LIFESTYLE - CULTURE

Staycation at the château



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The hotel's new spa in collaboration with skincare brand Nuxe opened in January 2021. Photo: Château d'Urspelt 

Cabin fever, wanderlust, winter blues.. call it what you want, but after a year of very limited options for travelling, the desire to just get out and get away keeps on growing. 

With Valentine’s day and the carnival break just around the corner, the frustration of not being able to take that trip to the city of love with your other half or that traditional skiing vacation with the whole family, is flaring up again. 

But if the pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that Luxembourg residents certainly don’t have to go beyond the borders of their own country to get that well-deserved vacation. Staycations are booming more than ever before and if one thing is clear, it’s that the grand duchy does not lack beautiful options to provide some of that much-needed holiday feeling. 

There’s the Château d’Urspelt, for instance. And if this makes you wonder where on earth Urspelt is, fear not, Delano’s Lynn Feith took a trip up north to have a look at this hidden gem and its newest addition: an extensive spa area.

Rediscovering nature 

Upon setting foot on the premises of the castle hotel hidden in tiny Urspelt, there's something calming in the air, the hectic city life suddenly seems to have hopped out of the car at some point during the drive up. 

Whereas Château d’Urspelt used to focus primarily on hosting larger events such as weddings, seminars, meetings and the like, the desire to do more, extend the offer and attract a larger clientele has been driving associate founder Diana Lodomez to transform the 18th century castle into a true haven in the middle of nature, perfect for escaping the stress of everyday life. 

And it is precisely this nature that has been at the core of the new offers and activities the hotel has had to come up with in light of the measures imposed by the government to fight the covid-19 pandemic. 

“All challenges also bring opportunities, you just always have to come up with new ideas,” says Lodomez who notes that, unsurprisingly but contrary to their usual international guests, their clientele, this past year, has consisted primarily of local tourists, frequently coming from the the city or the south of the country in order to explore the north. 

With organized walking tours, picnics with local products, Vespa hire, a nice mug of mulled wine next to the cosy fireplace in the courtyard and an array of other activities on offer to explore in the hotel and its surrounding areas, Lodomez and her team are trying to keep guests entertained and help them reconnect with nature while assuring safe and socially distant experiences. 

“You can really see that nature’s richness is at the centre of what people are looking for. They want to reconnect with their own well-being and are turning to nature to do so, especially in these challenging times.” Lodomez explains. 

With restaurants and bars closed since 26 November, the hotel has also had to adapt once again and somewhat reinvent itself, now offering all meals as room service, a different experience, yet equally delicious and maybe even a bit cosier than the usual bubbly restaurant atmosphere. 

Wellness haven

The well-being aspect is also at the centre of the chateau’s brand new wellness area, the Nuxe Spa, that only launched in January and is accessible to hotel guests as well as visitors from outside. The collaboration with French skincare brand Nuxe is the only one of its kind in Luxembourg. Apart from a panoply of treatments, massages and the like the spa also offers sauna, hammam and jacuzzi access as well as a cave-themed swimming pool making you feel as though you were taking a dip in one of Mexico’s many cenotes. And whereas meticulous attention is paid to the adherence to hygiene measures, the area nevertheless offers a mental break, almost letting guests forget about the massive omnipresent elephant in the room (aka the global pandemic). 

For those who are looking to treat themselves on top of all of the above, the chateau’s signature massage, including post-treatment lavender tea and fig macarons (yum!), is the very big cherry on top of a gigantic well-being cake. 

But enough with the talking, have a look for yourself here