TÆRU, Belgium's very first height hotel with more than 10 height rooms

In the heart of the Ardennes (Erezée), Altitude Dream is currently helping to build a new and special project, namely Tæru. Tæru will be the very first Belgian 'altitude hotel' with more than 10 rooms at altitude and a place where enjoyment and endurance merge. A unique setting, tailored to the needs of each athlete. A place to exercise and push your limits, but also to relax and recover. Former triathlete Dirk Baelus is the founder and inspirer behind Tæru and we asked him a few questions about this unique project.

Dirk, what does TÆRU mean and what can sports teams expect when they stay with you?

Tæru means: The moment you were going to give up, the moment you think and feel you can't do it any more, it hurts too much, I'm going to give up now and then hold on anyway, that is Tæru.

With Tæru, we want to offer a venue and accommodation that can take any sports team to the next level. Everything is there to carry out all your training in any season. There are also altitude rooms, fitness, a gym, massage room ... and more to support the athlete in every possible way. It is a dream location for every (endurance) athlete.

I myself have done everything I can to reach my best level as a triathlete and still look for improvements each time. Furthermore, I have had the experience of chairing the Innerme Triathlon Team for which I have organised training stages several times a year, each time with flaws in the accommodation. I have combined all these experiences to make Tæru.

What facilities do you offer and what makes TÆRU so unique?

In fact, we offer everything a sports team needs. By the way, Tæru can also be hired privately for your team with maximum privacy and tranquillity. This combination of all this is, in my opinion, unique in Europe. Below is a list of our facilities:

    The surroundings of Tæru are not only super beautiful but also excellent for all your cycling workouts. We have created some interesting routes that we would like to share with you.
    Whether you like steep climbs or recovery rides in the woods: we have it for you and are happy to share our GPX files.
    You will find ideal running and trail routes close to the Tæru site. Stay on car-free roads, or run on safe off-road trails in the most beautiful forest locations.
    Our modular cyclocross course: Designed by Adrie Van der Poel and Sven Vanthourenhout. It stretches about a kilometre and goes up and down a steep hill, and includes a 150-step staircase, several technical descents and a sandpit.
    Triathlon enthusiasts will be happy to hear that we are also building what is not available at every other accommodation: you will have access to a private 25-metre-long swimming pool from April 2023.
    Our indoor facilities have space to train on rollers or a cycle trainer.
    A state-of-the-art indoor fitness facility.
    In our sports hall, we have a large heated training room where there is space for group activities, yoga, core-stability & stretching, among others.
    In the new gîte, we have 9 double rooms equipped to simulate sleeping at altitude. The altitude is individually adjustable for each room and can be adjusted based on your saturation. This is the most efficient and science-based way to apply altitude training and produce more red blood cells.
    Our indoor sports hall also has an altitude chamber that can be used to simulate training at height.
    A place where you can relax, watch a film or enjoy a sports massage at altitude. So unnoticed, you spend many hours at Tæru at high altitude. Ideal for endurance athletes.
    The ideal way to kickstart your recovery process after an intense workout.
    Take up the challenge and join our specially designed Tour de Tæru. Tackle the 7 stages in a week, or go for 3 stages at the weekend.
    Don't worry about your bike and concentrate on your training or enjoy your recovery. We have fully equipped and secure bike storage for your peace of mind.
    Whether you want to clean your trusted companion after every ride or bring along a team of experienced mechanics, at Tæru we have what you need: a bike wash station, a bike workbench and plenty of indoor and outdoor space to work on bikes.
    We have a brand new fully equipped kitchen specially designed to cook for large groups. You also have access to a separate storage room with industrial refrigerators, a large oven, two gas cookers, a dishwasher, ...
    In the same open space as our kitchen, we have a spacious but cosy dining area for 43 people. There is also a relaxation corner with media facilities such as a projector, so you can hold team meetings as a team or watch a game after dinner.
    Just one flight of stairs away from our dining area, you will find a lounge with a television, comfy sofas and a selection of books to get energised and inspired after a day's workout.
    We offer 4 professional massage tables in our heated group room for you to use. If required, a physiotherapist can also be arranged for you.
    Part of our sports hall is reserved for a dedicated bar to hang out before or after training. Darts, table football and cold (recovery) beers: check.
    Throughout the grounds of Tæru, you will find mindfulness nooks and seats, where you can enjoy the tranquillity of nature.
    Whether you fancy a recovery walk or a full-day hike, we can provide you with routes to discover the beautiful surroundings of Tæru on foot.

TÆRU will also be Belgium's very first 'altitude hotel' with more than 10 altitude rooms for sleeping and training, how special is that for you?

Surely this is fantastic and something to be proud of. I am especially happy that this is now also being offered in Belgium and that teams and athletes will also have the opportunity to improve their fitness here thanks to altitude.

A bit like with my sports nutrition brand Innerme. When I started it in 2009, there was nothing like natural sports nutrition. Now you see every brand launching 'natural' products from time to time. The idea of adding altitude rooms to our project was not there from the beginning to be honest. It grew along the way. The plans had already been made and the renovation was underway until ex-pro cyclist, and father of, Adrie van der Poel pointed it out to me to think about it anyway. I had invited Adrie to come and have a look at a possible cyclocross course. So I will always be grateful to him for that!

These days, altitude training is impossible to imagine sport without. The fact that an altitude training can now be simulated in a cycling environment like the Belgian Ardennes will especially appeal to many cycling teams. How big is Dirk Baelus' cycling heart?

Very very big. Every race and lap I follow. I love to see it...the extraordinary performance of cyclists, team tactics, the equipment and how many people it brings to the race. I have great respect for the achievements of every cyclist...it all doesn't happen by itself. It requires a lot of sacrifice but, above all, going flat out for a dream and a goal is something I find very beautiful and fascinating. I love focus and bringing discipline into your life...and occasionally letting go of everything of course 🙂 .

In conclusion: You are known as a man with big dreams and at the same time a pragmatic approach. Where do you think TÆRU will be in 10 years? 

We immediately chose a nice brand name instead of a name linked to the location as, for example, the existing name previously used for the farm here, namely Ferme De Blier. So as to leave all options open. Tæru could easily include sports events later and who knows, additional venues. This is not a must. I will follow my heart and see what comes my way. We will see. First get Tæru Ardennes ready to perfection and then take good care of it and experience it to the fullest and hopefully many happy athletes. It might be a sports dream for me, but hopefully for other athletes as well. I am very curious how the reactions are going to be from all our (top) athletes coming to Tæru.

More information or booking options can be found in the TÆRU brochure.
Or soon via Taeru.be

About Altitude Dream

Altitude Dream is the market leader in the Benelux in the field of altitude training. For more than 10 years we have been helping athletes realize their dreams and bringing people without altitude sickness to the mountain of their dreams. Altitude Dream is not a company. Altitude Dream is a dream. A dream that leads to the maximum use of our possibilities.