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“Be forewarned”
Review of De Keyser Hotel

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De Keyser Hotel
Ranked #39 of 73 Hotels in Antwerp
Reviewed 10 August 2014

It was probably our worst hotel experience so far. It began with the very arrival. We came late (around 9 pm). I asked at the reception where I could find the parking and was told they had none. I pointed to the "facilities" section in my reservation confirmation. The lady said that that parking was already closed. I asked why the working times were not indicated in the information about the hotel. She said that it was the booking.com inforamtion, they had nothing to do with it. We had to use a more expensive parking eventually. (When checking out, there was another person at the reception. I asked for the reimbursement of the difference in price, and I was offered half of it.)

Then we got into our room. It was not bad, but nothing close to the 4-star hotel level. The lift, corridor and the room clearly needed refurbishment. The bed sheet was too short for the bed length, in the morning we found ourselves on a half-bare mattress. The window was opening into the deep well in the middle of the building, kind of an air shaft, and only suitable for ventilation. It wouldn't be too bad though, we didn't plan to stay in the room. But the window was also supposed to be used as the emergency exit, so the fire ladder was right in front of the window. Didn't look very safe, since the frame didn't have the ventilation “mode” and, once unlocked, allowed full access into the room. Just in front of the window was the ventilation tower with a powerful fan, which was really loud at night. It would all be survivable of course if we could use the conditioner. However we discovered that once on, it was producing a strange loud sound each few minutes, at irregular intervals. It was impossible to sleep with it switched on. Besides, it was blowing directly onto the bed, putting us in a serious risk of catching a cold. So we preferred to keep the window open at night. Well, we were not robbed, but were terribly bitten. By mosquitoes. The rain water getting into the well and the lack of sun apparently formed the ideal cool humid micro-climate for them to grow, and they needed food. They didn't have to be invited once we opened the window at night. It was a complete disaster. My wife looked like she had the acute allergy in the morning.

And then the breakfast. We had to stay in a queue for about 10 or 15 minutes before we got a table. While in the queue, the guests forced to stand directly under the chilling conditioner above the entrance door of the hotel. The breakfast room was too small for the amount of tables they put there. The breakfast itself was OK, not the 4-star level though either.

Room Tip: Check at least that your room doesn't face the air shaft of the building.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank karapetyan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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109 - 115 of 567 reviews

Reviewed 3 August 2014

Hotel is average, however has a great location next to the main railway station and metro.
Offers a buffet breakfast, which included the basic toast, croissants tea and coffee.
A 15 minute walk to the main square (grote markt), plenty of restaurants to choose from. The main sights are walking distance from the hotel.
I would not class it four star, more three star. Minor point to raise - hotel needs to invest in new towels, the towels were old and worn out (one had a hole).

Room Tip: Ok for basic budget travellers or back packers, not romantic..
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank rosied20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

Friendly, helpful staff, central location right by the amazing train station, clean and spacious rooms (by Low Countries' standards) including a modern bathroom. Breakfast was lovely with lots of unusual options (like salads) in addition to the usual fare, and the dining area is quite large with a wide-open view of the busy pedestrian street outside.

The only thing that made the hotel less-than-ideal is that the rooms were not built with full sound isolation, so everyone needs to talk with their "inside" voices.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank JedJ00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2014

Straight out the main entrance of the central train station & on to the traffic free main shopping street of Antwerp where, the hotel is on the left hand side of the street, not much more than 50 or 60 metres from the station. A very inviting & impressive foyer & a quick & hassle free check in with staff speaking fluent English. A registration card was filled in, my passport photocopied & full payment made & it was in to one of the two card controlled lifts & up to our 5th floor, non smoking room.
A large, clean & comfortable room, brightly painted with a laminate timber floor. Two comfortable single beds with extra pillows, wall mounted tv, large wardrobe, folding luggage rack, safe, tea/coffee, excellent air con, room lights controlled from the headboard, table, 2 armchairs, desk & chair, plenty of spare electrical sockets including one 3 pin, a well stocked minibar with 33cl tins of beer, water, cola, orange juice, ice tea, tonic water costing 3.00 Euros, 25cl bottles of campari, red & white wine & 3cl bottles of whiskey, gin, vodka, cognac, rum & jenever costing, I think, 6.00 Euros. The door of the room set off a beeping alarm if not closed correctly. Natural light could have been better as, even though we had a decent sized window, our room was enclosed from outside by high walls. No issues with noise from inside or outside of the hotel.
Our bathroom was a nice size, clean with fully tiled walls & floor. With Bath, shower head & hose on rail, shower curtain, good water pressure & plenty of hot water, large mirror, toiletries, plenty of towels, hairdryer, shaving socket & telescopic makeup/shaving mirror.
We were given a choice of 3 breakfast sitting times & booked the 09.30 to 10.30. Busy when we went down at 09.45 but staff found us a table fairly quickly. A good quality breakfast with plenty of choice, teas, coffees, orange juice, yoghurts, fresh whole fruits, fruit cocktail, cereals, breads, rolls, toast, croissants, pastries, fried bacon, scrambled & boiled eggs, a selection of cold meats, cheese, tomatoes & several salads.
I went to the hotel’s Emerald bar at a round 22.00. A beautiful, comfortable, relaxed place with a great selection of Belgian beers ranging in price from 4.00 Euros but it was extremely quiet with only 2 or 3 other customers there.
Free wifi was available in the foyer but not in any other area of the hotel but I wasn’t able to connect from my phone, though I did see people online on laptops in the foyer.
I asked for a 2nd room card & was given one immediately. We left our luggage for several hours, free of charge, in the hotel’s secure left luggage room.
Location wise, the hotel is perfect. Very close to the train station & zoo, 15 minutes walk from the Cathedral & Grote Markt & with an absolute multitude of shops, bars & restaurants in close proximity.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Gaildorfblues
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2014 via mobile

