Yannick Bouts came well prepared. Despite his young age, he already boasts an impressive, varied career. After studying hotel management at the Erasmus Brussels University of Applied Sciences and Arts, he held various management positions in the hotel chains Marriott, Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza. He then went on to work as sales and marketing manager for the East Flemish entrepreneurial family Vermeersch, which owns the catering company Dîner Privé and the hotels Auberge du Pêcheur, Gosset, Serwir and Charl’s, among others. After ten years, he decided to join the prestigious hotel The Fourth in Leuven with its in-house restaurant Tafelrond.
“Everything I wanted to achieve there eventually, was already done here in Neerharen. Marc Alofs and his team did an excellent job, but we shouldn’t rest on our laurels. In this sector you have to constantly anticipate new developments and look ahead. La Butte has great trump cards. We just have to keep playing them. A two-star restaurant, a high-quality bistro, a wellness area of 1,350 square meters, a hotel that was awarded the five-star superior label, a high-end gym, the proximity of the Hoge Kempen National Park and … the people. They are the ones who truly make the difference. If you don’t have passionate staff, you won’t make it past your front door, not even with the most beautiful product in the world.” Yannick Bouts stresses that there were other reasons for him to choose Domaine La Butte aux Bois. “I see great challenges here. We are in the heart of the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion. On the eastern side – let’s say on the German and Dutch side for the sake of convenience – we al- ready have a good catchment area. However, in my own area I noticed that there is still a large ‘mental gap’ between Hasselt and Lanaken, while it’s just a twenty-minute drive. We have a very good story, but we have to share it with many more people.”
“I can’t stress enough how unique La Butte aux Bois is. I was here as a guest for the first time in 2014. Back then I already felt the X factor of this building. When you drive into the car park, it feels as if you were a few hundred kilometres away, across the border. at feeling immediately sets expectations for visitors. We have to live up to those expectations every second, from check-in to check-out. I feel an incredible drive to work hard on that.