EXPLORED_ The Bunkers in Knokke-Heist

B&B The Bunkers Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

When driving through the polders in Knokke-Heist, it’s Jonas Van Put’s Observer emerging above the horizon that confirms we’ve almost reached our destination.  Amidst the meadows, sprinkled with bunker ruins dating back to 1785 and the occasional flock of sheep or herd of cows, The Bunkers has found its place in a former barn that has been beautifully renovated by architects Govaerts and Vanhoutte.  While this historical site’s architecture is remarkable, the true protagonist of the experience is the wide view over the luscious green polders, only occasionally disturbed by a few trees or bunker ruins, one of which is now serving as a sheep stable.  Upon our arrival, it’s immediately clear: partner in crime Lies and I have sucessfully managed to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and our daily lives.

The Bunkers - Burkeldijk 18, 8300 Knokke-Heist - website - facebook - instagram - twitter

B&B The Bunker Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

B&B The Bunkers Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

With Belgium’s most posh coastal city Knokke only a five minute drive away, you don’t have to stay in after checking into The Bunkers, but I thoroughly recommend to take full advantage of this stunning guesthouse.   After all, it has so much more to offer besides its breathtaking view: a brutalist interior by the hands of Anversa, dominated by rough concrete surfaces that even make up the sinks and bathtubs.  A black steel Vipp kitchen, where you can cook as if you’re at home (or even better), the drinks are always cold and the crockery is so pretty that it instantly turns any meal into fancy cuisine.  A delicious breakfast buffet, so you can start your day of on the right foot.  The most comfortable sofa in the living room, where you can choose between facing the cosy fireplace or enjoying that stunning view of the B&B’s surroundings.  A music system that allows you to listen to your favorite music all throughout the guesthouse.  (I may or may not have treated all the other guests to this album on repeat.)  A sauna, for ultimate relaxation, and a swimming pool with an astonishing view over the meadows, perfect for cooling off.   Lots of board games, a gym and even a playroom, with a ping pong table and a foosball table, in case you need to let off some steam.

B&B The Bunker Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

B&B The Bunkers in Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

B&B The Bunkers Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

B&B The Bunkers Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

B&B The Bunkers Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

I might be a city girl at heart, sometimes a few days in the middle of nowhere is just what I need and that’s exactly what The Bunkers has to offer.  The B&B is part of the Aqua Clean Prestige Parcours, a number of prestigious locations carefully selected by Geberit to highlight the launch of their Aqua Clean toilet.  In these locations you can experience their new shower toilet in an appropriately luxurious setting.  A shower toilet, you ask?   This  more hygienic alternative to the standard toilet features a shower spray that leaves your behind all fresh and clean (after all, you wouldn’t clean your hands with only a piece of paper, would you?) and can even be equipped with a warm air dryer, an odour extraction unit, an orientation light and, last but not least, seat heating!

B&B The Bunkers in Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

B&B The Bunkers Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

Don’t worry, I’ll keep my personal experience with Geberit’s Aqua Clean toilet hidden behind closed doors, but I’d love to elaborate on the ecological advantages of avoiding toilet paper usage.  It might sound strange, but in this case you can save water by using water!  The production and degradation of toilet paper requires many more liters of water than a simple spray of water does, as it takes about 384 trees to make the toilet paper that one person uses within their lifetime. On top of that, most toilet paper is bleached to give it that crisp white look and those chemicals go straight into our water supply.  Yikes!  So for those of you who have a bathroom renovation on the calendar and, like me, actively try to reduce their ecological footprint, the Aqua Clean toilet is definitely worth looking into.  Just ask the Japanese, who are as usual lightyears ahead of us.  In the majority of the Japanese houses, you can find a shower toilet instead of its more water consuming alternative.   In other words, switching from a regular toilet to a shower toilet might just absolve you from that feeling of guilt after a shower that lasted just a little bit too long.    Sounds like music to my ears!  

photo © The Bunkers

B&B The Bunkers Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

B&B The Bunkers Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

B&B The Bunkers Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

B&B The Bunkers Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

B&B The Bunkers Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

However, when staying at The Bunkers, worrying about the environment – or anything else for that matter – is the last thing you should do.  A good book, a swim suit and your favorite company is all you need to get the best out of your stay in this little piece of brutalist heaven.

B&B The Bunkers in Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

B&B The Bunkers Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

B&B The Bunkers Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

B&B The Bunkers Knokke-Heist - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

This stay was kindly gifted to me by Geberit.  All opinions are 100% my own.  Thank you for supporting partners that allow me to introduce you to new destinations!
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