys.

You'll get a chance to practice some hakas on our B2B workshop on 3 July.

You can now register for the European Association Summit 2017, taking place on 30 and 31 May, it is the biggest annual event for association professionals in Belgium.

Network with your peers, share knowledge, learn and enjoy. The early bird rate is available until 20 April.

Wish I was here

BBT Online just came back from a city trip to LisbonPortuguese people must be the friendliest in the world by the way – and fell in love with this gorgeous boutique hotel. Areias do Seixo, just 30 minutes from the capital, offers 14 unique and lovely decorated rooms, as well as three self-catering bedroom villas and townhouses.

They have an organic restaurant, a spa and an outdoor pool. The whole venue is focused on absolute peace and relaxation. For example, none of the rooms have TV sets: the perfect way to come to your senses and just enjoy the moment.


Record year for Jamaica
Interesting travel blogs

Jamaica welcomed 6,000 Belgian tourists last year, which is a 12.7% growth, while global growth was just 2.8%.

Hans van Wamel, representative for the Jamaican Tourist Board in Belgium and The Netherlands, says individual round trips are especially becoming popular. TUI flies to Jamaica from Brussels on Wednesday and Sunday.

Jamaica is one of the new exhibitors on our next B2B workshop in July. Let’s make those numbers rise a bit more, shall we?


Polkadot Passport is a great travel blog with lots of beautiful pictures. The person behind it is a 22 year old Australian girl named Nicola Easterby. After her first trip to Europe three years ago, she never stopped travelling.

Now she’s going around the world as a travel blogger and photographer – not the worst job you could have of course. Check out her blog here:

A similar blog, run by another young lady, is Petite Passport. Pauline Egge is a Dutch photographer and a blogger as well, and she concentrates on finding all of the nicest design places on earth. Worth a visit:

Incredible India – Destination report
India India India

BBT Online’s publisher Karin de Graauw took a twelve day trip through India. She started in Delhi to explore Rajasthan’s Golden Triangle, and then flew down to tropical Kerala, where she enjoyed the province’s lush nature.

Of course lots of interesting experiences were had along the way. From elephant painting to house boats: India is one of the most diverse countries on the planet.

Read the full story, click here.

India India India
BBT Online’s 12th B2B Workshop – Burning Man style

Join us on Monday, July 3 2017 for the 12th edition of our B2B Speed-Date Workshop!

Come enjoy the summer vibes with BBT Online in De Kruitfabriek in Vilvoorde, and meet a brand new selection of surprising A-list suppliers such as Jamaica, Hawai, Aruba, DMC Norway, Body and Soul International, Oostwegel collection and many more.

January is business for BBT Online, but in summer we like to keep things a bit more festive! Like on our hippie themed workshop in Antwerp and our beach workshop on Ibiza last year, we’ll give you the freedom to go wild and come in your funkiest outfits.

This year’s theme is in the style of Burning Man, which means there are no boundaries to your creativity! Go nuts, surprise us, and if you do really well, you might win yourself a fantastic prize as a reward!

Interested? More info and registration behind this link. Interested to join as a supplier, contact us at Till the 3rd of April you can benefit from our early bird rate.

Note that this event is meant for professional incentive and event agents and PCO's only.

PS: We’ll hold a separate event for corporate and association planners at noon on July 4 in the completely refurbished NH Brussels Grand Sablon. Click here for the invitation.


Sustainability and Incentive Travel

This month, guest writer Hugo Slimbrouck speaks about thegreater responsibility and performance brands organising events and incentives demand from their suppliers, agents and destinations.

Both competitiveness and growth can be driven by championing integrated social, environmental and economic development strategies when targeting the incentive travel industry. Enjoy the read. Click here.
BBT Online's Bucket list

Every month we ask some prominent MICE personalities and members of BBT Online's Club 100 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 @dmire’s Raymond De Smet. Click here to see Raymond’s bucket list.

Raymond De Smet Tania De Grave Christophe Verstraete
Real Short !!

Consult BBT Online's MICE agenda, and don't miss any event.
31 March – 1 April: Havn Church, Antwerp: Antwerp Gin Days. An event focused on tasting and discovering different brands of gin. The old sailor church where it takes place got renovated last year and is now a wonderful new event venue worth checking out.
The 2nd SITE Meet & Lunch of the year will be hosted April 19 at the FMCCA, a ‘room with a zoo’ in Antwerp. The theme of the lunch debate is ‘sustainability, conversation and incentive travel’ presented by Linda Van Elsacker. More info and registration, Jean-Pierre Cornelis,
3 May, Sofitel Brussels Le Louise: Promote Iceland road show. ‘Promote Iceland’ and 13 of its partners will hold a B2B workshop in Brussels this May. The perfect moment to discover one of Europe’s most pristine destinations. Register via
15 May, Kameha Suite, Frankfurt: Site Nite Europe: Kick off IMEX by connecting face-to-face with colleagues. This celebration builds industry relationships as well as raises funds for research and insights onglobal incentive travel trends through SITE Foundation.
16-18 May, Messe Frankfurt: IMEX 2017. Don’t miss one of the biggest and most important MICE tradeshows of the year.
13-15 June, Olympia London: The Meetings Show 2017. Meet more than 700 exhibitingcompanies, destinations, venues, hotel groups, DMCs and suppliers on the fifth edition of the Meetings Show in London. Visitor registration is now open:
26-28 September, Bangkok Convention Centre, Bangkok: IT&CMA 2017. Join BBT Online as a hosted buyer to Bangkok and visit the largest MICE tradeshow in South-East Asia. More info on: If you want to come, mail us at

Seabourn now offers luxury cruises to the mysterious Glacier Bay in Alaska: 3.3 million hectares of magical icy wilderness. This season, five cruises to the bay will leave on the Seabourn Sojourn.
Get your free copy of the Skift Travel Megatrends 2017 Magazine here, click here.
More and more events are using drones these days. How can they make yours more safe, successful and engaging? EventMB found out, click here.
Stressed out? Need some motivation? Here are thirty motivational quotes aimed at event professionals:
Body language can be extremely important when dealing with people or during negotiations. That’s why EventMB published a list of fifteen body language secrets.

