After annoying slow train journey from bruges we arrived in gent, pie eyed from the night before. We took a taxi from the gent station to the hotel which cost 10 euro between 3 of us, which in general consensus was deemed reasonable value by the group. On arrival to the appartments/hotel/B&B we walked in and up some stairs and banged on the door marked 'office', after about 5 mins of banging an italian man with heavily gelled hair appeared from the stairs looking at us in a partially confused manner. we showed him our reservation and he explained that we were in the wrong building and this wasn't a hotel, but infact La Ducale was next door...woops.
When we did ring the bell for La ducale there was no answer. I rang the number on the door and the hotel manager seemed flustered and didn't expect our arrival. We ate an overpriced margeritta whilst we waited cooked by the italian fella who pointed out we were in the wrong building several minutes earlier. After the pizza had been eaten and afew glasses of Jupiler had been consumed we rang the bell again the manager answered. By the look of him, he enjoyed a good glass of port but was a very friendly chap and apologised for the error. we showed me to the room, a very nice appartment style building on the 3rd floor which was clean and spacious. He asked us to keep the room tidy and think he was abit nervous about the large Keg of jupiler we had brought with us on arrival. We had to pay in cash which was abit annoying as i had to go down the road to withdraw when all i wanted to do was relax and get the keg flowing, but it wasnt a major issue.
We got ready for the night out in the apartment, polished off the keg, had a nice shower and moved out to the last night gent ten day festival (a must do, the whole city was alive till the early hours). there was only one key to the apartment at La Ducale which was taken by a member of our group (Dufrais) as he left the gent festival early to catch some shut eye. However this proved a huge problem, as when the rest of our firm arrived back at La Ducale the door had locked behind him and he had decided to turn his phone off and shut the windows. WE WERE STRANDED. Reality hit home...we could be spending the night on the streets of gent!! We paniced, started to bellow DUFRAISSS as loud as we could but there was still sign of movement from the selfish camper. then we found our saving graces, an orange and a coca cola bottle, was it fate? After around 20 minutes of pelting these items at the windows of our appartment (and some of the others due to bad drunker aim) we finally woke Dufrais and made it in at 6am! after a small cerfuffle throwing his matress on the floor and some heated words we got to bed for a good 4 hours sleep.
upon waking it was great to find a tray of cheese and cold meats in the fridge with some bread also, the soft cheese was especially nice!! the breakfast was a little small for 6 of us so we banned Dufrais from eating any after his antics the night before! The beer we drank also meant we the toilet was used heavily and not long after waking the last of the toilet roll had been used with no spares in the whole apartment!! this proved problematic, but using the shower in a Bidet-esq fashion was a fair compromise.
When checking out the manager said he'd had afew complaints about us from other guests, but i don't think this was much our fault as the one key and self locking doors caused the issue along with Dufrais' ignorance!.
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