VIP for a Day (or Two) at Maasmechelen Village (MMV)

Feeling like a VIP… it’s often reserved for exquisite events you’re invited to and have little control over. And yet, you can also create such an experience for yourself without having to spend a fortune. A girl’s night out, a bachelorette adventure, or preparing yourself for new business opportunities? Those who book a personal shopper at Maasmechelen Village get a complete VIP experience.

By Anja Van Der Borght

From the moment we drive into the parking lot of Maasmechelen Village, we feel the VIP excitement. We navigate the McLaren 720S Spider – our supercar for the occasion – towards the VIP parking at the main entrance. Two stands with a black velvet rope between them mark off the parking space reserved for us. A sign with black and white block letters spells out our name. We already feel like VIPs for a day, and the day has yet to begin!

The Apartment at Maasmechelen Village (MMV).

Welcome to The Apartment
A few days earlier, we answered a series of questions from the personal shopper. What exactly are we looking for? For work or more for a party? What sizes? Colors? Fabrics? In advance, we also received the phone number of Maasmechelen Village’s Private Client Services. We dialed that number upon entering the parking lot, and the Private Client Services host is already waiting to move aside the cord at the parking spot. Of course, every car – no matter how ordinary – is more than welcome in these VIP spots. After parking, she immediately takes us to The Apartment, a beautiful VIP space near the main entrance of the charming outlet village. A gallant porter invites us to enter a world of refinement and elegance through a door discreetly hidden in one of the many lovely corners of Maasmechelen Village. In The Apartment’s royal blue reception area, a hand-painted Italian nature scene adorns the wall, and antique Versailles oak parquet sets the tone. Through The Gallery – the elongated gallery specifically designed to host small art exhibitions or exclusive trunk shows of luxury jewelry and leather goods brands – we move to the other part of The Apartment. This second and larger salon – designed by Parisian interior designer David Thomas – feels like a cozy and chic five-star hotel suite. It’s here that we enjoy a glass of Moët & Chandon champagne and some Neuhaus pralines while waiting for our personal shopper. The Private Client Services host also informs us that we can book a restaurant of our choice through her or enlist her for hands-free shopping.

The Apartment at Maasmechelen Village (MMV).

In the Trunk
During brunch, our personal shopper presents her selection to complement our wardrobe for the new spring season. However, customers also rely on her expertise for restyling, selecting outfits, or even choosing the perfect matching dress with bridesmaids. We want to buy matching accessories after the selection, and our personal shopper continues to guide us. She seems to know the collections of the boutiques in Maasmechelen Village like the back of her hand and leads us from one boutique to another. Hopefully, that works out, because the trunk of the McLaren 720S Spider isn’t that spacious, and there’s no backseat at all. That’s the price you pay – on top of the starting price of €300,800 that McLaren asks for this supercar – to experience the performance of this four-wheeler and its 720 horsepower 4.0 V8 biturbo engine. Other than that, there’s nothing but praise, as even though this rear-wheel-drive sports car begs to be driven like it’s on a racetrack, it’s just as enjoyable for a day of shopping. And that makes this car ideal for dynamic couples. Suitable for driving the kids to school during the week and a hobby for the weekend. On one hand, the McLaren 720S Spider drives smoothly and comfortably, but on the other hand, you also feel almost every bump under the wheels. Yet, we don’t find that disturbing at any moment. On the contrary, it showcases its excellent body stiffness. The carbon brakes are also very good. So effective that the first few times we use them, everything in the car flies forward. It takes some getting used to, but it’s also not unnecessary in a car of this caliber that invites super sporty driving. We let ourselves be tempted for a brief moment. Where the expansive Limburg provincial roads beckon, because soon we’re reminded of our purpose on the smaller roads leading to Relais & Châteaux La Butte aux Bois, where we’ll spend the night.

La Butte aux Bois Picture Louka Lambot / Louvisual

Over the years, La Butte aux Bois – initially established in a mansion built for ‘Ridder Lagasse de Locht’ – has been renewed and expanded several times. In 2016, the ownership couple Bullens-Goessens added a contemporary annex of 1,350 m2 to the estate to house an exclusive spa. The architectural connection between the nearly hundred-year-old country house in manor style and the contemporary new building that now houses the first Shiseido Ginza Tokyo Institute in our country is a successful symbiosis. Moreover, La Butte aux Bois focuses not only on wellness but also on gastronomy. Since July, chef Peter Beurskens of Le Ciel – the bistro at La Butte aux Bois – also takes care of the spa kitchen. And it is unparalleled in Belgian wellness land.

La Butte aux Bois Picture Louka Lambot / Louvisual

Info: Maasmechelen Village, Zetellaan 100, 3630 Maasmechelen, tel. 089-77.40.00,,

Domaine La Butte aux Bois, Paalsteenlaan 90, 3620 Lanaken, tel. 089-73.97.70,

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