Park Inn by Radisson Brussels Airport Hotel will open to the public this spring. It offers 162 rooms, 9 meeting rooms, a fitness room and an infrared sauna.
Hotel Portinari is a magnificently restored boutique hotel in the centre of Bruges. It offers 37 rooms styled in a subtle mix of classic luxury and contemporary design. There is also space available for meetings and small VIP events.
Lithium is a 5-star B&B close to Mechelen. It’s surrounded by nature (it comes with a private garden and forest), has a fabulous wellness and offers four uniquely designed luxury suites. Very much worth checking out:
Apollo Hotel Vinkeveen-Amsterdam is a new venue that will open in April this year. This 4-star hotel comes with 88 rooms and suites, and a nice view over the Vinkeveense Plassen. It has its own little dock as well. Later this year, a 1,300 m² meeting and event centre will also open here.
Martin’s Hotel du Hainaut in Valenciennes will be Martin’s Hotels’ first venue in France. It’s located on the beautiful domain of what used to be a hospital built under Louis XV, and will house 79 rooms, a wellness centre with an indoor pool, an Italian restaurant, ten meeting and banquet halls and even a snooker room.
Il Sereno is the only luxury five star design hotel looking out over Como Lake in Italy. It officially opened for the season on 16 March. Stunning place:
Waldorf-Astoria in NYC – one of the most famous hotels on the planet – will close down for no less than 3 years. Chinese holding Aubang bought the place from Hilton Worldwide for $1.55 billion in 2014 and now wants to thoroughly renovate it. It now offers 1.413 rooms, but after remodelling it will only offer 500. All of the rooms will be turned into luxury apartment suites. The art-deco interior will be adapted as well (angering many), but the iconic façade will at least stay as it is.
Iniala Shores, a collection of new five-bedroom villas in Natai, Phuket, opened its doors in January 2017, offering prime beachfront living for groups seeking total relaxation.

2017 will be a top year for conferences in Bruges. More than 4,000 conference delegates have already confirmed their stay; September proving to be the peak month with 2,200 participants attending several large conferences.
The Domain of the Caves of Han underwent a little renovation. The caves themselves now have a beautiful new lighting system, and you can now go in an open jeep safari on the domain and spot the European Big Five: wolf, bear, lynx, bison and wolverine. There are also nice walking routes to be followed – obviously not through the bear den.
The popular TV show De Mol takes place in South Africa this year, and that’s good news for booking agents. According to, bookings to South Africa rose with no less than 67% after the first episode aired. Every Sunday after Reizen Waes, another popular show, online searches about the destination he visited that week rise significantly as well.

Bluepoint is the new name for three already existing business & event centres in Antwerp, Brussels and Liège. Bluepoint Antwerp used to be the ALM Conference and Business Centre, Bluepoint Brussels was the Diamant Conference and Business centre and Bluepoint Liège used to be the Diamant Conference and Business Centre Liège.
Ghent now has its own Barcelona/Copenhagen styled indoor food market. The “Holy Food Market” is located in the 16th century Baudelo Chapel in the centre and will house 15 food stands and a bar.
Paterspand is an event venue in Turnhout, housed in an authentic cloister garden. The contemporary glass and steel construction of its patio and the grandeur of its church form a nice mixture of classic and modern architecture. Besides patio and the church, Paterspand offers six more modular event rooms.
The Art Nouveau Winter Garden of the Ursuline Nuns near Mechelen, used to be the most stunning stained glass feature of their boarding school. Today it’s available for private events. The garden, and a lot of other historic halls, can be rented for a myriad of events.

Brussels Airlines now has an app of its own. It offers travellers the ability to buy tickets and change bookings without visiting the traditional channels, and gives them up-to-date information during every part of their journey.
Amare” is the fourth unique Brussels Airlines design plane in its Belgian Icons series, the previous ones being about TinTin, René Magritte and the Red Devils. This new plane is an ode to Tomorrowland.
Ryanair will start flying to six new destinations via Charleroi Airport: Eilat Ovda (Israel), Lisbon, Naples, Plovdiv, Varna (both Bulgaria) and Wroclaw (Poland).
Last month, the longest direct flight ever left from Doha to Auckland, New Zealand. Passengers were on the plane for 16 hours and 20 minutes – a new record.

CLIA (the International Association of Cruise Lines) Europe appointed Patrick Pourbaix as their new president. The association has 31 members.
Damien Wibin left Azur en Ardenne after four years, to take up a new challenge at the R-hotel Experiences complex.
Frank De Neef, GM of Parker Hotel Brussels Airport, finished his assignment at the venue, and is looking for a new challenge. You can contact Frank at


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