Our history

Discover the rich history of La Réserve.

1800

In around the year 1800, there used to be a vast strip of sand dunes that extended from Hazegras to the fishing village of Heist. At this time, these areas were rented to the Revenue Collector of Public lands that used them as a hunting ground.

Under Dutch jurisdiction, part of the area (172 hectares) was sold to Baron de Croeser. The area in Heist (116 hectares) was bought by Franciscus Frankin.

1900

In 1900, the neighbourhood of Duinbergen was formed and in 1911 the Knocke Duinbergen Extension was created. The formation of the “Société Immobilière Knocke Balnéaire” by Jozef Nellens (1880-1934) led to the full development of Albertstrand beach.

1924

In 1924, “la Société” built its first hotel that was given the name “Pavillon du Lac”. Shortly afterwards, it was also decided to build a casino. Work began in 1929 in partnership with the local council and the casino opened on 5 July 1930.

Both Albertstrand and the casino played a role in the further development of Knokke as a renowned Belgian coastal city.

1949

The charming “Pavillon du Lac” sustained serious damage during the Second World War. In 1949, the luxurious hotel “La Réserve” was erected in the same spot. The hotel became one of the favourite meeting places for political leaders, intellectuals, actors, writers and royalty. For Princess Paola, Frank Sinatra, Marlene Dietrich, Brigitte Bardot, Maurice Chevalier, Gilbert Bécaud, Fernandel, Sacha Distel and may others, the hotel was the perfect base for relaxation and luxury.

1976

In 1976, the hotel also began to offer thalassotherapy (seawater therapy) and became known as one of the most outstanding luxury hotels in the region.

2008

However, deterioration and wear and tear to the hotel led to it being demolished in 2008. Part of the demolition rubble was used as the foundations for the well-known “Cavalia” horse show and the dated furniture from this sophisticated hotel was gained a new use in a hotel in the Republic of the Congo. In November 2008, work began on the new luxury hotel and apartment complex.

2011

In 2011, the new hotel opened and again became the place to be seen, under the management of the Walravens family.

2021

In 2021, 10 years after the opening of the new hotel, the Walravens family decided to sell the building to two top Belgian investors: Mark Couke and Bart Versluys. Both men have a burning desire to achieve in collaboration with the Walravens' family the 5th star and intend to fully renovate La Réserve Resort. The operating company remains under the aegis of Edouard Walravens.