Yannick Bouts (43) will start on July 1 as general manager at La Réserve in Knokke, which came into the hands of the duo Bart Versluys and Marc Coucke in August 2021, and where illustrious guests such as Frank Sinatra, Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich have stayed. The ambition is to make La Réserve, one of the most famous leading luxury hotels in Belgium, the ultimate calling card for Knokke-Heist.
La Réserve is currently undergoing a total renovation and the ambition is great: to upgrade the luxury resort into a five-star hotel with a complete makeover of the more than one hundred rooms, wellness and restaurants. Three-star chef Peter Goossens was hired to supervise the culinary picture.
In order to steer the ambition of owners Marc Coucke and Bart Versluys in the right direction, the daily management is now entrusted to Yannick Bouts, a Hasselaar with extensive experience in the hospitality industry, who is known for his pursuit of perfection and his eye for detail. can make the difference. He worked for a long time for the group of Auberge du Pêcheur in Sint-Martens-Latem, among others. This was followed by shorter periods in The Fourth and Tafelrond in Leuven (two and a half years), La Butte aux Bois in Lanaken (one and a half years) and Château de Vignée in Rochefort. He left there after just eight months, to start working in the Castle of Ordingen in Sint-Truiden in September 2021. Under his leadership, the hotel received the five-star quality label, and restaurant Aurum by Gary Kirchens won a Michelin star. The historic resort also became a member of Relais & Châteaux, a global association of luxury hotels and gourmet restaurants with nearly 600 members on five continents.
Yannick Bouts will start as GM on July 1, and will remain active at Ordingen Castle until then, a place he looks back on with great satisfaction, and where he has complete freedom from owner Richard Sleurs, his wife Miet, son Koen and daughter-in-law Ellen. to start projects and bring their fantastic domain to the current level: “I will therefore always be grateful to them, I sincerely mean that. That is why I still give weekly consultations at their request and I will look for a successor myself. I leave with mixed feelings, but I couldn’t possibly pass up this challenge.” With regard to the future, he wants “together with COO Mathieu Maertens to develop La Réserve into the leading hotel in the country. Of course this step has consequences on a private level, but my partner Hannah fully supports my decision. She will be sales manager at Ordingen Castle until I leave. Then she moves to Knokke. Not to work in La Réserve, to be clear.”
Bart Versluys is full of praise for Bouts: “La Réserve must become the most beautiful and best hotel in Belgium. My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the very best, said Winston Churchill. In order to realize this ambition, we were looking for a man with extensive experience, great drive and an eye for detail. Yannick Bouts fits that profile.”