Where to stay in Belgium
Belgium has a wide range of hotels from 5-star luxury to small family pensions and inns. The best international-class hotels are found in the cities. Those in Brussels often offer attractive weekend rates, as much of their trade comes from business travellers during the week.
Grading: The Belgian Tourist Office issues a shield to all approved hotels by which they can be recognised. Hotels which display this sign conform to the official standards set by Belgian law which protects the tourist and guarantees certain standards of quality.
The majority of campsites are in the Ardennes and on the coast; many of these are excellent. A list of addresses, rates and other information can be obtained from tourist offices. On the coast during the summer season, a supplement of about 25% is charged on the majority of tariffs. Camping out in places other than recognised sites requires permission from the landowner.
There are two youth hostel associations: the Vlaamse JeugdHerbergen (www.vjh.be), which operates in Flanders, and the Les Auberges de Jeunesse (LAJ) (www.laj.be), operating in the French-speaking area. The hostels of the former are large, highly organised and often used by schools and youth groups; LAJ properties are smaller and less formal, similar in some ways to those in France. There is also a network of Gites d'Etape hostels throughout Wallonia, offering group and individual youth accommodation (www.gitesdetape.be).
As a rustic counterpoint to the smart hotels found in most parts of the country, farm holidays are available in some regions of the country. In the Polders and the Ardennes visitors can (for a small cost) participate in the daily work of the farm.
There are ample opportunities to rent furnished villas, flats, rooms, or bungalows for a holiday period. There is a particularly wide choice in the Ardennes and on the coast. These holiday houses and flats are comfortable and well-equipped. Rental prices are determined by the number of bedrooms, the amenities, the location and the season. Many apartments, studios, villas and bungalows, which tend to be clustered along the Flanders coastline, are classified into five categories according to the standard of comfort they offer.