History of the Manoir de Lébioles
It is essentially to Georges Neyt (1842-1910) that we owe the construction of one of the most beautiful jewels of the architectural heritage of the City of Spa. This extraordinary visionary, diplomatic envoy and plenipotentiary minister who is claimed to be a natural son of King Leopold I, had the Manoir de Lébioles built between 1905 and 1910. Unfortunately, he only enjoyed his “small Versailles of the Ardennes” for a short time.
Heiress and only daughter of the builder, Mary Neyt, sold the Manoir de Lébioles to Edmond Dresse, a Liège businessman, in 1912. In 1926, the family Dresse obtained the title “Dresse de Lébioles”. The family lived in the building for the next 69 years. During that time, Liliane Dresse de Lébioles, Edmond's only granddaughter, and her father Armand gave the dwelling a new splendour by hosting many events such as the performances of the National Theatre of Belgium, hunting parties, concerts and other prestigious receptions.
Liliane sold the building in 1980 to the Société Immobilière de Belgique. It was resold in the same year to a family of hoteliers. Until 1999 the dwelling was run as a first rate “boutique hotel” with much success. However, the sale of the hotel in 1999 marked the beginning of a period of setbacks for the manor. Plans to introduce a “new” hotel concept failed, the hotel was not properly managed and was partially vandalised.
During the renovation and modernisation works, which lasted more than a year, the chimneys were repaired, all the stairs were dismantled and refurbished, historic floors were stripped and restored according to old methods. The more than 120 windows of the dwelling were restored, the gardens were restored to their former beauty, and so on. Today, the Manoir de Lébioles has regained all of its former splendour.