A girl's weekend away in Lille to spoil some birthday friends

Last weekend I was gone for a girls only weekend with my university friends. Last year I celebrated a milestone birthday, as did one of my other friends  and in the coming weeks it's another friend's turn.  I wanted to celebrate a little more than the gastronomic dinner on my birthday itself and after a long discussion previous summer (yep back then already), my friends and I had set this weekend as a girls' only citytrip to celebrate my (and their) new age.

Our destination of choice became Lille/ Rijsel, the 5th biggest metropole in France close-by the Belgian border. When I used to live in Ghent, I had done some shopping in Lille a couple of times and I remembered it as a very sympathetic city, yet I didn't know it very well.  The multitude of attractions and the closeness of the city made it a very good foreign destination.

Since we intended to celebrate on our weekend away, we had deliberately chosen for a qualitative hotel to spoil us. The choice made was the Hermitage Gantois, an autograph collection hotel by the Mariott Group with a spa. The hotel is located in a former hospice that dates back from the 15th century. The former chapel and hospice hall can still be visited while the rooms are located around the former courtyards and the bar is currently in the biggest covered courtyard.  All decorations combine references to old religious art and more modern art.

It was a nice place to retreat and rest and relax again after all the visiting and walking that we did over the weekend.


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