When entering the lobby upon arrival my friend sarcastically pointed out how I had clearly chosen for a quaint, boutique-like and personal hotel. Haha. Nope.
De Keyser is owned by VHV Hotels, which -by the looks of the hotel- is one of those huge conglomerate hotel groups, but as it turns out De Keyser is one of their only two hotels. Which kind of debunks my point, being that the hotel looks and feels totally impersonal and has a strong sense of 'budget', but you know what: fine. I know what I paid and I know not to expect a lot more for that price.
But then. Whether you're running a lovely boutique hotel or a cheap budget hotel, your staff needs to say hello to their entering visitors, or at the very least acknowledge them. I mean even at McDonalds you at least get a Hi.
And that, in terms of first impressions, is where De Keyser went wrong. We got nothing.
And unfortunately that's not where it ended.
The fact they had lost my booking didn't help.
And that they then proceeded to give my friend and I a room with a twin (uhm siamese twins?) bed while I'd booked two separate beds obviously didn't improve matters. To be fair, the -much kinder- night receptionist was able to move us to a room with two singles.
The room had no view, other than a depressing wall and the surmounted -and noisy- air con vents; one of the lights in the bathroom didn't work, making it too dark to see into the mirror properly; speaking of which, the mirror in the bathroom was the only one there, no proper mirror in the room (problem for the girls); there was literally one socket in the entire room, meaning we were left using our appliances in shifts; mysterious leakages kept turning up in the bathroom; no free wifi in the room (! What? It's right there in the lobby, and now you want us to pay for it when we go upstairs?); no room service in the evening? So no snacks? See, that's just bad business; the A/C couldn't blow any other temperature then 22 degrees; zapping through the channels on TV we were unpleasantly surprised by a rather graphic piece of porn, which we certainly didn't enjoy, but also made us think of families with children; and while we're on the subject of children, the huge window weirdly opens so far, you don't want to imagine how easily a child (or simply clumsy person) could topple out into the walled abyss below.
Seriously. Seriously.
Again, I realize that keeping it -relatively- cheap makes for a less impressive experience, but this was just ridiculous.
Having said all that, I do have to make notice of the fact that I was very impressed by the breakfast buffet. After all the disappointments I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of options on offer.
And that was that. Unless I feel like throwing myself out of a window I don't see any point of ever coming back here.
Antwerp is a lovely, friendly, beautiful city, with lots and lots of great hotels that reflect all that's good about the city, so my humble advise: look a bit further!

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Jeremy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2014

A fab hotel right in the centre of Antwerp. Having read some other reviews I was just a little apprehensive, however, my experience was perfect.

I arrived at 8pm and asked for a room on the 6th floor or above, no problem, even though it meant moving a next day booking. The night staff were helpful and informative, advising where the local mini-mart was to where would be open to eat at 2am!

My room was at the front of the hotel and yes it was a little noisy, but it didn't keep me awake, plus I was able to see the fun being had by all from my window (Belgium won their FIFA match!) the room was clean and facilities excellent, it even had a UK socket in the wall which meant I could charge both my iPad and phone at the same time!

The mini bar was well stocked (although I didn't use it - that's what the mini mart was for!)

Really good VFM in my opinion, only 10 extra Euros for a superior room for my 4 night stay, it might have made the difference to others who did not have such a good room.

My only comment of beware would be, the windows are 2/3 of the wall and they open fully. Take care if you have small children, its a long way down. And the one negative is no wifi in the room (unless you pay an exorbitant price) but there is free wifi in the reception and breakfast room.

I shall happily return and recommend to others.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
1  Thank sclo3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2014 via mobile

Nothing special to look at from the outside, the lobby is smart and made me look forward to the rooms, sadly the rooms left a lot to be desired.

-large black mark on pillow cover, bedding could be cleaner
-dirty walls
-ripped curtains
-old tatty bathroom
-mouldy shower curtain
-flimsy plastic cups....can't we be trusted with a real mug?
-no power socket at tea making area, had to boil kettle on floor
-poor quality toiletries
-hairdryer pointless and ancient

The room lights are on a sensor; when you get up during the night you wake your partner as the room lights up. Our sensor broke and the lights wouldn't turn off, when we reported to reception they said they were fine and we were moving past the sensor, they finally believed us and removed the bulbs....not a great solution.

All in all a dark, dingy, grubby, cramped option.

  • Stayed: June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Hellyb123red
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about De Keyser Hotel

Address: De Keyserlei 66 - 70, Antwerp 2018, Belgium (Formerly Alfa De Keyser Hotel)
Region: Belgium > Flanders > Antwerp Province > Antwerp
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#18 Luxury Hotel in Antwerp
Price Range: £67 - £144 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — De Keyser Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 123
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
De Keyser Hotel has 123 modern and comfortable rooms, including Junior and Royal Suites. In the last few years many of the rooms and bathrooms have been renovated to your convenience, we even have more rooms now with a walking shower. We are central located in Antwerp, in front of train station, buses and subway, nearby the animal zoo and diamond district behind the hotel. 5 Minutes walk from the shopping area and ten minutes walk from the old city. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alfa De Keyser Antwerp
Hotel Alfa De Keyser

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